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King Charles III and Kate Middleton’s Surgeries Cause Concern About Monarchy: ‘Only 4 Are Under 70’  (Exclusive)

King Charles III and Princess Kate Middleton’s recent medical procedures are causing concern about the future of the British monarchy.

“It shows you don’t want a ‘slimmed down’ monarchy. Only four [people] are under 70 as it is,” royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams exclusively told Us Weekly on Wednesday, January 17, regarding the immediate line of succession.

Hours earlier, Buckingham Palace confirmed that Charles, 75, will undergo a “corrective procedure” after being diagnosed with an enlarged prostate. Charles, who ascended the throne in September 2022 after the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, will subsequently postpone any public engagements during his recovery. (His condition is “benign,” per a statement.)

Kate, 42, also recently underwent a medical procedure. Kensington Palace announced on Wednesday that she is recuperating in a London hospital after having “planned abdominal surgery.”

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Kate, who is married to Charles’ son Prince William, canceled all public engagements to recover. A source told Us that William, 41, similarly backed out of his upcoming appearances to lend his support to his wife and take on more childcare duties around the house. (William and Kate share three kids: Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5.)

King Charles and Kate Middleton Surgeries Spark Monarchy Concerns
Stephen Pond/Getty Images; Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

When Charles ascended the throne, he made it clear that he wanted to reduce the number of senior working royals. Currently, only he and wife Queen Camilla, William and Kate, Princess Anne, Prince Edward and Duchess Sophie carry out official public duties. With Charles, William and Kate all out of commission for the time being, that could lead to potential issues.

“[William] is a Counsellor of State, who, in theory, could stand in for the monarch in the event of him being abroad or of incapacity,” Fitzwilliams told Us. “If necessary, Counsellors of State could step in for the monarch. There are several, including [Prince] Harry and [Prince] Andrew, who obviously would not be asked to.”

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Counsellors of State are tasked by the reigning monarch to delegate certain tasks in their absence and are appointed from the four adults (who are over the age of 21) next in the line of succession. Charles’ Counsellors are wife Camilla, 76, sons William and Harry, brother Andrew and niece Princess Beatrice. However, as Fitzwilliams pointed out, Andrew, 63, and Harry, 39, are unlikely to take over for Charles as they are no longer senior working royals.

Andrew was stripped of his titles in 2022 following his sexual assault scandal, though he denied the claims and settled out of court for an undisclosed sum. Harry, meanwhile, opted to step down in 2020 alongside wife Meghan Markle in favor of a private life. Harry and Meghan, 41, have since moved to California.

With reporting by Christina Garibaldi 

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