The announcement of Princess Kate's surgery leaves questions, but here's what we know

London – On their last public outing, attending the annual Christmas Mass at church in Sandringham, England, Britain's King Charles III and his daughter-in-law Princess Catherine were the picture of health. So, the twins announced on Wednesday that the future queen was already in private clinic in London Recovery from abdominal surgery And the king is He is scheduled to undergo treatment next week For an enlarged prostate it came as a little shock.

A palace source said that it was the king himself who wanted to publish the details of his diagnosis to the public, which is an important opening from the new king after his coronation only last year.

“More humane than they portrayed”

“It's a very sensitive area of ​​the body in general, and people are sensitive to it,” said Dr. John LaPook, chief medical correspondent for CBS News. “It's saying: 'Look, I'm human. I have this problem, and here's how I'm going to take care of it.'”

The British royal family attends Christmas morning mass
From left to right, King Charles III, Catherine, Princess of Wales, Queen Camilla, Prince George, Prince William, Prince of Wales, Prince Louis and Mia Tindall attend Christmas morning mass at Sandringham Church, December 25, 2023, in Sandringham, Norfolk, S.E. England.

Stephen Bond/Getty


The announcement by Charles came just an hour after it was revealed that Catherine, Princess of Wales, or Kate as she is often known, was recovering from what Kensington Palace described as a “planned” abdominal surgery.

The palace said Kate will spend up to two weeks in the private London clinic where she underwent the procedure, and then spend up to several months recovering at her home in Windsor, making it unlikely she will return to public duties until after Easter at the end of March. . The palace stressed that the surgery was not related to cancer, but did not provide further details, noting that Kate was keen to maintain her privacy.

The royal family has a history of closely guarding, or at least trying to protect, its most personal information, and some Britons have welcomed it even while acknowledging their health problems.

“I think this definitely shows that they are more human than they are used to presenting to the public,” one London resident told CBS News.

But given Kate, 42,'s young age and generally good health, the limited details provided by royals about a senior family member's hospitalization may have surprised or concerned some people. However, one veteran royal watcher and biographer says this is par for the course.

“Protect these three children”

CBS News royal contributor Amanda Foreman said the palace statement reflects the fact that the princess “always puts herself first as a mother, and does not want her children to be exposed to any type of speculation or intrusion.” It was formulated “100% with the protection of these three children in mind.”

Prince William, Kate's husband, who is next in line to inherit the British throne, will also temporarily give up his royal duties to be at the princess's side and help care for their children, Prince George, 10, and Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5, the palace said. William was seen arriving at a London clinic to visit his wife on Thursday.

“The tradition has always been to be careful, especially with the royal family, as we know, there have been cases as young princes were growing up where they were incredibly scarred by Media speculation about their motherThe late Princess Diana,” Foreman told CBS News. “So, that awareness is why they're heading in this direction.”

“An incredibly busy time for the princess.”

Kate is often voted as one of the most popular members of the royal family. Since the death of Queen Elizabeth II, and in the wake of the dramatic exit of her brother and sister-in-law Harry and Meghan from royal life, she has increasingly undertaken public engagements on her own.

Foreman said Kate was sidelined from those royal duties at a “very busy time for the Princess of Wales,” pointing to looming landmark dates in the Christian calendar around Easter.

“There's a lot going on right now, and the royal family plays a big role in that, and as an ambassador for mental health and children, the important thing is that she has a very physical role — she's always standing, sitting down, kneeling and lifting, and that's where she needs to be,” Foreman said. “There is special caution in it.”


William and Kate, the Prince and Princess of Wales, are staying busy visiting Boston

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Foreman noted that the length of Kate's expected recovery period “is very important, but don't forget that there are procedures that can require very long recovery times – for example, a hysterectomy can take weeks to recover – and that does not mean it is a life-threatening situation by any means.” “

“There are a lot of procedures that people don't want to discuss. It's personal to them,” the author noted. “So, that makes a lot of sense within the context of what we're hearing.”

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