Royalty and statesmen




Mother-of-two Camilla delights four-month old baby Isabel with a tickle during a visit to patients at the new Hathaway Medical Centre in Chippenham
Photo: © Empics
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The Duchess, who opened the centre, will be a patient herself when she undergoes surgery at London's King Edward VII hospital in March
Photo: © Empics

Camilla to undergo surgery after Gulf tour

13 FEBRUARY 2007

The Duchess of Cornwall happily chatted to patients on a visit to an osteoporosis medical centre in Wiltshire on Monday, giving no indication of her own health problems. But Camilla, who turns 60 in July, will soon be forced to rest-up for six weeks under doctors' orders.

She is to have an operation next month at London's King Edward VII hospital, which is always used by the Royal Family and is where the Queen had her knee operation in 2003. She will spend up to five days there before recuperating at home. "It is a routine, scheduled operation," confirmed a spokesman who added, "it is not cancer."

The surgery means Camilla has to cancel several engagements, but not before she has joined Prince Charles on a February 28 trip to Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. "The operation is scheduled to enable the Duchess to accompany the Prince of Wales on an important tour to a number of Gulf states," said the Clarence House representative.

Despite the upcoming hospital stay Camilla, who is president of the National Osteoporosis Society, was on sparkling form at Monday's engagement. She tickled the feet of four-month old baby Isabel and went down a storm with several elderly patients. "She was lovely, and I was very surprised how down-to-earth she is," said 94-year-old Caroline Bowly. "She is very personable and puts people at ease, which is lovely," added the charity's deputy. "You can see them physically relax when she talks to them."

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