Body Language Expert Tells Us King Charles Drops Hints Of Unease Post-Surgery

King Charles III's recent hospitalization was certainly historic. It was announced on January 17 that the 75-year-old king would be undergoing a procedure to help with his enlarged prostate — a condition that is very common for men over the age of 40, per Penn Medicine. While the palace isn't likely to let the public in on all of the goings-on with Charles' health, the body language the royal displayed when leaving the hospital on January 29 gave us plenty of clues regarding his recovery. 

A video of Charles and Queen Camilla exiting The London Clinic was posted to X, formerly known as Twitter. While it may seem like a simple scene, Jess Ponce III, body language expert, communication coach, and author of "A.W.E.S.O.M.E.: 7 Keys to Unlock the Speaker Within," revealed to Women Lifestyle that there's a lot to unpack about the king's body language. "Prince Charles appears to be in high spirits, despite recently undergoing surgery," he said. "He warmly waves to the crowd, wearing a friendly smile that seems to convey a reassuring message of his well-being."

According to Ponce, the fact that Charles recently underwent a procedure is evident despite the royal mask worn for the press. "While he clearly engages with the cameras, one can't help but ponder the extent of any lingering discomfort he might be experiencing," he said. "A subtle hint of unease becomes apparent as he descends from the curb, delicately gripping onto the car for support."

King Charles III puts on a brave face amidst apparent discomfort

Buckingham Palace shared a statement on January 29 about the completion of King Charles III's procedure, writing: "The King was this afternoon discharged from hospital following planned medical treatment and has rescheduled forthcoming public engagements to allow for a period of private recuperation. His Majesty would like to thank the medical team and all those involved in supporting his hospital visit, and is grateful for all the kind messages he has received in recent days."

While, in true royal fashion, that statement doesn't reveal much, the video makes it clear, at least, that the hospital stay went well enough for Charles to be up and about and smiling at his fans. That doesn't mean, though, that he doesn't have a long recovery ahead of him. Jess Ponce III weighed in on the king's demeanor in the video, observing his apparent discomfort after stepping down from the curb and moving towards the car's door. "Although his facial expression remains unchanged, his purposeful stride suggests a careful and skillful effort to maintain balance while navigating around the vehicle," he said. 

What recovery has in store for Charles

The public first heard of King Charles III's imminent procedure via a Buckingham Palace statement on January 17. The statement read (via People): "In common with thousands of men each year, The King has sought treatment for an enlarged prostate. His Majesty's condition is benign. ... [his] public engagements will be postponed for a short period of recuperation." Now that the procedure has been completed and appears to have gone well, it's time for that recuperation period to commence.

As for what recovery might look like for Charles, it may be a long road. In an interview with the BBC, Rick Popert, who is a consultant urological surgeon at The London Clinic, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, and London Bridge Hospital, explained that folks who undergo a procedure to correct an enlarged prostate "can expect to have some mild discomfort" during recovery. "Any operation is an injury and injuries take four to six weeks to heal", Popert said, adding, "It is important to take things gently in the first couple of weeks, but I would expect patients to be fully mobile but avoid heavy lifting or strenuous exercise." 

Despite the lengthy recovery period, according to the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care, nine months after undergoing a corrective procedure for this ailment, 75 out of 100 patients' symptoms have become mild. So, during his respite from the public eye, Charles will likely be on the mend.