King Charles was admitted to a private hospital on Friday to undergo a “corrective procedure” for an enlarged prostate, Buckingham Palace said, confirming a pre-planned treatment announced last week.
The 75-year-old monarch was doing well after being treated at the London Clinic, where his daughter-in-law Catherine, Princess of Wales, is recovering from an abdominal operation. The king, who entered the hospital with Queen Camilla at his side, visited Catherine at the clinic after her arrival.
“The king was admitted to a London hospital this morning for scheduled treatment,” the palace said. “Her Majesty would like to thank everyone who has sent her their best wishes over the past week.”
Charles, who ascended the throne 16 months ago, was diagnosed with a mild illness on January 17 after experiencing undisclosed symptoms. He canceled his commitments and was asked to rest before the procedure.
The king decided to announce the operation in advance to encourage other men to have their prostate checked in line with public health advice.
The palace said the king was “delighted to learn that his diagnosis is having a positive impact on public health awareness.”
The prostate is a small gland that surrounds the urethra, the tube that carries urine out of the body. An enlarged prostate can put pressure on the urethra and make urination more difficult.
The British National Health Service recommends that men consult their doctor if they notice any problems or changes in their usual urination pattern. Surgery is usually only recommended when a patient has moderate to severe symptoms that do not respond to medications.
Benign prostatic enlargement is common in men over 50 and does not normally pose a serious threat to health, according to the NHS.
“The risk of prostate cancer is no greater for men with an enlarged prostate than for men without an enlarged prostate,” the agency says on its website.
News of the king’s treatment came amid a flurry of royal medical news over the past 10 days.
The Princess of Wales’ office at Kensington Palace said on January 16 that the princess had undergone planned abdominal surgery for an undisclosed illness. The palace did not provide further details, but said his condition was not cancerous.
The 42-year-old princess is the wife of Prince William, heir to the throne. She is on the 11th day of her hospitalization and is expected to remain in hospital for up to two weeks, the palace said.
Although she is physically active and generally healthy, Kate was hospitalized for severe morning sickness while she was pregnant.
Shortly after Kate was hospitalized last week, the Duchess of York was diagnosed with malignant skin cancer discovered during treatment for breast cancer. The melanoma was discovered after several moles were removed while she was undergoing reconstructive surgery following a mastectomy.
The 64-year-old duchess, ex-wife of Prince Andrew and mother of Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, was once a favorite target of the British tabloids. The former Sarah Ferguson, often referred to by her nickname “Fergie”, wrote a number of children’s books, as well as a historical romance for adults.
Although it is somewhat unusual for members of the royal family to divulge details about their health, the announcements regarding Charles and Kate’s health have been seen as a way to avoid speculation, as appearances should be postponed or canceled.
Stories about the health of members of the British royal family have repeatedly made headlines in recent years.
Speculation about the late Queen Elizabeth’s health grew in the final months of her 70-year reign, as undisclosed “mobility issues” limited her public appearances. After that, attention shifted to Charles, who ascended the throne at an age when most of his contemporaries were long retired.