Senior British royals now sparse

Henry

Catherine, the princess of Wales, is not the only British royal who had to kick off the year with a hospital visit.

Shortly after the news broke that Catherine would not resume her royal duties until after the Easter weekend due to a “planned abdominal operation”, Buckingham Palace announced that King Charles III had to undergo treatment for an enlarged prostate.

AFP reports that the 75-year-old king will be admitted to hospital next week, while Princess Catherine, often known as Kate, was admitted to a private London clinic on Tuesday.

“The king, just like thousands of other men every year, requested treatment for an enlarged prostate,” said a statement from the palace.

“His majesty’s condition is not malignant and he will go to hospital next week for a corrective procedure. The king’s public duties will be postponed for a short period while he is on the road to recovery.”

Prince William is also expected to spend more time with his wife while she recovers.

Charles and Catherine were last seen in public at the royals’ annual Christmas service at the king’s Sandringham estate in eastern England.

A spokesperson for the palace further confirmed that the princess is not being treated for cancer and also undertook to provide information on her progress as soon as any significant new information is available.

The palace’s decision to share news about royal health issues has been hailed by experts as a “rare display of transparency” as well as a possible attempt to raise awareness about prostate health.

However, it also raised many questions about who will take the royal lead in the meantime, seeing that three of the six most senior British royals have had their duties and visits postponed.

Meanwhile, during a visit to Scotland, Queen Camilla said that the king was “doing well” and that he was “eager to return to work”, reports the BBC.

It is expected that the king’s sister, Princess Anne, as well as his brother, Prince Edward, and his wife, Sophie, are likely to take on more royal duties in the next few months.

Prince Edward, the late Queen Elizabeth II’s youngest child, inherited his father Prince Philip’s former honorary title as Duke of Edinburgh in 2023 on his 59th birthday.

  • Sources: AFP, BBC