King Charles Was “Toddling Down the Corridor” in His Dressing Gown to Visit Princess Kate While Both Were in Hospital Together Earlier This Year

The King and the Princess of Wales—who are now both battling cancer—were hospitalized at The London Clinic at the same time in January.

King Charles and Kate Middleton
(Image credit: Getty Images)

As Marie Claire reported earlier today, last Thursday—the day before the Princess of Wales announced to the world via video message that she is battling cancer—her father-in-law King Charles traveled from London to Windsor Castle to have lunch with her privately. Charles, too, is battling cancer, and both the King and the Princess of Wales’ respective cancer was found after an unrelated procedure at The London Clinic in January.

King Charles and Kate Middleton

King Charles and the Princess of Wales, seen here on Christmas Day 2023 at Sandringham, would have had no idea then what 2024 would bring in terms of their health.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Kate underwent abdominal surgery on January 16 and, 10 days later, Charles had a procedure for a benign enlarged prostate on January 26. Their time in hospital overlapped from then until Monday, January 29, when both were discharged on the same day. During the overlap, though, an adorable story has emerged that reflects the tight bond between the two.

The Times reports that, as both recovered from their respective procedures, Charles “toddled” down the hospital corridor in his dressing gown to comfort Kate as she healed. “While they were in hospital together there was a lot of toddling down the corridor to spend time with her,” a source told The Times. “He has been encouraging and supporting her throughout.”

They added “The King has always had a close, warm, and unique relationship with the princess. She has a great love and respect for him and his position.”

One week after they were both discharged from The London Clinic, the King announced that he had commenced treatment for cancer found during his procedure on Monday, February 5. Kate found out about her own diagnosis by the end of the month, and announced her diagnosis globally on Friday, March 22, via a video message filmed at Windsor Castle.

King Charles and Kate Middleton

Kate is currently undergoing treatment for an undisclosed type of cancer, and as such will be seen in limited quantities publicly as she focuses on her health.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

“It allowed her to speak directly to the public who, overwhelmingly, have always been with her and her family and who don’t buy into the noise and gossip,” a friend of Kate’s told The Sunday Times. Kate wrote the speech herself, they added: “It was all her, she wrote every word of it. It came together very quickly.”

Though many have been quick to assert that Kate wrote the speech and recorded the video in response to pressure from the public, specifically after staffers at The London Clinic reportedly tried to access her private medical records, this isn’t so, the friend said. “It wasn’t really about the drama of the last few weeks, though obviously that has been upsetting,” they said. “She felt she had to do it because of who she is. It was more that she knows she is a public figure and has a wider leadership responsibility.”

According to The Telegraph, Kate was “inspired to speak out about her diagnosis after seeing Charles’ own openness about his condition,” the outlet writes. 

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.