Kate Middleton
Kate Middleton (centre) remains at The London Clinic as she recovers from abdominal surgery while King Charles III is scheduled to undergo procedure for an enlarged prostate. The Royal Family/X

The timing of the announcement of Kate Middleton's abdominal surgery and of King Charles III's prostate diagnosis was done to deflect attention from the princess and protect her privacy, according to a historian.

On Tuesday last week, Kensington Palace announced that the Princess of Wales had a successful planned abdominal surgery at The London Clinic and is expected to stay there for 14 days for her recovery. Then on Wednesday, Buckingham Palace shared the monarch's enlarged prostate diagnosis and his scheduled "corrective procedure" later this week.

Details about the 42-year-old's health remain under wraps, with the palace refusing to say what she was treated for. In contrast, His Majesty was open about his diagnosis to the public as he is keen to raise awareness about his condition, which is common among men.

The news about the health of two prominent members of the royal family certainly alarmed the public, especially since it was announced in quick succession. But historian Dr. Tessa Dunlop believes that it was a deliberate move on the monarch's part to protect his daughter-in-law from unwanted media attention.

She told the Mirror that "it is highly unusual for the Royal Family to divulge private health matters. In that respect the shared information about the King's enlarged prostate was unprecedented, and it was also canny".

She added that "Buckingham Palace doesn't do spontaneity" and noted that "the release of a statement containing private matters about the King's health immediately after news of the Princess of Wales' major abdominal surgery was deliberate".

Dunlop explained: "The timing deflected from his daughter-in-law's major operation, likewise, the private detail concerning his prostate gave the public something else to think about.

"But beyond that obvious strategy, I believe there was something else at play. By sharing a slice of the personal, Charles's statement served to underline the absence of any real detail concerning Kate's condition."

She added: "The protective King may as well have said 'Here, have some information on me, but keep your prying eyes away from my daughter-in-law.' Read side-by-side the statements are a powerful example of well-coordinated PR. Here was a modern, public service Royal Family, but one with very clear boundaries."

Kate Middleton has since apologised for having to cancel her scheduled engagements. She is expected to resume her royal duties after Easter. As for King Charles III, he has also postponed some of his engagements for a short period of recuperation after his surgery.

Dunlop noted: "That the seventy-five-year-old King felt able to share information about a common 'old man' ailment is understandable. If anything it underscores his 'father-of-the-nation' appeal. But for Kate, a woman in the prime of her life, whose identity has long been staked around her can-do attitude and impressive physique, abdominal surgery is a different matter."

She also understands that the Princess of Wales feels bad for having to miss work and would be willing to get back to it once she is recovered.

She said: "It is all credit to Kate that when Kensington Palace announced the princess wishes to apologise to all those concerned for the fact that she has to postpone her upcoming engagements we knew she meant every word. The Princess of Wales knows her own value in the public space and will be keen to get back to work. But first, she has to fully recover."

After she is discharged from The London Clinic, Kate Middleton is expected to recuperate at home for three more months. It is understood that her husband, Prince William, has also cancelled some of his scheduled engagements so he can be there during the early days of her recovery. As for King Charles III, Buckingham Palace has yet to share where and when he will have his surgery for his enlarged prostate.