King Charles bestows heartwarming honour amid monarch's and Princess Kate's cancer battles

Princess Kate and King Charles
King Charles and Princess Kate both stepped back from royal duties earlier this year due to their health concerns
Dorothy Reddin

By Dorothy Reddin

Published: 14/06/2024

- 22:31

The King has personally honoured his top medical team

King Charles has bestowed a heartwarming honour amid the monarch's and Princess Kate's cancer battles.

The King, 75, has personally honoured his top medical team amid his cancer treatment.

Dr Michael Dixon, head of the Royal Medical Household, and Charles’s GP Dr Fiona Butler, otherwise known as the Apothecary to the King, have been recognised by Charles for their personal service to the monarch and the Royal Family.

The honours come in the wake of the King and the Princess of Wales’s double cancer diagnosis this year, and as Kate prepares to return briefly to the public spotlight at Trooping the Colour on Saturday.

King Charles and Kate Middleton

King Charles and Princess Kate both announced their cancer battles earlier this year


Kate, in a candid message updating the nation on Friday, revealed she is “making good progress” but has “good days and bad days”.

The 42-year-old added that she is “not out of the woods yet” and is facing a few more months of treatment.

Dr Dixon has been made a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO) and Dr Butler is now a Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order (LVO), with the accolades announced on the King’s official birthday.

Awards of the Royal Victorian Order are in the King’s gift and are bestowed independently of Downing Street to people who have personally served the monarch or the Royal Family.

King CharlesKing Cancer announced he was diagnosed with cancer earlier this yearGetty

Dr Dixon and the King have known one another for decades; the health official is responsible for overseeing who is entrusted to care for the Royal Family.

His appointment as head of the Royal Medical Household following Charles’s accession drew criticism due to his outspoken support for alternative therapies, such as faith healing and herbalism.

In 2023, Buckingham Palace set out the doctor’s beliefs to The Sunday Times, saying: “Dr Dixon does not believe homoeopathy can cure cancer.

“His position is that complementary therapies can sit alongside conventional treatments, provided they are safe, appropriate and evidence-based.”

Kate Middleton

A new photograph of Princess Kate was issued today

Matt Porteous

As the Prince of Wales, Charles was a passionate campaigner for integrated health, raising the profile of combining evidence-based, conventional medicine with a holistic approach to healthcare.

Dr Dixon’s previous roles include being a practising GP, a fellow of the Royal College of GPs, a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, a former chairman of NHS Alliance and the chairman of the College of Medicine.

Dr Butler works as a GP at Health Partners at Violet Melchett and as a clinical director of Brompton Health Primary Care Network.

She was awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) in the 2024 New Year Honours for her work as a clinical lead for social inclusion, mental health and homeless health in West London.


Kate MiddletonPrincess Kate announced in March that she had been diagnosed with cancerKensington Palace

Royal doctors have been carefully checking on the King ever since they gave him the green light to resume public-facing duties in April, despite his continued treatment.

An overseas trip to Normandy for the D-Day commemorations has been Charles's most high-profile engagement so far, with an appearance at Trooping the Colour set for this weekend to mark his official birthday.

King Charles’s daughter-in-law, Kate, has been out of the spotlight since the start of the year. The princess announced in March that she had begun a course of preventative chemotherapy for an undisclosed form of cancer.

On Saturday, she will make her first official public sighting in a carriage with her children Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, nine, and Prince Louis, six, and appear on the Buckingham Palace balcony to celebrate the King’s official birthday and support her family.

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