The British royal family is facing a health crisis that has left it understaffed and vulnerable, according to some royal experts.
Kate Middleton, the Princess of Wales, underwent major abdominal surgery on January 16th and is expected to need significant time to recover, possibly not returning to public duties until after Easter.
With Kate “out of action for a long time,” her husband Prince William has also had to step back from engagements temporarily to support her recovery.
Kate Middleton to be out of action for a long time
At the same time, King Charles has been hospitalized after being diagnosed with an enlarged prostate.
While the condition is benign, Charles too will have to postpone some engagements in the short term.
Royal expert Dr. Hilary Jones called Kate’s operation “a very big operation,” noting she will likely need more recovery time than anticipated.
Meanwhile, Charles’ willingness to openly share his health struggles is being praised for its honesty, even as it further strains the working royals.
The absences come at a difficult time, as Charles aims to present a modernized, slimmed-down monarchy to the public.
With fewer working royals left to share responsibilities, commentators like TV host Nana Akua suggest this concentration of health issues makes the royal family appear uniquely vulnerable right now.
While the health crises are likely temporary, they underscore the slim margins for error with fewer royals now taking on public duties.
The Queen’s death late last year already prompted concerns about whether a leaner royal family could meet public expectations.
For many, these latest medical problems, combined with lingering family rifts, signal potentially challenging times ahead for the British monarchy.