Princess of Wales reveals she is receiving chemotherapy for cancer

Kate issues video message following speculation about her health

Princess of Wales reveals she is being treated for cancer

Princess of Wales reveals she is being treated for cancer
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The Princess of Wales has announced she is undergoing chemotherapy for cancer.

In a video message released on Friday, Kate spoke directly to others dealing with the disease, telling them: “You are not alone.”

The statement is the first update on the 42-year-old princess's health since she underwent abdominal surgery at The London Clinic in January.

Kate asked for “time, space and privacy” while she is treated for an unspecified type of cancer, which was discovered after her surgery.

“I am well,” she said. “I am getting stronger every day by focusing on the things that will help me heal.”

In the message, Kate said: “At this time, I am also thinking of all those whose lives have been affected by cancer.

“For everyone facing this disease, in whatever form, please do not lose faith or hope. You are not alone.”

Kate said it had been thought that her condition was non-cancerous until tests revealed the diagnosis.

“This of course came as a huge shock, and William and I have been doing everything we can to process and manage this privately for the sake of our young family,” she said.

Her office, Kensington Palace, said it would give no further details about the type of cancer.

It said she was on a recovery pathway and the preventative chemotherapy had begun in February.

Prince William is said to be focused on supporting Kate and their children Prince George, 10, eight-year-old Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis, who is aged five.

Kensington Palace said Kate wanted to share the information when she and her husband the Prince of Wales “felt it was right for them as a family”.

In Friday's statement, Kate said she was looking forward to returning to her work supporting children in their early years.

She said: “My work has always brought me a deep sense of joy and I look forward to being back when I am able, but for now I must focus on making a full recovery.”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak led well-wishers, and said the royal has “the love and support of the whole country”.

He added that she had shown “tremendous bravery” with her statement.

Prince Harry, who has fallen out with Prince William since he moved to California with his wife Meghan, sent a message of support.

"We wish health and healing for Kate and the family, and hope they are able to do so privately and in peace," Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, said.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said the Princess of Wales has “the love and support of not just her whole family, but the whole nation too” during this “distressing time”.

The White House on Friday said it was wishing Kate a full recovery, adding that Americans' thoughts were with her.

“We are incredibly sad to hear of the news,” spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre told a regular news conference.

The princess had not been seen publicly since Christmas until video surfaced this week of her with her husband near a farm shop close to their Windsor home.

Speculation over the royal's health has fuelled numerous internet rumours and prompted concerns about intrusion into her privacy.

Police have “been asked to look at” whether staff at The London Clinic attempted to access the Princess of Wales’s private medical records, it was reported.

Earlier this month she apologised after admitting she had digitally-altered an image released on the family's official social media channels to mark Mother's Day.

It was published by Kensington Palace, before being withdrawn hours later by international agencies through a so-called kill notice.

Kensington Palace said it will provide details on when the princess could return to public events “when she feels able to, in line with medical advice”.

It is expected that the Prince of Wales will carry out engagements when their children return to school after the Easter holidays.

Medical experts said it was difficult to determine how long Kate would need the treatment without more information, including what type of cancer was found.

The British royal family has been affected by other health issues recently.

In January, it was announced that King Charles III was being treated for an unspecified type of cancer that was caught while undergoing a procedure for a benign enlarged prostate.

During a visit to Northern Ireland this week, the queen said the king is “doing very well”.

King Charles has postponed public duties but is said to be continuing to work behind the scenes on his red boxes – his state business and official papers.

Sarah, Duchess of York, became the third royal in quick succession to announce a medical procedure at the beginning of 2024, when she revealed a diagnosis of malignant melanoma, a form of skin cancer.

It was her second cancer diagnosis within a year, having been diagnosed with breast cancer in the summer which led to her undergoing a mastectomy and subsequent reconstructive surgery.

Updated: March 23, 2024, 1:48 PM