A palace insider tells PEOPLE why it was "sensible" for the King to share more information
Within two hours of Kensington Palace disclosing Princess Kate’s “planned abdominal surgery" on Jan. 17, Buckingham Palace announced that the King would be undergoing surgery for an enlarged prostate — news he revealed to inspire other men to consult their doctors. A corrective procedure for the benign condition is scheduled for this week, leading to a temporary postponement of his public engagements.
While Kate's health news was only revealed after her surgery took place, Charles' announcement came ahead of his planned procedure.
“It was sensible to be more open about it, as otherwise, people might have thought the worst,” a palace insider tells PEOPLE exclusively in this week’s issue.
As monarch, the status of Charles' health is of great importance. And his decision to highlight his diagnosis has already made an impact: His announcement last week prompted a 1,000% increase in searches about prostate enlargement on the U.K.’s National Health Service website.
As King Charles opted for transparency regarding his diagnosis, Princess Kate, 42, chose discretion, expressing a "desire to maintain as much normality" as possible for her young children Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5, according to her office.
Although Princess Kate’s planned abdominal surgery was deemed a success, and she is said to be “doing well” by a royal source, her 10 to 14-day hospital stay and the anticipated three-month recovery at home have raised concerns. The palace has not disclosed the nature of her condition but has advised it is noncancerous.
"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 palace's statement said.
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Those close to the Prince and Princess of Wales say family life is the couple’s priority. Public engagements and trips scheduled around their three children — Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5 — and their school vacations. The current situation is no different.
Prince William, 41, cleared his calendar to be by Princess Kate’s side and support their family (he was photographed driving from the hospital after a visit on Jan. 18) and is not expected to resume public duties until several days after she returns home. He will look after the children alongside longtime nanny Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo and help with school pickups and drop-offs.
“We know they are a very tight family unit, and he wants to be there for them,” says Hardman, author of The Making of a King: King Charles III and the Modern Monarchy. “So much of what they do with those kids is about normalizing life and not making them feel like they are in a special gilded cage."
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