The British royal family have been known for generations by the “never explain, never complain” mantra, but their health battles over the years have chipped away at their perfect public image. In 2024 alone, both King Charles III and Princess Kate Middleton were diagnosed with cancer, while Sarah, Duchess of York, announced a renewed experience with the illness. 

Recent royal crises added to the pre-existing history of medical issues within the family, and watchers are wanting to know more about the firm’s health. 

King Charles III’s Cancer 

After undergoing surgery for a benign enlarged prostate in January 2024, Charles’ cancer was discovered and made public soon after. 

“His Majesty has today commenced a schedule of regular treatments, during which time he has been advised by doctors to postpone public-facing duties,” the palace’s January 26 statement read. “Throughout this period, His Majesty will continue to undertake State business and official paperwork as usual.”

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While the palace maintained positive messaging regarding the king’s health status, sources exclusively revealed to In Touch that Charles is battling pancreatic cancer and has been given two years to live. 

“King Charles is much sicker than the palace lets on and simply isn’t up to the job of running his fractious family, the crown’s business interests and fulfilling the daily duties of the monarchy,” a member of the royal inner circle told In Touch in March. “His cancer is eating him alive. He’s very frail. The situation is desperate.”

Meanwhile, Camilla, Queen Consort, is said to be “exhausted” by her husband’s health crisis and is “disgusted by [his] apparent weakness.” 

Kate Middleton’s Cancer 

The Princess of Wales underwent abdominal surgery on January 16, 2024, and the palace made the news public the following day. While their messaging was largely positive and coy, Kate later revealed in March that she had been diagnosed with cancer

“My medical team therefore advised that I should undergo a course of preventative chemotherapy and I am now in early stages of that treatment,” Kate said in her video message, which came amid rampant public speculation about her whereabouts and well-being. 

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“As I’ve said to [Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis], I am well and getting stronger every day by focusing on the things that will help me heal in my mind, body and spirits,” she continued. “We hope that you’ll understand that as a family we now need some time, space and privacy while I complete my treatment. My work has always brought me a deep sense of joy and I look forward to being back when I am able. But for now, I must focus on making a full recovery.”

Kate has not made an official public appearance since December 2023, as of publication. 

Sarah Ferguson’s Cancer 

Sarah, who was married to Prince Andrew, revealed that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer in June 2023. She “beat” it by December, but just one month later was given the news of her skin cancer. 

“Following her diagnosis with an early form of breast cancer this summer, Sarah, Duchess of York, has now been diagnosed with malignant melanoma,” her spokesperson said in January 2024. “Her dermatologist asked that several moles were removed and analyzed at the same time as the Duchess was undergoing reconstructive surgery following her mastectomy, and one of these has been identified as cancerous. Clearly, another diagnosis so soon after treatment for breast cancer has been distressing but the Duchess remains in good spirits.”

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Despite her own cancer battle, Sarah was quick to express her support of Kate when she made the news of her diagnosis public. 

“All my thoughts and prayers are with the Princess of Wales as she starts her treatment,” Sarah wrote three days after Kate’s video statement was released. “I know she will be surrounded by the love of her family and everyone is praying for the best outcome.”

Prince Philip’s Heart Condition 

Before his death at the age of 99 in April 2021, Prince Philip had been living with heart problems for years. Just three weeks before his passing, Philip had been admitted to the hospital and underwent a pre-existing heart condition procedure, resulting in his stay for a month. He died soon after being released, but his heart issues dated back decades. 

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In 2011, the Duke of Edinburgh spent four nights in the hospital, undergoing a stent operation to treat a coronary artery block. The following year, bladder infections stopped him from taking part in Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee, and by 2013, he was back in the hospital for a planned abdominal exploratory surgery. Four years later, a “pre-existing condition” forced Philip back to the hospital for treatment. 

Queen Elizabeth II’s Health Concerns 

Queen Elizabeth II was on the job up until the day she died at the age of 96, though health issues made her job more difficult. A year before she passed, the queen started using a cane to assist her stability, likely the result of years of horseback riding. She was in and out of the hospital throughout the last year of her life due to a COVID-19 contraction, a sprained back and various other ailments. The queen died on September 8, 2022, at Balmoral after 70 years on the throne. 

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Princess Margaret’s Health Issues 

Queen Elizabeth’s sister, Princess Margaret, was plagued with health issues throughout her life. A heavy smoker and drinker, Margaret underwent a lung operation in 1985, and was once again hospitalized in 1993 with pneumonia. A horrific burn to the feet due to a scalding bathtub left the princess in a bad state, made worse by her first stroke in 1998. 

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Margaret was only 71 when she suffered her second stroke in 2002, dying as a result of the episode.

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