Northern Ireland

Michelle O’Neill and Emma Little-Pengelly extend well-wishes to King Charles following cancer diagnosis

First Minister Michelle O’Neill and deputy First Minister Emma Little-Pengelly said they hoped the King made a speedy recovery.

The King is facing regular treatment following his cancer diagnosis
King Charles is facing regular treatment following his cancer diagnosis. PICTURE: HANNAH MCKAY/PA (Hannah McKay/PA)

The north’s political leaders have extended well-wishes to King Charles after it was revealed he has been diagnosed with cancer.

The British monarch’s condition was discovered during his recent treatment for an enlarged prostate, but it is understood he does not have prostate cancer.

Stormont First Minister Michelle O’Neill and deputy First Minister Emma Little-Pengelly expressed hope he would have a speedy recovery.

Sinn Fein’s Ms O’Neill said in an X post: “I am very sorry to hear of King Charles’ illness and I want to wish him well for his treatment and a speedy recovery.”

DUP MLA Ms Little-Pengelly said: “I would like to wish His Majesty, King Charles all the the very best for his treatment.

“I, like many people throughout Northern Ireland, will keep him and his family in my prayers.”

Ms Little-Pengelly’s party leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson also extended his best wishes to King Charles.

Assembly Speaker Edwin Poots has written to the King.

Opening Tuesday’s plenary session, Mr Poots, who has survived cancer, said: “Cancer is something that affects many families in the community.

“Thankfully medical advances have made a huge difference to the treatment of cancer and we have thousands of cancer survivors in our community, indeed in the assembly including myself.

“To speak on behalf of the whole House, I will be sending our best wishes to His Majesty for a speedy recovery.”

Alliance MLA Sorcha Eastwood, who has spoken about her husband’s cancer treatment, proposed a matter of the day to allow MLAs to share their thoughts.

“Sending His Majesty the King every good wish as he commences his treatment,” the DUP MP posted on X.

“We pray for a full and speedy recovery.”

Alliance leader and Stormont justice minister Naomi Long expressed hope that King Charles would soon be restored to full health.

“Thoughts with King Charles and the royal family, as they begin to come to terms with his cancer diagnosis,” she wrote on X.

“Wishing him all the very best for the journey ahead and I hope and trust that his treatment is successful and he is soon restored to full health.”

Ulster Unionist leader Doug Beattie said his party offered “heartfelt wishes” to the monarch after the “shocking news” of his diagnosis.

“This is unfortunately a reality many families, right across these islands, face day and daily,” he said.

“I know that people across Northern Ireland, and indeed the world, will be holding him and the royal family in their thoughts and prayers during this very worrying time for them all.

“As a nation we join together to wish His Majesty a speedy recovery and a return to full health.”

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood said: “Very sorry to hear that King Charles has been diagnosed with cancer. It’s the kind of news that people and families dread getting.

“Thoughts are with him and his own family at what must be a difficult and distressing time. We hope he makes a full recovery.”

TUV leader Jim Allister said his party was saddened to learn of the diagnosis.

“We trust his treatment will be successful and that he will know a full and speedy recovery,” he said.

“His Majesty will be in the thoughts and prayers of many across Northern Ireland this evening.”

Meanwhile, in a statement, President Michael D Higgins sent his “best wishes on behalf of the people of Ireland to King Charles for his medical treatment and for his full recovery, as well as to Queen Camilla and his family”.

Church leaders have also extended their prayers to King Charles.

Church of Ireland Archbishop John McDowell said: “I was saddened to learn of the King’s diagnosis of cancer and ask that the King and his family should be remembered in public prayer and in our private devotions at what will be an anxious time for many people.

“The words ‘Long live the King’ are no empty formula or weary cliche, but are an expression of the heartfelt desire of many people across these islands and far beyond.”