Kate Middleton and King Charles III have stepped back from public engagements while undergoing cancer treatment. Here are all the working British royals.

Kate Middleton and King Charles III have stepped back from public engagements while undergoing cancer treatment. Here are all the working British royals.
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British Royal Family in May 2023.
British Royal Family.

  • Kate Middleton stepped back from royal duties while undergoing cancer treatment. 
  • King Charles III also stepped back from public engagements after announcing he had cancer in February. 
  • There are currently eleven working family members in the British royal family. 

Kate Middleton and King Charles III have stepped back from public engagements while undergoing cancer treatment, forcing a light on the other working royals.

Kate Middleton, Princess of Wales, was the first member of the British royal family to alert the public that she’d be stepping back to deal with health-related issues. In a January statement to Instagram, Kensington Palace said that Middleton, 42, had abdominal surgery and would not return to public duties “until after Easter.”

That same day, Buckingham Palace announced that Charles, 75, was scheduled to undergo a prostate procedure. Since then, both Middleton and Charles released separate statements confirming they have cancer.

Buckingham Palace confirmed that Charles had cancer in February, while Middleton confirmed the diagnosis herself with an Instagram video on Friday.

Charles and Middleton play significant roles in the British monarchy, often taking front-facing roles with the public, but there are currently eleven working royals. Here’s the full list.

King Charles III
King Charles
King Charles III.

Charles, formally known as the Prince of Wales, is the eldest son of Prince Philip of Edinburgh and Queen Elizabeth II. At 32, Charles married Lady Diana Spencer in a grand ceremony at St. Paul’s Cathedral. The former couple welcomed two sons: Prince William and Prince Harry.

Charles and Diana separated in 1992 before her death five years later in Paris. He married Queen Camilla, formerly the Duchess of Cornwall, in a civil ceremony in April 2005.

He became King Charles in September 2022 following the death of his mother, making him the oldest person to take the throne in British history.

Throughout his life, Charles remained one of the most prominent British royals and continued to perform public engagements until January. Although Buckingham Palace said Charles stepped back from “front-facing duties” during his treatment, he’s still involved in “State business and official paperwork.”

Queen Camilla
Queen Camilla in March 2024.
Queen Camilla.

Camilla, the daughter of wealthy aristocrats, became a member of the British royal family after marrying King Charles in April 2005. Although her relationship with Charles made her Princess of Wales, she opted to use the Duchess of Cornwall title because it wasn’t tightly associated with Princess Diana.

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Although Camilla, 76, and Charles never had children, she shares two with her former husband, Andrew Parker Bowles: Tom Parker Bowles and Laura Lopes.

Before her death, Queen Elizabeth announced that she wanted Camilla to become “Queen Consort,” which refers to the spouse or companion to a monarch. Since becoming Queen, Camilla has appeared at many public engagements supporting the royal family.

The Prince and Princess of Wales
Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2023.
Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Prince William, heir to the throne, is the eldest son of King Charles III and Princess Diana. William met Kate while attending the University of St. Andrews from 2001 to 2005. Middleton is the daughter of Michael and Carole Middleton.

William, 41, proposed to Middleton during an October 2010 vacation to Kenya, but the couple kept it quiet until announcing their engagement one month later. They officially married in April 2011, when they received the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge titles. They became the Prince and Princess of Wales in September 2022 following Queen Elizabeth’s death.

From 2013 to 2018, the couple welcomed three children: Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8, and five-year-old Prince Louis.

During their marriage, William and Middleton have performed numerous royal duties together, including a 2020 trip across the United Kingdom and a controversial tour through the Caribbean two years later.

Prince William has continued public engagements and royal duties while Middleton undergoes treatment but did miss a royal engagement in February due to a “personal matter.”

Kensington Palace said Middleton likely wouldn’t return to public duties “until after Easter.”

Anne, Princess Royal
Princess Anne, Princess Royal and Lady Annabel Elliot attend day one of Royal Ascot 2023
Princess Anne.

Anne, 73, is the second eldest child of Prince Philip of Edinburgh and Queen Elizabeth II. Anne’s official biography said that she began public engagements when she was 18 in 1969 and received the Princess Royal title in 1987.

She married Captain Mark Phillips in November 1973, but the pair divorced in April 1992. They share two children: Peter Phillips and Zara Phillips. Anne went on to marry Admiral Timothy Lawrence in December 1992.

Anne has been an avid horseback rider, even competing in the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games. She’s also constantly supported the British monarchy, taking on public engagements as recently as March 19.

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An April 2023 report by The Guardian said King Charles averages 521 royal engagements a year, but Anne completed an average of 528 royal engagements during the same time.

The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh
Prince Edward and Sophie
Prince Edward and Sophie Helen Rhys-Jones.

Prince Edward, 60, is the youngest child of Prince Philip of Edinburgh and Queen Elizabeth II. When Edward married Sophie Helen Rhys-Jones, 59, in 1999, they became the Earl and Countess of Wessex. The couple has welcomed two children: Lady Louise Windsor and James, Earl of Wessex.

King Charles gave the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh titles to the couple in March 2023

Edward’s official biography said he developed a love for television production and writing, prompting him to found his own company — Ardent Productions — in 1993. Sophie’s biography said she started her career in public relations, working at firms for five years before starting her own.

The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester
Duke of Gloucester Duchess of Gloucester
The Duchess and Duke of Gloucester.

Prince Richard, the second son of Prince Henry and Princess Alice, is Queen Elizabeth II’s cousin. His biography said Richard, 79, became heir to his father’s title as Duke of Gloucester when his older brother died in a flying accident in 1972. He officially received the Duke of Gloucester title after his father’s death in 1974.

Richard married Birgitte van Deurs, 77, in 1972 and welcomed three children: Alexander Windsor, Earl of Ulster, Lady Davina Lewis, and Lady Rose Gilman.

Richard and Birgitte have supported the monarchy in public engagements, with Richard’s first engagement being the wedding of Nepal’s crown prince, according to his biography. Birgitte recently attended an International Women’s Day celebration at Buckingham Palace with Queen Camilla and Queen Mathilde of Belgium.

The Duke of Kent
duke of kent
The Duke of Kent.

Prince Edward, son of Prince George and Princess Marina, is first cousin to Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. The 88-year-old received the Duke of Kent title in 1942 when his father died in a “wartime flying accident” near Scotland, his biography said.

It added that Edward joined The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, where he qualified as a French interpreter and won the Sir James Moncrieff Grierson Award for foreign languages. Edward became a working member of the royal family after retiring from the British Army in 1976,

Edward married Miss Katharine Worsley, 91, in June 1961 and had three children: George, Earl of St Andrews, Lady Helen Taylor, and Lord Nicholas Windsor.

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Edward has undertaken certain royal duties, including becoming the President of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in 1970. In March, he attended the 200th anniversary of the Royal National Lifeboat Institute at Westminster Abbey.

Princess Alexandra
Princess Alexandra in July 2021.
Princess Alexandra.

Princess Alexandra, 87, is the sister of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent. Her biography said she was the first British princess to attend an “ordinary” school and is a trained nurse.

Alexandra married Angus Ogilvy, son of the Earl of Airlie, in April 1963, when her chief bridesmaid was a 13-year-old Princess Anne. The couple have two children: James and Marina.

According to her biography, Alexandra and Ogilvy performed numerous public duties before his death in December 2004.

She was spotted supporting the British royal family in June 2023 by attending the King Charles’ birthday parade.

Former working royals: Harry, Meghan, and Andrew
Meghan and Harry smiling at the Invictus games, Prince Andrew walking in a suit

Harry, Meghan, and Andrew are three members of the royal family who once served as working royals but are no longer doing so for various reasons.

Prince Harry, the younger son of King Charles and the late Princess Diana, and his wife, Meghan, the former Duchess of Sussex, “stepped back” as members of the royal family in 2020 and said they would not return as working royals.

The pair famously left the UK for the US, and the duchess revealed that racism and constant scrutiny from the British tabloids and online commenters played a role in their decision to drop their duties.

The damaging coverage from news outlets was so bad that Markle, during an interview with Oprah Winfrey, said that she contemplated suicide while pregnant.

Prince Andrew, younger brother to the King, was demoted by Queen Elizabeth in 2022. The Queen stripped Andrew of the HRH title, his military titles and roles, and his royal patronages after he was accused of sexual assault in a lawsuit filed by Virginia Giuffre Roberts.

Giuffre alleged that Jeffrey Epstein forced her to have sex with Andrew when she was 17.

Sources told the Guardian in 2022 that these titles would not be returned to the Prince.

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