A Greek Orthodox monk has claimed that King Charles has turned to him for spiritual advice since being diagnosed with cancer.

The 75-year-old monarch received the shock diagnosis while undergoing a recent hospital procedure for benign prostate enlargement.

It’s claimed that the King secretly contacted Archimandrite Ephraim, with whom he’s said to have been friends with for over 25 years.

The King and the Abbot are understood to have grown close after Princess Diana‘s death in 1997.

Elder Ephraim, 67, has never spoken about his friendship with the monarch but The Sun reports that he claimed that the King contacted him following his diagnosis.

The Abbot said: ‘Charles has a spiritual sophistication, a spiritual life.

‘Yes, he has been in contact since the diagnosis and I believe he’ll overcome it.’

Greek Orthodox monk Archimandrite Ephraim (pictured) has claimed that King Charles has turned to him for spiritual advice since being diagnosed with cancer

Greek Orthodox monk Archimandrite Ephraim (pictured) has claimed that King Charles has turned to him for spiritual advice since being diagnosed with cancer

King Charles III and Queen Camilla leave after attending a church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham last Sunday

King Charles III and Queen Camilla leave after attending a church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham last Sunday

The elder claimed to have had a ‘very good rapport’ with Charles, who is said to have visited Mount Athos several times, including eight separate visits to the Abbot’s 10th century Vatopedi monastery.

Charles reportedly has his own quarters at Vatopedi, which is located on the all-male Mount.

A source told the newspaper: ‘There are no distractions so he can meditate, pray and follow ancient rituals like getting up at 4am to follow the liturgy which he absolutely adores.’ 

Charles’ late father, Prince Philip, was born on a kitchen table in Corfu and baptised into the Greek Orthodox church before his family fled the war-torn country when he was a baby.

The King has taken a step back from frontline duties following his diagnosis with the disease, which was discovered while he was undergoing treatment for an enlarged prostate.

The form of cancer has not been specified, but aides say it is not of the prostate; the King ‘continues to undertake state business and official paperwork as usual’ while undergoing a schedule of treatments.

He chose to share his diagnosis ‘in the hope it may assist public understanding for all those around the world who are affected by cancer,’ Buckingham Palace said.

Charles revealed to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak earlier this week that the ‘wonderful messages and cards’ he has received since his diagnosis have ‘reduced me to tears.’ 

King Charles has visited the Vatopedion monastery on Mount Athos, Greece, several times

King Charles has visited the Vatopedion monastery on Mount Athos, Greece, several times

King Charles met with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at Buckingham Palace last Wednesday, with the pair seen smiling during their first face-to-face meeting since the monarch's cancer diagnosis

King Charles met with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at Buckingham Palace last Wednesday, with the pair seen smiling during their first face-to-face meeting since the monarch’s cancer diagnosis

His Majesty appeared in good spirits as he arrived for the meeting with Mr Sunak at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday, in what was their first audience of the year.

The Prime Minister told the King that it was ‘very nice to see you’, to which Charles responded: ‘A bit of a gap I’m afraid,’ referring to the disruption to their weekly meetings.

Mr Sunak reassured him that ‘we’re all behind you, the country is behind you’, and added that it was ‘wonderful to see you looking so well.’ In typical good humour, the King jokingly replied: ‘Well, it’s all done by mirrors, really.’

Before the pair’s private discussion, the monarch also met with members of the Privy Council in person on Tuesday evening.

Charles’ profound sense of duty and strong work ethic has seen him continue working privately through treatment, but this was the first time the King has been pictured carrying out royal duties.

Buckingham Palace has been contacted for comment. 

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