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King Charles' health issues 'expose problems of a slimmed-down monarchy'

King Charles has tried to create a more streamlined monarchy credit:Bang Showbiz
King Charles has tried to create a more streamlined monarchy credit:Bang Showbiz

King Charles' health troubles underline why "you don’t want a slimmed-down monarchy".

The 75-year-old monarch will undergo a "corrective procedure" in hospital next week for an enlarged prostate, and royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams believes the situation has exposed the potential dangers of having a slimmed-down royal family.

He told Us Weekly: "It shows you don’t want a ‘slimmed down’ monarchy. Only four [people] are under 70 as it is."

Elsewhere, the Princess of Wales recently underwent successful abdominal surgery and she's expected to remain in hospital for up to two weeks.

Charles has made a concerted effort to reduce the number of senior working royals since he ascended the throne, but Richard warned that the policy comes with some potential pitfalls.

He added: "[Prince William] is a Counsellor of State, who, in theory, could stand in for the monarch in the event of him being abroad or of incapacity.

"If necessary, Counsellors of State could step in for the monarch. There are several, including [Prince] Harry and [Prince] Andrew, who obviously would not be asked to."

Meanwhile, the Princess of Wales is not expected to resume public duties until after Easter.

The 42-year-old royal - who has Prince George, ten, Princess Charlotte, eight, and Prince Louis, five, with her husband - has asked for her medical information to remain private.

A statement from the palace said: "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.

"Kensington Palace will, therefore, only provide updates on Her Royal Highness’s 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."