Prince Edward, Duke of Edinburgh, has announced he is taking a "short break" from royal duties at what seems like the worst possible time for the British monarchy. With King Charles III and Kate, Princess of Wales, recovering from surgeries, and Prince William refusing royal duties to look after Catherine, that leaves less than a handful of royals.
The news has led to a wide array of reactions, both from royal analysts and fans online.
"What I've been told is that the King has royal engagements that had to be canceled, so the Palace had to start telling people this was happening," journalist Jack Royston shared when describing the concerns of the palace press office.
January 17 was apparently a chaotic day at the official seat of the British monarchy since the decision to announce Kate, Princess of Wales,' surgery was in tandem with King Charles' health condition as well.
"Once they started telling people privately, they just wanted to get that information out there," Royston added when describing how the dual announcements were a spur-of-the-moment decision. "It's reassuring for the public if it comes from the Palace rather than being leaked by somebody who maybe had a tangential role in a royal visit." He continued: "If you allow it to come out that way, then everybody panics."
"Hopefully he just needs a bit of rest." one social media user stated. Another one shared: "HRH The Duke Of Edinburgh has done back-to-back engagements plus has been flying all over the world. Good on him for having a break. Rest up sir and enjoy your break."
Wow. I hope everything is okay. This is unexpected. I’m sending my prayers that he gets some rest and recharge," a third person observed when expressing concern for all the recent royal health announcements. A fourth person added: "Hope he's okay. He and Sophie have been working so hard for a long while now, lots of overseas trips as well as U.K. engagements."
A fifth individual said: "It is eight days break. Not a long time. Hope he is okay."
Someone else addressed the elephant in the empty royal room and said: "They are all in their seventies. Charles's slimming down of the monarchy didn't really work out, did it?"
To get ahead of possible recent leaks as well, which Prince Harry once claimed are "all too common" at Buckingham Palace, the press office decided to quickly follow Kensington Palace's statement about the Princess of Wales.
"In common with thousands of men each year, the king has sought treatment for an enlarged prostate," the official statement read. "His Majesty’s condition is benign, and he will attend hospital next week for a corrective procedure. The king’s public engagements will be postponed for a short period of recuperation."
The King's surgery was a "success" and both His Majesty and the future queen were released from the London Clinic on Monday, January 29.
Daily Express reported on social media reactions.