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King Charles Holds Meeting with Faith Leaders in First Appearance Since Kate Middleton's Cancer News

The King is a longstanding campaigner for community cohesion and held the meeting in the run-up to Easter

<p>Jonathan Brady - WPA Pool/Getty Images</p> King Chalres with Dame Martha Milburn at the meeting at Buckingham Palace on March 26, 2024

Jonathan Brady - WPA Pool/Getty Images

King Chalres with Dame Martha Milburn at the meeting at Buckingham Palace on March 26, 2024

King Charles is keeping his work for cross-community cohesion going amid his cancer treatment.

On Tuesday, the 75-year-old monarch met with prominent leaders from various faith groups at Buckingham Palace.

It was the latest stage in his long-running work to support understanding across religions.

The faith leaders who joined the King are from the Muslim, Jewish and Christian faiths and alumni of the Windsor Leadership Trust, a charity that provides transformational, experience-led programs for senior leaders.

<p>JONATHAN BRADY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images</p> King Charles with Vijaya Nath during the Buckingham Palace meeting on March 26, 2024

JONATHAN BRADY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

King Charles with Vijaya Nath during the Buckingham Palace meeting on March 26, 2024

Related: Kate Middleton Found 'Comfort' in Public Reaction to King Charles' Cancer Diagnosis

In February, 18 influential leaders were invited to St. George’s House at Windsor Castle by the Windsor Leadership Trust for The Faith Leaders’ Forum.

At that meeting, over two days, they openly shared their experiences of leading in their communities at a time of heightened international tensions. It was led by experienced Windsor Leadership facilitators, Buckingham Palace said in a statement on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, King Charles “met a selection of faith leaders to hear about their participation in The Forum and how it had strengthened their determination to promote community harmony and understanding," Buckingham Palace said.

<p>JONATHAN BRADY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images</p> King Charles hosts the meeting of community faith leaders at Buckingham Palace on March 26, 2024

JONATHAN BRADY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

King Charles hosts the meeting of community faith leaders at Buckingham Palace on March 26, 2024

During his time as Prince of Wales and heir to the throne, Charles made a central part of his work to promote tolerance and greater understanding between different faiths and communities.

At his coronation in May 2023, King Charles made sure the main religions were all represented. A guest at the service at Westminster Abbey, Hitan Mehta, executive director of the British Asian Trust, told PEOPLE that day, "It reflects on the King and his commitment to understanding different faiths and cultures in the United Kingdom. He gets it. He gets the people he is head of state for."

"I think he is a person who understands the United Kingdom and the diversity of this nation. He also understands the challenges in front of people here in the U.K.," Mehta added.

<p>Jonathan Brady - WPA Pool/Getty Images</p> King Charles with Dame Martha Milburn at Buckingham Palace on March 26, 2024

Jonathan Brady - WPA Pool/Getty Images

King Charles with Dame Martha Milburn at Buckingham Palace on March 26, 2024

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The meeting came as the palace confirmed that King Charles and Queen Camilla, 76, will lead a small group of the royal family at the traditional Easter service at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle this Sunday.

The meeting also marks the first time King Charles has stepped out for a royal duty since his daughter-in-law Kate Middleton revealed she is also undergoing treatment for cancer.

Prior to Princess Kate's announcement on Friday, she and King Charles shared a private lunch on Thursday, PEOPLE understands.

CHRIS JACKSON/POOL/AFP via Getty King Charles and Kate Middleton in 2021
CHRIS JACKSON/POOL/AFP via Getty King Charles and Kate Middleton in 2021

The King "has always had a very good bond" with Kate, according to author Sally Bedell Smith, who released her book, George VI and Elizabeth: The Marriage That Saved the Monarchy, in 2023.

"She’s interested in artistic things and she appreciates art and culture so has an affinity with the King over that," Smith tells PEOPLE.

"Obviously, they have this in common and can only bring them closer. It is a source of reassurance and consolation for both of them," the author adds.

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