Kenya Britain King Charles III

Britain’s King Charles III delivers his speech during the State Banquet hosted by Kenyan President William Ruto at the State House in Nairobi, Kenya, on Oct. 31. Luis Tato/Pool via AP

LONDON — King Charles III and the Princess of Wales are both dealing with medical issues that will force them to delay previously planned public engagements over the coming weeks.

Charles will undergo a “corrective procedure” for an enlarged prostate next week, Buckingham Palace said on Wednesday. The palace said the king’s condition is benign.

Moments earlier, the princess’ office announced that Kate would remain at a private hospital in London for up to two weeks after undergoing planned abdominal surgery. The princess, formerly Kate Middleton, is the wife of Prince William, the heir to the throne.

Britain Earthshot

Britain’s Kate, Princess of Wales, and Prince William, Prince of Wales, in London in October 2022. Kin Cheung/Associated Press

While it is somewhat unusual for members of the royal family to release details about their health, the twin announcements may help to avoid speculation if events featuring Charles or Kate have to be postponed or canceled over the coming weeks.

The publicity around the king’s surgery is seen as an opportunity to encourage other men to have their prostate’s checked in line with public health advice, nothing that the 75-year-old monarch sought treatment “in common with thousands of men each year,” the palace said.

An enlarged prostrate is common in men over age 50. The condition affects how one urinates and isn’t usually a serious health threat. It’s not cancer and doesn’t lead to an increased risk of developing prostate cancer.


The U.K. and foreign media have been focused on the health of Britain’s senior royals in recent years, first as the late Queen Elizabeth II faded from public view during the last months of her 70-year reign, then when Charles ascended the throne at an age when most of his contemporaries were long retired.

A series of events on the monarch’s schedule have already been postponed, including plans for a number of foreign dignitaries and members of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s Cabinet to travel to Dumfries House in Scotland.

Kate, 42, was admitted to The London Clinic on Tuesday.

The princess’ office at Kensington Palace didn’t offer further details, but said her condition wasn’t cancerous. Though she has generally experienced good health, Kate was hospitalized while pregnant after suffering from severe morning sickness.

Kate apologized for postponing upcoming engagements, and the palace said she wouldn’t return to public duties until after Easter, Kensington Palace said.

“The Princess of Wales appreciates the interest this statement will generate,” the palace said. “She hopes that the public will understand her desire to maintain as much normality for her children as possible; and her wish that her personal medical information remains private.”


After Prince Harry and Meghan’s stormy departure to California in 2020, the Prince and Princess of Wales have solidified their position as being among the most popular members of the royal family.

Kate, in particular, has remained a reliable royal in the public eye – the smiling mother of three who can comfort grieving parents at a children’s hospice or wow the nation by playing piano during a televised Christmas concert.


AP journalists Jill Lawless and Sylvia Hui contributed to this report.

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