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AN ENGLISH ROSE IN GEORGIA –

By Lesley Francis

BRITISH ROYAL HEALTH REPORT

There has been much discussion and debate in the land of my birth recently about the health of some of the Royal family. Three of them have been “feeling under the weather”, to use a British understatement about being sick (or ‘ill’ as we say across the pond because being ‘sick’ in British English is treated as a polite word meaning ‘vomit’),  

The fact that the Royal family has chosen to make this latest round of health issues public is in itself newsworthy. For centuries, health within the Royal family was always kept very private and out of the public eye. King Charles III has chosen to break the longstanding tradition of secrecy by sharing much more about these issues than any of his predecessors. His grandfather King George VI died in 1952 with no one outside of the Royal household knowing he had long had terminal lung cancer, and even just eighteen months ago, the details around the decline and death of his 96 year old mother Queen Elizabeth has never been revealed. The media was simply told she had ‘mobility issues’ during her final days, and her death certificate states the cause of death simply as “old age”.   

However, in this age of lightning-fast news flow and instant social media coverage, the King has opted to be more open. It not only matches his personal style of being more transparent than earlier monarchs, but also gives Buckingham Palace the chance to exercise some control of the news flow and minimize wild speculation in the press. 

So just nine months after his coronation last May, King Charles III has been diagnosed with cancer. This was discovered after he underwent surgery for an enlarged prostate and the King, rather admirably in my opinion, went public with his cancer news. While we do not know what type of cancer it is, we do know that he is receiving outpatient treatment. All reports say that he remains positive and plans to return to full public duties as soon as he is well enough. The 75-year-old King waited many years to wear the crown so his determination to come back fully and not abdicate is understandable. Thankfully he has a dutiful and competent 41-year-old Prince William, next in line to the throne, to share the load. However, it is pretty clear that Charles will not relinquish control lightly. Speaking of his sons, the fact that Charles’ estranged younger son, Prince Harry, flew from the USA to briefly visit his father in London, has caused speculation that the cancer might be more serious than we think. 

While all this has been going on, the 42-year-old Princess Catherine, wife of Prince William, is recovering from surgery but no one is giving any more information than this. What we do know is that the Princess of Wales spent 13 days at the London Clinic and is now recovering at home in Windsor and is expected to be recuperating for about a month. Doctors have only revealed that she had “abdominal surgery”, which is a broad term used to describe a surgical procedure that involves opening the abdominal cavity and therefore could be a number of things. As the Princess understandably wants to keep this information private, we will likely never know. However, the palace has confirmed that her health issue is “non-cancerous,” the surgery was “planned” and “successful.” 

The third royal, or former royal, with significant health problems is Sarah Ferguson, known to most of the world as “Fergie”. Fergie is the ex-wife of King Charles’ disgraced brother Prince Andrew and the mother of Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie. The 64-year-old Duchess of York has been diagnosed with skin cancer. This follows her diagnosis of breast cancer last year for which she had a mastectomy. The malignant melanoma was apparently discovered while she was undergoing reconstructive surgery, and she now has to start treatment for this latest diagnosis.   

In general, the British public has been very supportive and sympathetic of the Royal family regarding this news, and there is a lot more information at www.bbc.co.uk. 

I say goodbye this week with a quote from King Charles III himself. “I find myself born into this particular position. I’m determined to make the most of it. And to do whatever I can to help. And I hope I leave things behind a little bit better than I found them.” I hope you have many more years in which to do this, Your Majesty (as the British refer to their monarch). 

God Bless America (and God Save the King)! 

– ENDS – 

Lesley grew up in London, England and made Georgia her home in 2009. She can be contacted at lesley@francis.com or via her full-service marketing agency at www.lesleyfrancispr.com.