King Charles and Kate in hospital - the two 'highly unusual' royal announcements explained

Wednesday 17 January was an eventful day for the Royal Family who saw two members announce health scares requiring surgery. But why was this announced on the same day? Could it all come down to coincidence?

Kate Middleton King Charles surgeries announcements
© Samir Hussein / GETTY IMAGES
Kate Middleton King Charles surgeries announcements

In the early afternoon of 17 January, a statement released by Kensington Palace announced that the Princess of Wales ‘was admitted to hospital for planned abdominal surgery.’

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Less than two hours later the Palace disclosed that King Charles will be undertaking surgery for an ‘enlarged prostate’ in the week of 22 January.

The two announcements coming back to back had many wondering if that was done on purpose.

A possible coincidence

The way these health updates were done was so surprising that Laura Bundock, reporting for Sky News, wrote:

The Royal Family rarely comment publicly about private issues. (...) That's why the release of two statements, within 90 minutes of each other, is highly unusual.

On the unusual nature of the timing of these announcements, Town and Country highlights the difference between the two announcements. Like we ourselves noted, Middleton’s chose not to disclose too much while the King’s gave the reason for the operation.

According to Victoria Murphy, there is another key difference between the statements. She writes:

The Princess of Wales had her surgery yesterday and clearly her team had decided in advance to make the announcement after it had taken place (...)
Both the surgery and the announcement were clearly planned, with anticipated questions answered (...)

However the Town and Country writer suggests that King Charles’ seemed ‘hastier and a result of having to postpone meetings at the last minute on the advice of a doctor.’ Indeed, it is true that the King had meetings planned for the following days which required foreign dignitaries and cabinet members to go to Scotland.

Murphy concluded that the timing of the announcements seemed to be more due to ‘coincidence’. Under the same impression is Chris Ship, ITV’s royal editor who said that ‘on doctor’s advice, [King Charles] has been told to postpone’ his meetings.

Changes in schedule could indicate some unexpectedness

TikTok royal watcher @matta_of_fact took the time to look at the statements released by Kensington Palace. In them, it is written that ‘the Princess of Wales wishes to apologise’ to the people impacted by the cancellation of her engagements.

The royal watcher pointed out that even though the procedure was ‘planned’ it possibly could not have been planned too far in advance. She explained:

Back in December we got a few speculative pieces about Will and Kate’s trips; their royal tours for 2024.


The press first got a scoop that they would be visiting Rome. Then there was some reshuffling and it was announced that their first trip of 2024 would be to a location, undisclosed, where British armed members are stationed.

Having this in mind, the royal content creator alleges that these tours for early 2024 ‘would not have been leaked to the press’ if the surgery had been in the books. Indeed, on 10 January the armed forces trip was reported by Mirror.

A day after these two announcements were made, no further details have been released. Concerning the Princess of Wales, no comments will be made unless they are ‘significant’ and concerning the King, it is expected that an update will be given post surgery.

Both surgeries have been confirmed as not linked to cancer scares.

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Town and Country: Why Were King Charles and Kate Middleton's Medical Conditions Announced on the Same Day?

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@matta_of_fact on Tiktok

King Charles and Prince William 'highly inappropriate' defiance of this major Royal Family rule King Charles and Prince William 'highly inappropriate' defiance of this major Royal Family rule