Prince William faces ‘emotional stress' as Kate Middleton, King Charles reveal medical procedures: expert

All eyes are on Prince William as he supports the monarchy during a major health saga.

On Wednesday, Kensington Palace announced that Kate Middleton, who turned 42 earlier this month, underwent a "planned abdominal surgery" at The London Clinic. The Princess of Wales is postponing all public duties until after Easter.

Moments after the announcement, Buckingham Palace revealed that King Charles III is seeking treatment for an enlarged prostate. They noted that the 75-year-old’s public engagements "will be postponed for a short period of recuperation."


FILE - Catherine, Princess of Wales, Princess Charlotte of Wales, Prince George of Wales, Prince William, Prince of Wales, Prince Louis of Wales and Mia Tindall attend the Christmas Morning Service at Sandringham Church on Dec. 25, 2023, in Sandringh

William, who is heir to the throne, is expected to pick up the extra workload.

"For the Prince of Wales, it will be a stressful time having both his father and wife in the hospital," royal commentator and broadcaster Jonathan Sacerdoti told Fox News Digital.

"Just like anyone else, the health and well-being of close family will be a concern for him," he shared. "The nation will all want to support him and the entire royal family as they get the best of care and concentrate on recovery."


FILE - Police officers stand guard outside the London Clinic in London on Jan. 18, 2024, where Britain's Catherine, Princess of Wales, underwent surgery. Britain's Catherine, Princess of Wales, is facing up to two weeks in hospital after undergoing s

"Regarding the Princess of Wales, it’s very unusual to be in the hospital for that long these days, especially at her age," Sacerdoti noted. "But being a royal and needing more privacy, and needing only to appear in public once fully back to normal might prolong her hospital stay."

Psychotherapist Dr. Robi Ludwig told Fox News Digital that it will be a "challenging" time for the father of three young children as he’s faced with "additional emotional stress and pressure on him."

"Wills has been trained his whole life to manage and prepare for these types of challenges in both a professional and dignified way," said Ludwig. "I’m sure he also has a lot of resources at his disposal, which helps."


Catherine, Princess of Wales attends the Christmas Morning Service at Sandringham Church on December 25, 2023 in Sandringham, Norfolk. (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)

It’s unusual for the royal family to release back-to-back updates about their health. However, it’s believed the double announcements are intended to avoid speculation if events featuring the king or the princess are postponed or canceled over the coming weeks.

Buckingham Palace also explained that the king is sharing his surgery in hopes it will encourage other men to have their prostates checked as a preventative measure.

An enlarged prostate is common in men over age 50. The condition affects how one urinates and isn’t usually a serious health threat. It’s not cancer and doesn’t lead to an increased risk of developing prostate cancer.


King Charles III attends the Sunday service at the Church of St Mary Magdalene on the Sandringham estate on Jan. 7, 2024, in Sandringham, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Sacerdoti said it’s too soon to speak of abdication, which would make William king if Charles is unable to fulfill his role due to health concerns.

"Hopefully his treatment will enable him to recover well and rapidly, and continue his duties as before," he said. "The royal family often support one another through times of trouble."

In 2022, Charles became king upon the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II. England's longest-reigning monarch died in 2022 at age 96. Charles is the oldest person to ever assume the British throne. He turned 75 in November.

It’s understood that William will be by his wife’s side as she recovers. According to People magazine, he has shifted his schedule and will postpone some engagements as he supports his family. The Prince and Princess of Wales are parents to Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5. The outlet reported that two upcoming planned international trips have already been postponed.

William's last public engagement was on Jan. 11. The couple’s three children recently returned to school following the holidays.

"Prince William is fiercely protective of Catherine and honors her as both a wife and mother," Kinsey Schofield, host of the "To Di For Daily" podcast, told Fox News Digital. "I do imagine that the Prince of Wales is feeling rather anxious over Catherine’s medical issue on top of his father’s."

Schofield pointed out that William will likely receive support from his in-laws, who are known for being hands-on grandparents.

"He will be especially grateful to Kate’s parents at this time," she said. "Michael and Carole Middleton always step in to support the Prince and Princess of Wales when they feel overwhelmed or in need of an extra hand. They will make themselves available for whatever the couple’s needs are over the next few weeks… whether that be taking the children to school, which William and Catherine typically do themselves, or helping them with homework. Carole will also spend a significant amount of time keeping her daughter and best friend company."

"The Prince of Wales has been by [Kate’s] side throughout this," chimed British royals expert Hilary Fordwich. "He is going to postpone several engagements, not undertaking any official duties while she is in the hospital. He will try to do as many school runs as possible while she is recovering."

"Kate will be returning to Adelaide Cottage in Windsor to recover," Fordwich continued. "The surgery wasn’t an emergency, but rather a planned procedure. Being young and athletic in general bodes well for her recovery."

The palace has faced a rocky New Year.

Prince Andrew was named in previously secret court documents related to Jeffrey Epstein that were unsealed in the new year.

Epstein, an American financier and convicted sex offender, was found dead behind bars in 2019 at age 66. The U.S. attorney in Manhattan prosecuted Epstein's former girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, 62, for helping recruit his underage victims. She was convicted in 2021 and is serving a 20-year prison term.

Buckingham Palace, as well as Andrew’s attorney, did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment. The Metropolitan Police announced in a statement that they’re aware of the documents, but "no investigation has been launched" on the 63-year-old, the U.K.’s Independent reported.

Andrew retained his title as the Duke of York. However, he cannot use the title of HRH or "His Royal Highness" in any capacity.

Andrew, who quit royal duties in 2019, has attempted to keep a low profile over the years. The 63-year-old, along with his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, joined the royal family for a Christmas church outing.

It is also understood that William’s relationship with his younger brother Prince Harry continues to be strained.

In 2020, the Duke of Sussex and his wife, Meghan Markle, stepped back as senior royals and moved to California. At the time, they alleged palace officials were insensitive to the Duchess of Sussex’s mental health struggles as she attempted to navigate royal life. The couple also claimed the duchess faced racist attitudes from the U.K. press, which contributed to their decision to leave the country.

The American actress became a duchess when she married the prince in 2018.

It is believed that Harry, 39, is not expected to fly over to the U.K. amid the health announcements. On Friday, the father of two will be inducted into the 21st Annual Living Legends of Aviation Awards in Beverly Hills. A spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex didn't respond to Fox News Digital's request for comment.


"I’m sure Harry is feeling the sting of not being connected to his family," said Ludwig. "Parents get older and more vulnerable to health challenges as they age. Harry has placed himself in a tough box. What he feels and what he can do about his feelings may be at odds. He is now forced to hide his psyche behind a different kind of mask, a mask of his own making. It’s a difficult place to be."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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