Prince Charles’ stepson was devastated by the death of his girlfriend at the age of 42 after his cancer diagnosis was delayed by the lockdown.
Camilla’s culinary writer’s son, Tom Parker Bowles, 46, had been dating former journalist Alice Procope for almost two years.
“Tom was perfectly happy with Alice and is devastated that life can be so cruel,” said a friend of Tom’s, who parted ways with his fashion writer wife Sara Buys in 2018.
Ms Procope, known as Alice Horton while working as a newspaper reporter, died “peacefully” at her home on March 17.
An insider told Eden Confidential that, in part because of Covid, the mother of three was only diagnosed with cancer last August “when it was too late”.
It comes amid fears that thousands of cancer patients will not receive potentially life-saving treatment due to delays in diagnosis during the pandemic.
Camilla’s food writer’s son, Tom Parker Bowles, 46, had been dating former journalist Alice Procope (left) for almost two years
Figures analyzed by Cancer Research UK show that between March and January, benchmarks for lung cancer fell 34%.
In total, the number of urgent referrals to a general practitioner for patients with suspected lung cancer has fallen by 20,300 compared to the same period last year.
Speaking about Ms Procope, a friend said: ‘Partly because of Covid, Alice’s cancer diagnosis didn’t come until last August, when it was too late.
“That’s what’s really cruel and there will be countless more like her.
Mrs Procope was the granddaughter of 2nd Viscount Ingleby and had three young children with her ex-husband, Robert Procope, grandson of Baronet Sir Robert Wigram.
She leaves behind the children Katherine, Wilfred and Georgi.
Charles is close to Tom and admires the way he handled the future king’s relationship with his mother Camilla.
An insider told Eden Confidential that, in part because of Covid, the mother of three was only diagnosed with cancer last August “when it was too late”. Pictured: Tom Parker-Bowles
Mr Parker-Bowles seen with Camilla at the Cheltenham Festival on Ladies Day in 2015
In school and college, he was subjected to many sarcastic remarks about his parents, especially about Camilla’s long affair with Charles and its effects on Diana.
In 2018, he left the Shepherd’s Bush home he shared with Sara and their two children after 12 years of marriage.
Tom, whose father Andrew Parker-Bowles is Camilla’s first husband, previously said he had “always adored” Prince Charles.
He said, “All you care about your parents is that they’re happy and my mom is exceptionally happy right now. I have always adored my stepfather; he has always been a kind, good and charming man.
Tom’s marriage to fashion writer Sara Buys’ wife in 2005. The couple broke up in 2018
Tom Parker Bowles arrives at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle ahead of Prince Harry’s wedding to Meghan Markle on May 19, 2018
“I don’t care: he is a warm, intelligent and human man and I think if that happens he will make a fantastic king. ”
The food writer, whose sister Laura Lopes is an art curator, has written five cookbooks and won the Guild of Food Writers Award in 2010 for her writing on British cuisine.
He has also appeared regularly as a reviewer on Masterchef.
Ms Procope’s death comes amid growing fears about scrapped scans or cancer treatment, with tens of thousands of Britons having missed vital appointments since last March.
Hospitals were forced to cancel thousands of procedures to deal with the influx of Covid patients during the second wave of the pandemic last year.
As a result, many of them will start treatment later when their disease is more advanced and more difficult to treat, which means they are more likely to die or remain disabled.
The Ministry of Health yesterday published 70 other Covid deaths, down by a third from the 101 times recorded last Friday. Experts said the successful vaccination campaign should keep them low as more people become immune to the virus
However, Covid cases rose 28% after 6,187 cases were announced compared to 4,802 a week ago. The rise is not of concern, experts say and was to be expected after schools reopened
The World Health Organization had previously warned that Covid had had a “catastrophic” impact on cancer treatment, adding that a “crisis was brewing” due to numerous delays.
Figures released earlier this year revealed tens of thousands of Britons missed potentially life-saving treatment during the crisis.
Surgery to remove tumors fell by a third in the first wave of coronavirus. From April to August, some 21,700 fewer patients underwent cancer surgery compared to the same period in 2019, according to Public Health England (PHE).
The number of patients diagnosed with cancer from April to September last year was 35,592, down a quarter from 2019 levels.
And in the eight months from April to November, 35,488 fewer patients started cancer treatments, including chemotherapy and radiation therapy, down 17% from 2019.
Over 324,942 first doses and 234,382 second doses were distributed during the vaccination campaign in Britain yesterday
Cancer patients should ideally start potentially life-saving treatment within 62 days of their diagnosis.
But no hospital trust in England hit the target in December, as just a third of patients were seen in the crucial timeframe in two trusts in London and Birmingham.
Recent figures showed that nearly 1.4 million patients waited more than 18 weeks for vital scans and diagnostic tests in England in December.
By comparison, the figure was 646,000 for the same month in 2019. Less than half of all patients in Bradford and Chester had been sent for scans within the four-month time frame.