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The King has said he is continuing to serve the nation with “my whole heart” in a personal Easter message in the wake of his and the Princess of Wales’s cancer diagnoses.

The pre-recorded audio was broadcast in his absence at a Royal Maundy service at Worcester Cathedral on Thursday ahead of the Easter weekend.

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The King’s message was broadcast to a congregation at Worcester Cathedral. Pic: BBC/Sky/ITV News

The King, who announced in February he was undergoing cancer treatment, talked of his “special prayer” this Easter and expressed his “great sadness” of being unable to attend.

“The Maundy service has a very special place in my heart,” he said, after a Bible reading recounting Jesus washing his disciples’ feet.

He said the verse, from the Gospel according to St John, “has its origin in the life of our Lord, who knelt before his disciples, and to their great surprise, washed their trouble-weary feet”.

The monarch said in doing so, Jesus set “an example of how we should serve and care for each other” – and how as a nation “we need and benefit greatly from those who extend the hand of friendship to us, especially in a time of need”.

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King Charles III reads cards and messages, sent by wellwishers following his cancer diagnosis.
Pic:PA
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The King reads cards and messages from well-wishers following his cancer diagnosis. Pic: PA

The 75-year-old, who acceded to the throne 18 months ago, said it reminded him of the pledge he made at the start of his Coronation service to follow Christ’s example – “not to be served, but to serve”.

“That I have always tried to do and continue to do with my whole heart,” he said.

“It is my special prayer today that our Lord’s example of serving one another might continue to inspire us and to strengthen all our communities.”

He added: “May God bless you all this Easter.”

The monarch – who has stepped back from large-scale public duties while receiving outpatient treatment – was pictured sitting at his desk in Buckingham Palace’s 18th Century Room as he recorded his message in mid-March.

While the King did not directly refer to his and his daughter-in-law’s health, his words will be interpreted as reflecting on the nation’s response to his and Kate’s challenges.

He told last month how he had been reduced to tears by the messages and cards of support he received from well-wishers.

Yesterday, the Queen, during a visit to Shropshire, was given posters from well-wishers for the Princess of Wales, and said Kate “will be thrilled” to receive them.

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Queen thanks young Kate well-wishers

His message comes as he prepares to attend church on Easter Sunday with Camilla – his most significant public appearance and major royal engagement since his cancer diagnosis.

But there will be a reduced number of royals present to avoid the health risks associated with large crowds.

Prince William, the Princess of Wales and their children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis will not be present.

The family are spending the Easter holidays together following Kate’s announcement she is being treated for cancer.

Kate revealed she is undergoing preventative chemotherapy in a video message to the nation on Friday.

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Kate’s message: Diagnosis ‘came as huge shock’

The statement followed weeks of global social media speculation and conspiracy theories about her whereabouts after she had not been seen on official engagements since last December.

The 42-year-old had planned abdominal surgery in January which she said was successful.

It was initially thought her condition was non-cancerous, but tests after the operation found cancer had been present.

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Five people arrested after police discover ‘human remains of young baby’ in Wigan

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Five people arrested after police discover 'human remains of young baby' in Wigan

Five people have been arrested after police discovered what they believe to be human remains of a young baby.

Officers said those detained, aged between 20-70, were held on suspicion of concealing a death and unlawful burial.

They have all been bailed pending further enquiries.

The investigation, prompted by welfare concerns, is focused on an address in Marsh Green, Wigan, and a location on Valley Road in Pemberton.

Chief Superintendent Clare Jenkins from Greater Manchester Police’s Wigan district said: “This is a truly heartbreaking discovery, and I do not underestimate the impact that this news will have on the local community.”

An address in Marsh Green, Wigan
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An address in Marsh Green, Wigan

Addressing the local community, she said: “I would like to reassure you that we have several teams of officers and specialist resources working diligently to find answers.

“You will likely notice an increased presence of our officers throughout the next week, if you have any concerns or want to share any confidential information, please do not hesitate to speak to them.”

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She added: “In the coming days we will know more about the circumstances surrounding this incident, but we are confident that this is isolated, and there is no threat to the wider public.”

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Liz Truss was ‘ecstatic’ with mini-budget plan and claims Number 10 infested with fleas in new memoir

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Liz Truss was 'ecstatic' with mini-budget plan and claims Number 10 infested with fleas in new memoir

Liz Truss has revealed she considered abolishing the UK’s economic watchdog and replacing leaders at the Treasury and Bank of England, accusing the bodies of being “pro-China” and “pro-Remain”.

The country’s shortest serving prime minister said she discussed scrapping the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) with her Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng but concluded it would have “amounted to a declaration of war on the economic establishment”.

In an extract from her memoir published by the Daily Mail, Ms Truss says the OBR, Treasury, and Bank of England “were more interested in balancing the books than growing the economy” and saw immigration “as a way of fixing the public finances”.

Defending her September 2022 mini-budget – which led to a surge in borrowing costs and saw the pound slump to a 37-year low against the dollar – the former prime minister said she would “accept that the communications around the mini-budget were not as good as they could have been”.

However, she said the afternoon after which Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng outlined the growth plan was “probably my happiest moment as prime minister” adding “I was ecstatic”.

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Truss’ time as PM

Mr Kwarteng was sacked three weeks later amid rising mortgage costs, before most measures in the statement were axed in an attempt to stabilise financial markets.

Kwasi Kwarteng
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Kwasi Kwarteng was also sacked following the mini-budget. Pic: PA

The serialisation also includes behind-the-scenes details of domestic life as a senior government figure.

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While foreign secretary, Ms Truss says she was forced to share the grace-and-favour Chevening mansion in Kent with her predecessor Dominic Raab and would find “protein shakes labelled ‘Raab’ in the fridge”.

Anecdotes, complaints and lamentations – but a lack of self-awareness


Rob Powell Political reporter

Rob Powell

Political correspondent

@robpowellnews

Given Liz Truss is the shortest-serving prime minister in UK history and given she oversaw an economic meltdown and was forced to fire her own Chancellor and repeal most of her policy offering, the extracts of her memoirs are strikingly bereft of any self-criticism or self-awareness.

As the political blogger Sam Freeman has pointed, bits of the book feel like a ‘what I did on my holidays school essay’.

There’s amusing and eminently readable anecdotes about trying to get Ocado shops delivered to Downing Street, taking her children into the government nuclear bunker, and finding Dominic Raab’s protein shakes in the fridge at the foreign secretary’s country residence.

There’s also some complaining.

The former Prime Minister laments having to book her own hair and make up and says a lack of medical support meant her private secretary had to get her cough medicine in the middle of the night.

She says living in Downing Street was “intensely claustrophobic” and she was “effectively a prisoner”.

It’s an open question whether that stirs much sympathy with those who saw their mortgage rates soar during her chaotic 50 days in office.

Then there’s the now familiar defence of her economic strategy, which once again seems to consist of blaming everyone bar herself.

In four pages of text, I spotted just two flashes of introspection.

She acknowledges that the “communications around the mini-budget were not as good as they could have been”. But then neuters that mea culpa by adding: “But I have to ask: what would we have been waiting for?”

She also says the late Queen had told her to “pace yourself”, before adding “maybe I should have listened”.

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The Norfolk MP is also critical of the levels of personal support offered to UK prime ministers saying “despite now being one of the most photographed people in the country, I had to organise my own hair and make-up appointments”.

She described the prime ministerial flat above the Number 10 offices as infested with fleas that some claimed came from her predecessor Boris Johnson’s dog Dilyn.

Ms Truss also revealed she and her husband had ordered new furniture for the residence “but were evicted before it could be delivered”.

The death of the Queen is also described in the extracts, with Ms Truss saying the fact it happened on her second full day as prime minister left her in a “state of shock” and thinking “Why me? Why now?”.

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