Princess of Wales ‘enormously touched’ by support after Kate revealed shock cancer diagnosis

Kensington Palace releases statement as messages of support flood in for Kate following months of frenzied speculation over her health

Tara Cobham
Saturday 23 March 2024 22:00 GMT
Princess Kate announces cancer diagnosis

The Princess of Wales is “enormously touched” by the messages of support that have been flooding in from across the world in response to her cancer diagnosis revelation, Kensington Palace has said.

In a heartfelt video message released on Friday evening, Kate said it had been an “incredibly tough couple of months” for her family as she disclosed that she was in the early stages of “preventative chemotherapy” following weeks of frenzied speculation over her health.

The 42-year-old spoke of her “huge shock” as she explained that she underwent major abdominal surgery on 14 January for a condition that was believed to be non-cancerous, but subsequent tests identified the disease.

The announcement, which comes only a month after the King revealed his own cancer diagnosis, sparked an outpouring of sympathy, with political leaders of all sides, celebrities, cancer survivors and medics among the well-wishers.

In a statement released on Saturday evening, a spokesperson for the palace said: “The prince and princess are both enormously touched by the kind messages from people here in the UK, across the Commonwealth and around the world in response to Her Royal Highness’s message. They are extremely moved by the public’s warmth and support and are grateful for the understanding of their request for privacy at this time.”

The Princess of Wales is ‘enormously touched’ by the messages of support that have been flooding in from across the world in response to her cancer diagnosis revelation, Kensington Palace has said (BBC Studios/PA Wire)

Charles, whose undisclosed form of cancer was discovered when he was being treated for an enlarged prostate, is said to be “proud” of his “beloved” daughter-in-law for her “courage” in speaking about her treatment and has remained in close contact during the past few weeks.

With the head of state and the future queen both receiving treatment for cancer, the royal family faces an uncertain period, but the monarchy is expected to rally round to support those at the heart of the institution.

Words of support also came from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who said: “We wish health and healing for Kate and the family, and hope they are able to do so privately and in peace.” Prince Harry also reportedly reached out to his brother Prince William.

Kate and William chose to share news of the cancer diagnosis once their children had begun their Easter school holidays (AP)

Prince William is also understood to be “extremely proud” of his wife, the Sunday Telegraph reported.

A source told the newspaper: “William is extremely proud of his wife for the courage and strength she has shown not just this week, but since her surgery in January. He has always done all he can to protect his family and now more than ever he’s focused on ensuring his wife has the privacy she needs to fully recover and that his children are shielded from the understandable interest in the news that has been shared.”

The form of cancer has not been disclosed but Kate is said to have a positive mindset over her recovery and is in good spirits, describing herself as “well and getting stronger every day” as she requested privacy for her family during her convalescence.

Kate and her husband chose to share the news once their three children – Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5 – began their Easter school holidays to shield them from intense coverage of their mother’s health.

The announcement may go some way to ending weeks of intense speculation and conspiracy theories about the whereabouts and health of the princess.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex sent a message wishing Kate ‘health and healing’, while Prince Harry has also reportedly reached out to his brother Prince William (AP)

Rumours online about Kate intensified after William missed, at very short notice, the memorial service of his godfather the late King Constantine of Greece on 27 February due to a personal matter. It has now emerged that the prince pulled out of the event following his wife’s positive test.

Further speculation was triggered after the princess admitted to “editing” her official family Mother’s Day photograph.

Another development saw an investigation launched by the UK’s privacy watchdog, the Information Commissioner’s Office, into allegations there were attempts to access Kate’s private medical records at the London Clinic where she had her surgery.

Further speculation was triggered after the princess admitted to ‘editing’ her official family Mother’s Day photograph (Prince of Wales/Kensington Palace/PA Wire)

It is not known how long Kate will be receiving treatment, but it is understood she may be keen to attend events as and when she feels able to, in line with medical advice, although this will not indicate a return to full-time duties.

William will continue to balance supporting his wife and family and maintaining his official duties as he has done since her operation.

The prince is due to return to public duties after his children return to school following the Easter break, but the Waleses will not be joining other royals for the traditional Easter service at Windsor Castle’s St George’s Chapel.

Reacting to the princess’s announcement, prime minister Rishi Sunak said: “She has shown tremendous bravery with her statement today. In recent weeks she has been subjected to intense scrutiny and has been unfairly treated by certain sections of the media around the world and on social media.

“When it comes to matters of health, like everyone else, she must be afforded the privacy to focus on her treatment and be with her loving family.”

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