The royal family is reportedly riddled with stress in the wake of Kate Middleton’s abdominal surgery and King Charles III’s cancer diagnosis.

“Everybody feels unsettled by uncertainty, and there is too much uncertainty that is surrounding the monarchy right now,” royal biographer Sally Bedell Smith told People in a story published on Wednesday, March 6. “Queen Elizabeth used to say, ‘I need to be seen to be believed.’ It is important for Charles and his reign for the public to know a little bit more.”

Sally continued that the sense of instability is weighing particularly heavy on the royal family as the monarchy is expected to be an “anchor in times of trouble.”

Having both Kate, 42, and Charles, 75, out of commission at the same time is “massively exposing how the royal family has gone from too many people to too few in a short space of time,” royal expert Catherine Mayer added to the outlet.

King Charles’ decision to withhold details about the seriousness of his diagnosis, Sally noted, is only feeding into speculation and conspiracy theories from the public. “He is the head of state, and there are constitutional implications,” she said.

Nearly two months after his wife’s surgery, Prince William addressed rumors regarding Kate’s absence from her royal duties in a statement to People. “His focus is on work and not on social media,” a spokesperson for the Prince of Wales told the outlet.

The palace also released a statement regarding Princess Kate’s recovery after questions surrounding her whereabouts went viral on social media.

“We were very clear from the outset that the Princess of Wales was out until after Easter and Kensington Palace would only be providing updates when something was significant,” the spokesperson said on February 29. They added that Kate continued to be “doing well.”

On February 10, five days after news broke that King Charles had been diagnosed with cancer, he issued a statement offering the public his “heartfelt thanks” for their support.

“As all those who have been affected by cancer will know, such kind thoughts are the greatest comfort and encouragement,” Charles wrote. “It is equally heartening to hear how sharing my own diagnosis has helped promote public understanding and shine a light on the work of all those organisations which support cancer patients and their families across the UK and wider world.”

The following day, on February 11, Charles was photographed attending a church service with his wife, Queen Camilla. That same week, he had reportedly begun treatment for his unnamed cancer.

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