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Princess of Wales has abdominal surgery; King Charles to undergo prostate procedure

Updated January 17, 2024 at 13:07 PM ET

Britain's King Charles III is to undergo a "corrective procedure" for an enlarged prostate gland, Buckingham Palace said on Wednesday, just hours after it also announced that the Princess of Wales was recovering in the hospital after undergoing planned abdominal surgery.

The 75-year-old king, who took the throne last September after the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, will be admitted to the hospital next week, the palace said, noting that he had been forced to cancel a number of planned engagements to allow for recovery from the procedure.

"In common with thousands of men each year, the King has sought treatment for an enlarged prostate," the palace said in a statement. "His Majesty's condition is benign and he will attend hospital next week for a corrective procedure."

Britain's King Charles III, Queen Camilla, Kate, the Princess of Wales, Princess Charlotte, William, the Prince of Wales, Prince George, Prince Louis arrive to attend the Christmas day service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham in Norfolk, England, on Dec. 25.
Joe Giddens / AP
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AP
Britain's King Charles III, Queen Camilla, Kate, the Princess of Wales, Princess Charlotte, William, the Prince of Wales, Prince George, Prince Louis arrive to attend the Christmas day service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham in Norfolk, England, on Dec. 25.

Palace officials said the king had been "keen to share the details of his diagnosis to encourage other men who men who may be experiencing symptoms to get checked."

The condition, common in men over 50, can affect the way a man urinates and, according to health officials, does not increase the risk of prostate cancer.

The announcement came less than two hours after the palace said that the king's daughter-in-law Princess Kate, who is married to William, Prince of Wales, the heir to the throne, had undergone a scheduled surgery for an unspecified abdominal complaint. The surgery was described as "successful" but the palace said she will remain in the hospital for 10 to 14 days and is not likely to return to her royal duties until Easter.

The last time Kate, 42, made a public appearance was at a Christmas Day church service, according to The Times newspaper.

British news outlets said that the Prince of Wales was determined to stay by his wife's side and had cleared many of his scheduled duties, casting doubt over a planned visit to Rome.

Copyright 2024 NPR

James Hider
James Hider is NPR's Middle East editor.