KING Charles has issued his first public message since being diagnosed with cancer earlier this week.

The head of state had been in hospital receiving treatment for an enlarged prostate before he was diagnosed with an unspecified form of cancer.

In his first statement to the public since the news broke, the King expressed his "heartfelt thanks" to everyone sending well-wishes to him and the Royal Family.

King Charles issued first public message since cancer diagnosis

King Charles said: "I would like to express my most heartfelt thanks for the many messages of support and good wishes I have received in recent days.

"As all those who have been affected by cancer will know, such kind thoughts are the greatest comfort and encouragement."

The 75-year-old then went on to reflect on his decision to go public with his illness, adding: "It is equally heartening to hear how sharing my own diagnosis has helped promote public understanding and shine a light on the work of all those organisations which support cancer patients and their families across the UK and wider world."

Expressing his gratitude to the medical team behind his treatment, he said: "My lifelong admiration for their tireless care and dedication is all the greater as a result of my own personal experience."

The monarch has yet to provide any details about the type of cancer he has, the treatments being undertaken for it and the stage it is at.

The King is currently in Sandringham after he was flown out of London. It is unclear if and when he will return to the capital.