I once spent some time with Prince Charles (as he was then) and we had a good chat over a beer or two. Not on my own of course. He came onboard one of the ships I was on and a bunch of us got invited to meet him. I struggle to recall the year or even which ship it was. Much of it is a blur. I do recall him being genuinely funny and easy to talk to. I was probably too young and stupid to ask him any insightful questions.

Most people who have served have no doubt got similar stories. The senior royals have a close connection with all 3 services.

I met him again when he came onboard HMS Invincible for a medal ceremony. Those of us who had took part in the peacekeeping missions for the Bosnia and Kosovo conflicts received some bling. I don’t have much memorabilia from my time in the navy but at least I can say it was the future king who handed me a medal.

Cancer sucks. I hope he learns to deal with it the same way I have - distraction.

Keep busy when you can. Otherwise, sit back and watch some sedate TV. Nothing loud. Nothing with ads (it’s amazing how many cancer-related ads there are in the UK), and definitely nothing to do with hospitals. Try meditation. Try whatever it takes to switch the brain to something else. Pain is ultimately a brain response. After many procedures and needles in the last 6 months I’ve realised that it hurts less when engaged and chatting. Of course, distraction only goes so far. Sometimes it’s just shit whatever you do.

I hope he has a speedy recovery.