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Prince Andrew looked gloomy snapped out on his weekly ride in his first public appearance since news broke that his brother, King Charles, is battling cancer.

The disgraced Duke of York appeared despondent, seen trotting around a park dressed in navy blue jacket featuring the insignia of the Grenadier Guards.

He appeared to be gesturing, joined by an accomplice also on horseback during their walk today.

Prince Andrew’s older brother was on Monday revealed to have been diagnosed with an unspecified form of cancer, Buckingham Palace reporting that King Charles would be ceasing royal engagements while he receives treatment.

Royal commentators have suggested that the departure of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and the disgrace of Prince Andrew, could leave the palace struggling to find young royals to pick up royal responsibilities.

Prince Harry, 39, returned from the US this week to visit his father as news broke of the diagnosis, seen arriving at the royal residence on Tuesday to spend ‘around 45 minutes’ with his father.

Prince Andrew Duke of York seen out riding for the first time since the announcement

Prince Andrew Duke of York seen out riding for the first time since the announcement

The disgraced Duke of York appeared despondent on his weekly ride today

The disgraced Duke of York appeared despondent on his weekly ride today 

Andrew, who remains outcast and embroiled in scandal over his alleged connection to paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein, had not been sighted since news broke of his brother’s illness on Monday. 

Other royals including Princess Beatrice have been seen out and about, with the princess leaving her residence at St James’ Palace, next to her uncle’s at Clarence House, early Tuesday morning, before returning later in the day.

Princess Eugenie, Andrew’s daughter, published photos of her eldest son, August, on his third birthday today, two days after being spotted with Prince Harry’s ex girlfriend Cressida Bonas at a pub in Notting Hill.

And Prince Harry made a whistlestop 24-hour visit to the UK to see his father on Wednesday before heading back via Heathrow. The Duke of Sussex is understood to have briefly met the King and Queen, but not seen his brother William or sister-in-law Kate Middleton.

It has not been confirmed what type of cancer the King has been diagnosed with, or what stage it is, but it is understood not to be prostate cancer and to have been caught early.

Doctors noticed something amiss while Charles, 75, was in hospital for surgery on a benign enlarged prostate, triggering further examination.

Buckingham Palace reported that the King had been diagnosed with cancer since then, only clarifying that it is not prostate cancer.

Palace officials say the kind is ‘receiving expert care’ on a regular, outpatient basis – though have not said what this entails.

As prince, Charles clashed with medical experts in 2004 when he publicly endorsed the idea cancer patients could be treated with vitamin injections and fruit juices.

For now, the palace has confirmed the king will not partake in most of his public duties, handing over to a skeleton staff of young royals. 

It is unknown how long King Charles will be forced to suspend public engagements, although it is believed he will continue working on all the duties he can.

The King will still be dealing with his red boxes of state business and official papers, and holding Privy Council meetings, which can be held via video, and weekly audiences with the Prime Minister, which can take place over the phone.

The Palace has called for the King’s privacy to be respected, especially during his treatment, but said he wanted to make his diagnosis public because of his long-running support for cancer charities. 

Buckingham Palace said in a statement on Monday: ‘During The King’s recent hospital procedure for benign prostate enlargement, a separate issue of concern was noted. Subsequent diagnostic tests have identified a form of cancer.’

Prince Harry is pictured arriving at Clarence House in London to meet his father

Prince Harry is pictured arriving at Clarence House in London to meet his father 

Prince Harry was escorted to Clarence House from London Heathrow after jetting in from LAX

Prince Harry was escorted to Clarence House from London Heathrow after jetting in from LAX

The statement continued: ‘His Majesty has today commenced a schedule of regular treatments, during which time he has been advised by doctors to postpone public-facing duties. Throughout this period, His Majesty will continue to undertake State business and official paperwork as usual.

‘The King is grateful to his medical team for their swift intervention, which was made possible thanks to his recent hospital procedure. He remains wholly positive about his treatment and looks forward to returning to full public duty as soon as possible.

‘His Majesty has chosen to share his diagnosis to prevent speculation and in the hope it may assist public understanding for all those around the world who are affected by cancer.’ 

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This post first appeared on Daily mail

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