Kate Middleton and King Charles Released From Hospital: Everything We Know About Their Recoveries

Middleton was hospitalized on Jan. 16, while Charles' health news was announced the next day.

The first alert from Kensington Palace announcing Kate Middleton's hospitalization to recover from abdominal surgery went out at exactly 9:04 a.m. EST on Jan. 17. Nearly two hours later -- at exactly 10:51 a.m. EST -- the palace sent out a second alert announcing King Charles III would seek treatment for an enlarged prostate.

One such medical update is shocking enough, but two updates within a matter of hours affecting the highest echelons of the royal family is "highly unusual." But this peculiar set of medical circumstances meant that the Princess of Wales and His Majesty were hospitalized simultaneously at the London Clinic, as Middleton was set to "remain in the hospital for 10 to 14 days" while Charles underwent his corrective procedure the following week.

King Charles and Princess Kate were both released from the hospital on Monday, Jan. 29 and both are said to be recovering well.

"The prince and princess wish to say a huge thank you to the entire team at The London Clinic, especially the dedicated nursing staff, for the care they have provided," the royals said in a statement following Kate's release. "The Wales family continues to be grateful for the well wishes they have received from around the world."

With so much news flying out of the palace, here's everything we know about the royals' health prognosis, the domino effect it has caused, and what's to be expected from the palace moving forward.

Kate undergoes planned abdominal surgery

On Jan. 17, the palace announced that the Princess of Wales was admitted the day prior to The London Clinic for surgery. According to the palace, "the surgery was successful." She was set to spend the next 10 to 14 days in the hospital "before returning home to continue her recovery."

As part of her recovery, the palace also announced that "she is unlikely to return to public duties until after Easter." The palace has gone on the record to say that it will only provide details on Middleton's medical condition moving forward if the information is "significant."


But the fact that the palace shared this much information is significant and, according to royal expert Katie Nicholl, "unusual." 

"They're not going to give any running commentary on Princess Catherine's health, but I think it's worth pointing out that it's quite unusual that we've been given so much information, and this is a breach of real royal protocol. It is unusual," she tells ET. "I suspect this is to quash any speculation and, of course, there are going to be wild rumors circulating all over social media. And I think this is the palace's way of trying to control some of that narrative."

How serious was the surgery?

That still remains unclear. ET understands that the undisclosed issue was non-cancerous. But while no explanation has been given about the exact circumstances that led to Middleton requiring abdominal surgery, Nicholl told ET that the long recovery time indicates that the surgery was "serious" and "invasive."

"So, we don't know exactly how well Catherine is doing at the moment. She's clearly gone through quite a major surgery. I think most people will understand that when you've got a 10 to 14 day hospital stay, that means that surgery has been pretty invasive," Nicholl told ET. "So, her road to recovery we expect to be a slow one, but we understand she should and will make a full recovery. But she won't be returning to official engagements until after Easter, and I think all of those things -- the length of the hospital stay and then not resuming royal duties until after Easter holidays -- gives us all an indication that this has been quite a major surgery, a serious operation."

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Middleton's last public appearance took place when she joined the royal family, including King Charles and Queen Camila, at the Christmas Day service at Sandringham Church. Earlier this month, Middleton celebrated her 42nd birthday. 

Charles seeks treatment for enlarged prostate

The palace later announced that the 75-year-old monarch would be hospitalized the week after Kate for the corrective procedure

"In common with thousands of men each year, The King has sought treatment for an enlarged prostate," the palace's statement 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 added that the king wished to share the news of his diagnosis, in order to encourage men experiencing symptoms to get checked. 

As for Charles' upcoming schedule, a royal source told ET, "His Majesty had a series of meetings and events planned at Dumfries House tomorrow and Friday, which are now being postponed on doctor’s advice. Guests, including foreign dignitaries and members of the Cabinet, were due to travel and so they needed to make people aware of the situation."

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ET has also learned that the palace does not expect the Counsellors of State will be needed at the time of the surgery. According to the royal website, Counsellors of State are typically appointed in the event that the king cannot perform his official duties as sovereign on a temporary basis due to illness or absence abroad.

This 'was highly unusual'

Nicholl told ET that everyone across the pond was "shocked" to learn about Middleton's hospitalization. 

"I don't think any of us saw this coming," she says. "I think when the news dropped today everyone was was completely shocked."

Then she thought her eyes were deceiving her, after the palace's alert on Charles' health hit her inbox. 

"It was one of those days when you sort of double check your e-mail just to make sure you're actually really seeing what you're seeing," Nicholl explains. "It was highly unusual. It's been a very busy day, of course, for all royal reporters. And, of course, for all the couriers at the palace who are having to field those calls and manage this story. I think when it comes to health matters, they really don't want to incite alarm."

Kate is visited by family

Two days after Kate was admitted to the hospital, and after her surgery was successfully completed, Prince William was photographed driving to visit her in the hospital.

A source also told ET that Prince William canceled several engagements to be at his wife's side, and has taken over extra parenting duties for their children -- Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5.

"William has also been doing the drop off and pick up at Lambrook School," the source adds. "The Prince and Princess of Wales have wanted to keep it as normal as possible for Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis."

A source later shared with ET that "William visited his wife nearly every day while she was recuperating at the hospital, slipping in quietly to spend time with her."

While the children did not visit their mother while she was in the hospital, they stayed in touch via FaceTime. Following Kate's surgery, a source told ET, "the children have spent time with Kate’s parents at their home in Bucklebury and Kate's siblings."

Kate also got another special hospital visit when her father-in-law, King Charles III, stopped by her hospital room ahead of his planned surgery. He was joined by his wife, Queen Camilla. 

Another source told ET that the king and queen "wanted to visit Kate" and see how she was doing before his prostate procedure. 

The king "absolutely adores his daughter-in-law," the source told ET. They share a "warm bond" and he thinks she is a "wonderful mother" and has done a "remarkable job with her devotion to her work on behalf of the monarchy."

Harry and Meghan reach out

Amid their rift with the rest of the royal family, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle did reach out out to both Kate and Charles about their respective hospitalizations. However, Nicholl explained to ET that was likely more due to human courtesy than a sign that things are improving between the families.

"We understand that they've reached out both to the king and the Princess of Wales. Is that a thawing of relations, or is it just a human courtesy? I think probably the latter," Nicholl told ET. "I think it is courtesy more than the sign of any softening of relations, particularly between the couple and Princess Catherine."

Still, Nicholl does believe that "there will be a dialogue between Harry and his father" in the coming weeks, as Charles recovers from his prostate procedure.

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"Whatever has happened, the king loves his son. We know that there were calls at the end of last year, around the time of the king's birthday," she explained. "Whatever's happened between them, Harry will be concerned for his father. It's still his father. He's still gone in for an operation. Yes, a pretty standard one, but a procedure nonetheless. One wonders if this might just be the opening that's needed for a bit more dialogue between the couple and the king, and possibly even Princess Catherine."

Charles and Kate are released from the hospital

On Jan. 29, the king and queen were seen leaving The London Clinic together in good spirits. 

ET understands that the king stayed three nights in the hospital, which was a longer recovery time than was initially anticipated. He may take up to a month off from public engagements while recovering. 

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Kate was also released from the hospital on Jan. 29, 13 days after undergoing her surgery.

The same day, it was officially announced that Kate would not be returning to official royal duties until after Easter, which takes place on March 31 this year. 

Prince William steps back from royal duties

A source told ET that, following Kate's surgery, the Prince of Wales, 41, "has temporarily stepped back from his royal duties in order to care for his wife and it’s not expected that he will return to engagements immediately."

According to the source, Kate and their three children are William's "first priority and he won't return to public engagements until Princess Kate is settled."

The palace shares a statement on Kate’s recovery

Following her release, the palace shared a statement, confirming that Kate is "making good progress" and expressing the couple's thanks for the outpouring of support. 

"The prince and princess wish to say a huge thank you to the entire team at The London Clinic, especially the dedicated nursing staff, for the care they have provided," the royals said in a statement. "The Wales family continues to be grateful for the well wishes they have received from around the world."