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King Charles 'in good spirits' at his Birkhall home ahead of operation

The monarch and Queen Camilla are spending time in Scotland

King Charles waves as he attends the Royal Cornwall Show in 2018© Getty
Diane Shipley
Senior Online Writer
January 18, 2024
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King Charles is set to undergo a corrective procedure in hospital next week having sought treatment for an enlarged prostate, and has cancelled a series of upcoming engagements as a result. 

However, the King is "in good spirits", according to royal sources, as he relaxes at his Scottish home, Birkhall, which he has previously described as "a unique haven of cosiness and character". 

He was said to be in "good form", and accompanied by his wife the Queen. The couple spent most of the pandemic lockdowns at Birkhall, as well as their honeymoon in 2005, and also retired there following Queen Elizabeth II's London funeral. 

WATCH: Prince Charles Unveils Grand Home Entrance To Birkhall

Charles inherited Birkhall from his grandmother when she died in 2002. The news of his health condition was announced on Wednesday, when it was also revealed that the Princess of Wales had undergone abdominal surgery the previous day. 

Buckingham Palace confirmed the King's news in a statement, which read: "His Majesty's condition is benign and he will attend hospital next week for a corrective procedure. The King's public engagements will be postponed for a short period of recuperation."  The Palace declined to say whether he would be treated in London or Scotland. 

King Charles III and Queen Camilla arrive at Crathie Kirk, near Balmoral, for a Sunday church service.© Getty
King Charles and Queen Camilla attended church in Scotland on Sunday

It's understood that Charles, 75, was keen to share the details of his diagnosis to encourage other men who may be experiencing symptoms to get checked in line with public health advice. 

According to the NHS website: "Benign prostate enlargement (BPE) is the medical term to describe an enlarged prostate, a condition that can affect how you pee (urinate). BPE is common in men aged over 50. It's not a cancer and it's not usually a serious threat to health." 

The King had a series of meetings and events planned at Dumfries House in East Ayrshire on Thursday and Friday, which are now being postponed on his doctor's advice. Prince William has also re-arranged his diary to support his wife and their three children, with Princess Kate not expected to return to work until after Easter. 

Prince of Wales attends a Service of Thanksgiving for the life of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh at Westminster Abbey on March 29, 2022© Getty
The King will undergo a procedure next week

In a statement, Kensington Palace said: "Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales was admitted to hospital yesterday [Tuesday] for planned abdominal surgery. "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. Based on the current medical advice, she is unlikely to return to public duties until after Easter. 

"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.

King Charles kisses Kate Middleton at Bond premiere© Getty
The monarch's daughter-in-law had surgery this week

"Kensington Palace will, therefore, only provide updates on Her Royal Highness’ progress when there is significant new information to share. "The Princess of Wales wishes to apologise to all those concerned for the fact that she has to postpone her upcoming engagements. She looks forward to reinstating as many as possible, as soon as possible." 

The royal mum was last seen publicly on Christmas Day, when she and her family attended church on King Charles' Sandringham estate.

LISTEN: In our Right Royal Podcast this week, we're looking at abdications... 

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