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How Kate Middleton and King Charles' Surgery News Differed from Past Royal Statements on 'Personal' Matters

"It shows they are adapting to the times," royal author Robert Hardman exclusively tells PEOPLE

<p>Samir Hussein/WireImage; Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty</p> King Charles and Kate Middleton

Samir Hussein/WireImage; Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty

King Charles and Kate Middleton
  • Kate Middleton and King Charles both announced news of their surgeries differently than royal statements of the past.

  • Royal author Robert Hardman tells PEOPLE that it would have been a "much more guarded response" in the past.

  • Hardman adds that it shows the royal family is "adapting to the times."

News of Kate Middleton and King Charles' surgeries this month came differently than royal announcements in the past.

On Jan. 17, the palace revealed that the Princess of Wales, 42, had undergone an abdominal surgery the previous day while the King, 75, was seeking treatment for an enlarged prostate.

Royal author Robert Hardman tells PEOPLE exclusively, "In both the Princess and the King's cases, this shows a handling of very personal, very delicate matters that you wouldn't have seen in the past. It would have been a much more guarded
response. It shows they are adapting to the times."

"Yes, the public has a right to know some things, but not everything," he adds.

While Princess Kate's diagnosis was kept private (it is known to be noncancerous), Kensington Palace outlined her projected recovery timeline and how Prince William would also take time away from royal duty to help his family during this time.

"Kate putting out her statement was frank," Hardman says. "They could have hedged it, that they will update us with further details, but no. They said she won't be back until Easter."

CHRIS JACKSON/POOL/AFP via Getty King Charles and Kate Middleton in 2021
CHRIS JACKSON/POOL/AFP via Getty King Charles and Kate Middleton in 2021

Related: Why Kate Middleton Didn't Have Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis Visit Her in the Hospital

King Charles, however, disclosed his diagnosis in hopes that it would inspire men to get checked. His decision proved to make an impact: after his announcement, there was a 1,000% increase in searches about prostate enlargement on the U.K.’s National Health Service website.

"You could say it was leading by example," Hardman notes.

Moreover, King Charles' health is of great public interest due to his status as monarch.

“It was sensible to be more open about it, as otherwise, people might have thought the worst,” a palace insider tells PEOPLE.

<p>Jane Barlow - Pool/Getty Images</p> King Charles, Queen Camilla, Prince William and Kate Middleton in July 2023

Jane Barlow - Pool/Getty Images

King Charles, Queen Camilla, Prince William and Kate Middleton in July 2023

In the past, palace statements about the health of royal family members often remained vague or weren't released until after treatment was completed. When Queen Elizabeth had cataract surgery in 2018, the news wasn't revealed until a month later (explaining why she had been sporting sunglasses at recent events).

Both Princess Kate and King Charles were released from the hospital on Monday to continue their recovery at home.

“The Princess of Wales has returned home to Windsor to continue her recovery from surgery. She is making good progress," Kensington Palace said in a statement released on Monday. “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 Wales family continues to be grateful for the well wishes they have received from around the world," the statement read.

Related: Another Royal Is Taking a Short Break from Duties as King Charles, Kate and William Are Sidelined

<p>Chris Jackson/Getty</p> King Charles leaves the hospital following treatment for an enlarged prostate on Jan. 29, 2024

Chris Jackson/Getty

King Charles leaves the hospital following treatment for an enlarged prostate on Jan. 29, 2024

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While Princess Kate left the hospital privately, King Charles was photographed making his exit alongside Queen Camilla.

"The King was this afternoon discharged from hospital following planned medical treatment and has rescheduled forthcoming public engagements to allow for a period of private recuperation," Buckingham Palace said in a statement. "He would like to thank the medical team and all those involved in supporting his hospital visit, and is grateful for all the kind messages he has received in recent days."

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Read the original article on People.