It’s a busy time for the royal medical team at the moment, with Princess Kate, King Charles and Sarah Ferguson all in the midst of health struggles – but who is looking after them?
The Princess of Wales had a short stay at the exclusive The London Clinic following her abdominal surgery, where King Charles also underwent an operation for an enlarged prostate last week. During this time, it was discovered the monarch was suffering from cancer and would be postponing “public-facing duties” for the foreseeable.
In a statement, the palace said: “During the King’s recent hospital procedure for benign prostate enlargement, a separate issue of concern was noted. Subsequent diagnostic tests have identified a form of cancer.
“His Majesty has today commenced a schedule of regular treatments, during which time he has been advised by doctors to postpone public-facing duties. Throughout this period, His Majesty will continue to undertake State business and official paperwork as usual.”
Sarah Ferguson, on the other hand, was treated for malignant melanoma at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London, the King Edward VII Hospital in London and is now recuperating in Austria at the MAYRLIFE clinic.
The Duchess of York namechecked her doctors – Dr. Andrew Furness and Catherine Borysiewicz – but as senior working royals, Princess Kate and King Charles have not mentioned their super-private medical team by name.
Who are the royal family’s doctors?
The royal family is looked after by The Royal Medical Household, a department in the Royal Household which retains the medical professionals who look after the Sovereign and royal family.
Royal family members can consult other physicians, but the Medical Household are the key health professionals who are used.
The Medical Household is not the full-time job of the members. They often also hold positions in the NHS and privately and they differ from other departments in the royal household, as they are not named on the royal family’s website.
Over the year, the appointed team has included specialists in areas including general practice, gynaecology and orthopaedic surgery, but the roles within the department have not been publicly announced since King Charles took to the throne.
The Palace said in a statement following the news of King Charles’ initial surgery that they did not plan to make the physician’s name, or any other appointments to the Medical Household, public.
The late Queen Elizabeth was less secretive about her medical team, naming the orthopaedic surgeon who performed her 2003 knee operation, plus she knighted her Head of the Medical Household, Sir Huw Thomas in 2021.
Sir Thomas works as a consultant at The London Clinic, where Princess Kate recovered from her surgery, specialising in indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease and colonoscopy.
Who is King Charles’ private doctor?
Last autumn, King Charles appointed Dr. Michael Dixon head of the Royal Medical Household. A practising GP for over 50 years, Dr. Dixon is a Fellow of the Royal College of GPs, a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, and previously worked as a medical adviser to the monarch when he was Prince of Wales.
At the time of his appointment, eyebrows were raised because of his special interest in complementary and alternative medicine, particularly homeopathy.
Buckingham Palace said last year: “Dr Dixon does not believe homeopathy can cure cancer. His position is that complementary therapies can sit alongside conventional treatments, provided they are safe, appropriate and evidence based. As Prince of Wales, The King’s position on complementary therapies, integrated health and patient choice was well documented. In his own words, ‘Nor is it about rejecting conventional medicines in favour of other treatments: the term complementary medicine means precisely what it says’.”