LONDON — Kate, the Princess of Wales, has undergone planned abdominal surgery and will be hospitalized for up to two weeks, Kensington Palace said Wednesday.
The 42-year-old wife of Prince William, Britain’s future king, will take a prolonged break from her normally busy schedule of public appearances and private engagements.
“Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales was admitted to The London Clinic yesterday for planned abdominal surgery,” said the palace, which is the home and office of the royal couple. “The surgery was successful and it is expected that she will remain in hospital for ten to fourteen days, before returning home to continue her recovery.”
The statement did not elaborate on the reasons for the procedure. “Based on the current medical advice, she is unlikely to return to public duties until after Easter,” it said.
Easter Sunday this year falls on March 31, which is more than two months away.
“The Princess of Wales appreciates the interest this statement will generate. She hopes that the public will understand her desire to maintain as much normality for her children as possible; and her wish that her personal medical information remains private,” the statement said.
The statement also added that she apologizes for postponing upcoming commitments.
The London Clinic is a private hospital in central London, near Kensington Palace.
A Kensington Palace source confirmed that the condition is noncancerous.
The source said the princess could be advised to recuperate for as long as three months and her return to full royal duties will depend on future medical advice.
William will also postpone a number of engagements, the source said, as he juggles being with his wife and looking after their three children.
“He will not undertake official duties while his wife is in hospital, and during the immediate period following her return home,” the source said, adding that William will not go on any foreign trips in the coming months.
News of her surgery came less than an hour before Buckingham Palace said in a statement that her father-in-law, King Charles III, will undergo a “corrective procedure” in the hospital next week after seeking treatment for an enlarged prostate.
The statement said his condition was “benign and he will attend hospital next week for a corrective procedure.” It added that the 75-year-old’s monarch “public engagements will be postponed for a short period of recuperation.”
Kate has become one of the most important and visible members of the royal family since her marriage to William in 2011, an occasion marked by a public holiday in the United Kingdom.
The spotlight on the former Kate Middleton has grown brighter since Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, left the country and their roles as senior royals. The publication of Harry’s book, “Spare,” last year fueled reports of a growing rift between William and Harry.
The number of senior royals was reduced by the death of Queen Elizabeth II and the coronation of King Charles III. The ongoing controversy surrounding Prince Andrew’s relationship with disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein saw him step back from royal duties in 2022.
The intense media scrutiny into Kate’s life has previously focused on her health: during her pregnancies, she suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum, a debilitating condition also known as severe morning sickness, something that led to her using “hypnobirthing” techniques.
Prince George, second in line to the throne, was born in 2013; Princess Charlotte was born in 2015, and Prince Louis in 2018.