Situation 'only going to get worse' for Royal Family as 'crisis' could make King Charles 'change tack', expert claims

This recent 'crisis' has highlighted a challenge for the Royal Family and could inspire 'resolute' King Charles to change his approach

King Charles III leaves The London Clinic on January 29, 2024
(Image credit: Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage via Getty)

A royal expert has predicted that the Royal Family's situation is "only going to get worse", amid a new crisis that could see King Charles "change tack". 

The Princess of Wales has now returned home to Adelaide Cottage after spending almost two weeks in The London Clinic recovering from “planned abdominal surgery”. The announcement came just hours before King Charles left the same hospital after receiving treatment for an “enlarged prostate” last week. 

Neither are set to take on royal duties for some time, with Kensington Palace previously declaring it was “unlikely” Kate would resume hers until after Easter, whilst Prince William postponed his whilst his wife was in hospital.

King Charles III with Queen Camilla leaves The London Clinic on January 29, 2024

(Image credit: Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage via Getty)

Our King: Charles III: The Man and the Monarch Revealed by Robert Jobson |Was £22, Now £8.99 at Amazon

Our King: Charles III: The Man and the Monarch Revealed by Robert Jobson |Was £22, Now £8.99 at Amazon

In this enlightening biography released before King Charles's coronation, Robert Jobson reflects upon the monarch as a man and a sovereign. Considering his driving passions, values and motivations, this is an insightful portrait of His Majesty.

In their absence, senior royals like Princess Anne and the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh have continued undertaking plenty of engagements. However, former BBC royal correspondent Jennie Bond has suggested that the “crisis” of recent weeks has highlighted something very significant - how “thin on the ground” the Royal Family’s working members really are.

Getting candid with OK!, Jennie expressed her belief that King Charles and the Princess of Wales’s fellow working royals will be doing all they can to help with engagements and visits.  

"I’m not sure the Princess Royal can cram any more into her incredibly busy diary, but I’m sure she will, if she can,” the expert declared. “The Edinburghs will no doubt step in whenever they can to help spread the load… and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester are always willing to help.”

She added, "This crisis has definitely highlighted how very thin on the ground working royals are now - and it’s only going to get worse until George, Charlotte and Louis grow up.”

Even before he became monarch, reports claimed that King Charles was eager to streamline the monarchy. There are now only 11 working royals and whilst Jennie believes it’s “much better” for the Royal Family to be “criticised for being too few rather than too many”, she suggested that the current situation could lead King Charles to change his approach.

"The King has been resolute in his determination to slim down the monarchy and the current situation will convince him to change tack. I think he’s right,” she said.

Catherine, Princess of Wales, Princess Charlotte of Wales, Prince George of Wales, Prince William, Prince of Wales and Prince Louis of Wales on Christmas Day 2023

(Image credit: Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage via Getty)

The royal expert stated that “only the most churlish” would “begrudge” King Charles and the Prince and Princess of Wales time off right now. She added that she's sure that charities and organisations will be “sympathetic and understanding”, however it’s intriguing to think that King Charles could possibly “change tack” after this “crisis”.

Princess Anne has previously stated in a rare interview with Canada’s CBC News that she felt the suggestion of a slimmed-down monarchy was said when “there were a few more people around” and that she didn’t think it was a “good idea”. Despite this, in recent years no more working royals have been added to the original number. 

With so many engagements and visits to undertake, Jennie’s prediction that His Majesty might start to look at approaching things slightly differently could yet turn out to be correct. It’s not known exactly when King Charles will resume his royal duties following his recent “procedure” after a “short period of recuperation”.

However, he appeared in good spirits as he left The London Clinic with Queen Camilla on 29th January and Buckingham Palace declared that the monarch was “delighted” that his openness about his diagnosis is having a “positive impact on public health awareness”.

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!