Yesterday morning (January 17, 20024), Kensington Palace announced that Kate Middleton was in hospital following a "planned abdominal surgery," breaking news that caused immediate public concern despite the palace saying that "the surgery was successful." And less than two hours later, Buckingham Palace announced that King Charles would also be undergoing surgery for an enlarged prostate.
A statement from Kensington Palace pic.twitter.com/6h3BCrqj5L
— The Prince and Princess of Wales (@KensingtonRoyal) January 17, 2024
The King will undergo surgery next week for an enlarged prostate pic.twitter.com/IqEeXQvA7L
— Rebecca English (@RE_DailyMail) January 17, 2024
The back-to-back announcements stirred a lot of speculation—and royal expert Victoria Murphy shed some light on the timing in a truly fascinating piece for Town & Country, which you can read in full here.
According to Murphy, "the royal family understandably generally try to keep details of their health as private as possible, however when they are forced to cancel public engagements or when a senior royal is admitted to hospital the public is generally informed in some form."
She notes that Kate's team "decided in advance" to announce her surgery after it had taken place—and that "both the surgery and the announcement were clearly planned." Meanwhile, when it comes to King Charles, it appears as though the announcement was "hastier and a result of having to postpone meetings at the last minute on the advice of a doctor."
In other words, Charles' announcement coming so quickly on the heels of Kate's "does seem to have been something of a coincidence."
And it should be noted that while Charles was open about his surgery, Kate is choosing to keep details of hers private. As Kensington Palace noted in their statement, "The Princess of Wales appreciates the interest this statement will generate. 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. Kensington Palace will, therefore, only provide updates on Her Royal Highness’ progress when there is significant new information to share."
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