The Reason King Charles & Kate Middleton’s Health Crises Were Handled Differently

Feb 14, 2024 by apost team

Early 2024 saw the British royal family rocked by news of serious health issues. Buckingham Palace first announced on Jan. 17, 2024, that King Charles III was scheduled to undergo hospital treatment the following week for an enlarged prostate. The next day, his wife, Queen Camilla, revealed Charles was feeling “fine” and “looking forward to getting back to work.” 

That same day, Kensington Palace revealed in a statement that the Princess of Wales, Kate Middleton, had undergone abdominal surgery that had been scheduled the day prior at the London Clinic. It said the surgery had been “successful” and that the princess would remain at the hospital for a 10–14-day recovery period. However, Kate would likely not return to her usual royal duties until after Easter, the statement added.

News of the pair’s hospitalization led to an outpouring of well wishes and support from their supporters across the world. This came as no surprise as both Charles and Kate are among some of the most popular members of the royal family.

After Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, passed away on Sept. 8, 2022, Charles ascended the throne. In the past, Charles’ personal life had been fodder for the media, but the king looked to put the past behind him. As king, Charles worked hard to ensure the royal family remained in good standing with the public, moving with the times to keep the institution from being viewed as archaic, antiquated and out of touch.

Another reason why the royal family remains popular is Kate. Since her marriage to Prince William in April 2011, she’s captured the hearts of the public with her duty to the British crown, her kind and attentive nature, and her fashionable sense of style. Kate is known for her poise, elegance and charm. 

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (2021), (Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage via Getty Images)

On Jan. 26, 2024, King Charles III was admitted to the London Clinic, where he underwent treatment. He stayed for three nights before being discharged. However, the palace announced that all his prior engagements would be postponed to allow him sufficient time to rest and recuperate. In the following days, Queen Camilla again stated that Charles had been “doing his best” since the treatment before the pair made their first public appearance together on Feb. 4, 2024, at Sandringham Church. There, Charles gave the crowd a reassuring wave, raising the people’s spirits. However, the consolation would be short-lived as the next day, Buckingham Palace released devastating news.

It revealed that, during Charles’ prostate treatment, “diagnostic tests have identified a form of cancer,” while stressing it was not prostate cancer. It said the king had “commenced a schedule of regular treatments” while his public-facing duties were postponed on the advice of his doctors. However, the 75-year-old monarch would “continue to undertake State business and official paperwork as usual,” it added.

Meanwhile, Kensington Palace did not elaborate on what specific health issue Kate Middleton was suffering from but stressed it was not cancer-related. The public was quick to offer their well-wishes for a speedy recovery as the media jumped into high gear, with reports the princess had slipped into a coma being resoundingly refuted as “total nonsense.” Scores of photographers were assigned to the London Clinic in an attempt to garner photos of the princess upon her departure. They were, however, unsuccessful, as news would later surface that Kate had left the hospital without her exit being spotted. 

Twelve days later, on Jan. 29, 2024, the palace released another statement revealing that Kate had returned to her residence in Windsor Castle to continue recuperating from the surgery and that she was “making good progress.”

Catherine, Princess of Wales (2022), (Ian Vogler-WPA Pool/Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images)

Since news of Charles and Kate’s health issues broke, the media and public have noted the difference in approach taken by the pair. In Kate's case, the public was informed about her condition only after her admission and surgery. Many surmised the news was likely handled in this manner for Kate’s privacy, alluded to in her team’s statement that said they hoped “the public will understand (Kate’s) desire to maintain as much normality for her children as possible; and her wish that her personal medical information remains private.”

Charles, however, opted to take a more transparent approach with the public. He allowed his procedure for benign prostate enlargement to be made publicly known and chose not to keep his cancer diagnosis private. This was a conscious decision, as noted in the Palace’s statement that read:

“His Majesty has chosen to share his diagnosis to prevent speculation and in the hope it may assist public understanding for all those around the world who are affected by cancer.”

Later, in a message of thanks to the public, Charles elaborated on the decision, saying it was “equally heartening to hear how sharing my own diagnosis has helped promote public understanding and shine a light on the work of all those organisations which support cancer patients and their families across the UK and wider world.”

A royal family insider concurred that it was “sensible to be more open about it, as otherwise, people might have thought the worst.” 

Charles’ choice was also not lost on the public. Many wished the “wonderful king and human being” a speedy recovery and praised him for his “strength and honesty” in being transparent about his health issues, and said it would “make a difference to so many.” 

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (2012), (Danny Martindale/WireImage via Getty Images)

We wish both King Charles III and the Princess of Wales the best on their road to recovery. What are your thoughts on the varied approaches both royals took with regard to addressing the public? We'd love to hear your thoughts and well wishes for their family during this challenging time. Feel free to let us know your messages and pass this along to your family and friends who may want to do the same.

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