King to have prostate treatment as Princess of Wales goes to hospital

The King and Princess
The news of hospital treatment for both the King and Princess has led to fears the Royal family will be spread thinly for public engagements - Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images/Karwai Tang/WireImage
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Buckingham Palace announced  on Wednesday that the King required treatment for an enlarged prostate, just 90 minutes after Kensington Palace revealed that the Princess of Wales had undergone abdominal surgery.

The King, 75, who is currently in Scotland, will be admitted to hospital for a “corrective procedure” next week.

The Princess, 42, was admitted to the private London Clinic on Tuesday, where she underwent planned abdominal surgery that has forced her to cancel all engagements until Easter.

The King cancelled his own upcoming engagements after suffering symptoms connected to the benign condition but was “very keen” that the details of his diagnosis were revealed in order to encourage others in his position to get themselves checked, it is understood.

The timing of the announcements is understood to have been an unavoidable coincidence but concerns have been raised about the challenge posed to the Royal family of being without two of its most senior members at the same time.

At 2pm on Wednesday, Kensington Palace released a statement announcing that the Princess was in hospital, where she will remain for up to two weeks.

Royal sources said the Prince of Wales, 42, was committed to caring for her, as well as their three children, and as such, had also cancelled a number of engagements. He will not undertake any public duties while the Princess is in hospital or during the immediate period following her return home.

Two short overseas tours planned for the coming weeks for both the Prince and Princess, including one to Rome, have been postponed.

The Princess was last seen in public on Christmas Day as she walked to church with other Royal family members
The Princess was last seen in public on Christmas Day as she walked to church with other Royal family members - Samir Hussein/WireImage

The statement said: “Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales was admitted to The London Clinic yesterday for planned abdominal surgery.

“The surgery was successful and it is expected that she will remain in hospital for ten to fourteen days, before returning home to continue her recovery.

“Based on the current medical advice, she is unlikely to return to public duties until after Easter.”

It added: “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.

“The Princess of Wales wishes to apologise to all those concerned for the fact that she has to postpone her upcoming engagements. She looks forward to reinstating as many as possible, as soon as possible.”

The Princess was not rushed to hospital and royal sources insisted that her admission was not due to a sudden development within the last few days. They confirmed that her condition was not cancer-related.

However, as recently as the end of last week, aides were planning engagements and appeared to expect the forthcoming tours to go ahead.

Check-up

Less than 90 minutes after the Kensington Palace announcement came a second, this time from Buckingham Palace, revealing that the King had an enlarged prostate.

His Majesty had received the diagnosis just hours earlier, having undergone a check-up earlier this week which was booked after he experienced symptoms connected to the condition, it is understood.

The statement said: “In common with thousands of men each year, the King has sought treatment for an enlarged prostate.

“His Majesty’s condition is benign and he will attend hospital next week for a corrective procedure. The King’s public engagements will be postponed for a short period of recuperation.”

The palace declined to say whether he would be treated in Scotland or return to London. He is expected to remain in hospital overnight.

The prospect of the King being in hospital while Prince William simultaneously pauses official duties to care for his wife raised concerns that Counsellors of State might be required to step in.

However, Buckingham Palace insisted that the move would not be necessary as the King would be conscious throughout  the procedure and fully capable of discharging his duties as normal.

Sources said he would be back in action after what is likely to be a short recuperation period.

Shortage of senior royals

The dual hospitalisations mean that few senior royals are likely to be seen out and about in the coming weeks, with the Queen, the Princess Royal and the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh facing the prospect of an enhanced workload. The Queen, 76, is due to visit Swindon on Monday.

Health updates are expected only as and when appropriate. Kensington Palace declined to provide further information about the Princess’s condition but did not rule out the prospect that she may choose to speak publicly about it herself in the future. Palace sources said the Princess was “doing well” on Wednesday evening as she recovered from surgery.

The mother-of-three was last seen in public with the Royal family on Christmas Day, when she was pictured smiling and greeting wellwishers as she arrived at St Mary Magdalene Church in a long navy coat.

Two weeks later, on Jan 9, she spent her 42nd birthday privately with family in Windsor and the following day her three children, Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, eight, and Prince Louis, five, returned to school following the Christmas break.

The London Clinic has been used by members of the Royal family before.

Royal family members in hospital

Elizabeth II was treated there for gastroenteritis in 2013 and Prince Philip was admitted for what was described as “abdominal investigations” later that year.

A Care Quality Commission report published in December 2021 following an inspection of The London Clinic, found that its surgical services “required improvement”.

The surgery’s leadership was found to be “inadequate” with frequent concerns being raised.


06:56 PM GMT

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06:47 PM GMT

Recap

  • Kensington Palace today announced the Princess of Wales had planned abdominal surgery after being admitted to The London Clinic on Tuesday. The Princess is to stay in hospital for up to two weeks, and sources confirmed she may require up to three months to recover from the operation

  • Buckingham Palace later announced that King Charles is being treated for an enlarged prostate. The King is understood to have had a check up after experiencing symptoms connected to the condition. It is said he was “very keen” for details of his diagnosis to be shared in order to encourage others to get checked out


05:57 PM GMT

Last time King Charles seen in public

King Charles was last seen in public arriving at Crathie Kirk, near Balmoral, for a Sunday church service on January 14 with Queen Camilla.

King Charles and Queen Camilla last seen in public on January 14
King Charles and Queen Camilla last seen in public on January 14 - PA

05:31 PM GMT

Press await updates on the Princess of Wales

The world’s media has descended upon the London Clinic after the news broke that the Princess of Wales was recovering in the hospital following abdominal surgery.

Stationed opposite the building across the busy Marylebone Road dual carriageway, international and domestic media representatives are waiting for any updates on her condition.

Sources have confirmed the Princess is okay and Kensington Palace has so far declined to go into any further detail than an earlier statement.

A police officer patrolling the back garage of the clinic’s building - which is now shut off but is filled with rubbish bins - could be heard quipping with his colleagues that the bins were the best protected in London.


05:05 PM GMT

What is an enlarged prostate?

An enlarged prostate is common in men over the age of 50 and does not usually pose a serious threat to health, according to the NHS.

Referred to by medics as benign prostate enlargement (BPE), the condition is not a cancer and those with it are not at a higher risk of developing prostate cancer.

Symptoms are often mild but can be “very troublesome” for some, the NHS website says.

When the prostate becomes enlarged, it can put pressure on the bladder and the urethra, which is the tube that urine passes through.

This can cause someone to urinate more often and come into difficulty when doing so.

It is not fully understood why some men develop the condition, but it is believed to be linked to hormonal changes as a man gets older.


04:43 PM GMT

Princess of Wales last seen smiling on Christmas Day

The Princess was last seen in public as she walked to church with the Royal family on Christmas Day.

She was pictured smiling and greeting wellwishers as she arrived at St Mary Magdalene Church in a long navy coat.

Two weeks later, the Princess spent her 42nd birthday, on January 9, privately with family in Windsor.

The following day, her three children, Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, eight, and Prince Louis, five, returned to school after the Christmas break.


04:31 PM GMT

King 'very keen' for diagnosis to be revealed

The King was “very keen” that the details of his diagnosis were revealed in order to encourage others to get checked out.

The condition is particularly common in men over 50.

According to the NHS website, symptoms include finding it difficult to urinate, needing to urinate frequently or having a weak flow of urine.

There are various corrective treatments, including the removal of part of the prostate gland using a tube passed through the urethra or a laser.


04:29 PM GMT

Public engagements cancelled due to symptoms

The King made an appointment for a check up after experiencing some symptoms connected to the condition, it is understood.

It is due to those symptoms that he has cancelled public engagements this week.


04:00 PM GMT

King diagnosed earlier today

The King, who is currently staying at Birkhall, his private home on the Balmoral estate, received his diagnosis earlier today, the Telegraph understands.

It came after he attended a check up earlier this week.

The palace declined to say whether he would be treated in Scotland or return to London

Counsellors of State - those required to stand in for the monarch when he is incapacitated - will not be required as the King will be conscious and fully capable of discharging his duties as normal.

However, Charles, 75, is expected to remain in hospital overnight.

Sources said he would be back in action after what is likely to be a relatively short recuperation period.


03:32 PM GMT

King treated for enlarged prostate

Buckingham Palace has announced that the King is being treated for an enlarged prostate.

He will be treated in hospital next week and has postponed scheduled public engagements.

In a statement the palace said: “In common with thousands of men each year, The King has sought treatment for an enlarged prostate.

“His Majesty’s condition is benign and he will attend hospital next week for a corrective procedure.

“The King’s public engagements will be postponed for a short period of recuperation.”


03:28 PM GMT

Analysis by Deputy Royal Editor Victoria Ward

The London Clinic is an unusual choice for the Princess, who was admitted to the King Edward VII Hospital - long favoured by senior royals - when she suffered with Hyperemesis Gravidarum during pregnancy.

A Care Quality Commission report published in December 2021 following an inspection of The London Clinic, found that its surgical services “required improvement”.

The surgery’s leadership was found to be “inadequate” with frequent concerns being raised.


03:17 PM GMT

More than a dozen officers patrolling area

There are now more than a dozen officers patrolling the area nearby The London Clinic.

Groups of police are stationed at the back and side entrances of the private hospital as well as the main door.


03:11 PM GMT

Princess' recovery may take three months

Sources confirmed that the Princess of Wales is okay, but it is understood she will need to recuperate from the surgery for two to three months.


02:40 PM GMT

Police guarding hospital entrance

Two Metropolitan police officers are stationed outside the entrance of The London Clinic, where the Princess of Wales is expected to stay for up to two weeks while she recovers from her surgery.

The clinic is a private hospital based in Marylebone in central London.

Police officers stand outside The London Clinic where the Princess of Wales is recovering postoperation
Police officers stand outside The London Clinic where the Princess of Wales is recovering postoperation

02:35 PM GMT

Princess wasn't rushed to hospital

The Princess was not rushed to hospital, the Telegraph can confirm.

Sources said it was not something that developed over the weekend, suggesting it has been planned for at least a few days, if not more.


02:33 PM GMT

Further details could be released at later stage

The Telegraph understands that Kensington Palace has not ruled out more details about the Princess’s surgery being revealed in due course.

Sources noted that it was the Princess’s private medical information and so was a matter entirely for her.

However, it is thought that as and when she is ready to talk about it, she may opt to do so.

Kensington Palace declined to go into any further detail about the Princess’s condition.

Aides would not say whether it was something that might affect her in the longer term or have longer term repercussions.


02:31 PM GMT

Abdominal issue 'not cancerous'

Kensington Palace has confirmed that the Princess of Wales’ planned abdominal surgery was not dealing with a “cancerous” issue.

The Princess underwent successful surgery on Wednesday at The London Clinic and is now recovering in hospital postoperation.


02:20 PM GMT

Princess last pictured in public at Christmas

The Princess of Wales and royals attending the Christmas Morning Service at Sandringham Church
The Princess of Wales and royals attending the Christmas Morning Service at Sandringham Church
Last time Princess of Wales pictured in public during Christmas
Last time Princess of Wales pictured in public during Christmas - Mark Cuthbert/UK Press

02:12 PM GMT

Kensington Palace statement

“Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales was admitted to The London Clinic yesterday for planned abdominal surgery.

“The surgery was successful and it is expected that she will remain in hospital for ten to fourteen days, before returning home to continue her recovery.

“Based on the current medical advice, she is unlikely to return to public duties until after Easter.”

It added: “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.

“The Princess of Wales wishes to apologise to all those concerned for the fact that she has to postpone her upcoming engagements. She looks forward to reinstating as many as possible, as soon as possible.”

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