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Princess of Wales announces she is being treated for cancer in emotional message

The Princess of Wales has revealed she is undergoing treatment for cancer in an emotional video message, and told others battling the disease “you are not alone”.

Kate spoke about the “huge shock” after tests identified cancer following her abdominal surgery and the “incredibly tough couple of months” her family have experienced, with her voice cracking with emotion at times during the footage.

The King, diagnosed with cancer in February, 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.

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.”

The form of cancer has not been disclosed but the future Queen began a course of “preventative chemotherapy” late in February, and is said to have a positive mindset for her recovery and is in good spirits, describing herself as “well and getting stronger every day”.

William and Kate have focused on their children, taking the time to sensitively share the state of the princess’s health with Prince George, Prince Charlotte and Prince Louis.

Politicians of all sides have expressed sympathy and support for Kate and criticised what Prime Minister Rishi Sunak described as the “intense scrutiny” she has faced from social media and sections of the media around the world.

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.

Speaking in the video message recorded on Wednesday in Windsor, the princess said: “In January, I underwent major abdominal surgery in London and at the time, it was thought that my condition was non-cancerous.

“The surgery was successful. However, tests after the operation found cancer had been present. My medical team therefore advised that I should undergo a course of preventative chemotherapy and I am now in the early stages of that treatment.

“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. As you can imagine, this has taken time.”

It is understood the video was released on the day William and Kate’s three children began their Easter school holidays, to take advantage of the break to shield them from coverage of their mother’s health.

Kate, who is casually dressed in the video and sitting on a bench, added: “It has taken me time to recover from major surgery in order to start my treatment. But, most importantly, it has taken us time to explain everything to George, Charlotte and Louis in a way that is appropriate for them, and to reassure them that I am going to be OK.

The Prince and Princess of Wales, with Prince George, Prince Louis and Princess Charlotte
The Prince and Princess of Wales, with Prince George, Prince Louis and Princess Charlotte (Chris Jackson/PA)

“As I have said to them; I am well and getting stronger every day by focusing on the things that will help me heal; in my mind, body and spirits.”

Charles has been receiving treatment for an undisclosed form of cancer since early February after he was treated for an enlarged prostate at the same hospital where Kate had surgery.

Buckingham Palace said: “His Majesty is ‘so proud of Catherine for her courage in speaking as she did’.

“Following their time in hospital together, HM has ‘remained in the closest contact with his beloved daughter-in-law throughout the past weeks.’

“Both Their Majesties ‘will continue to offer their love and support to the whole family through this difficult time’.”

The London Clinic where Kate was operated on in January
The London Clinic where Kate was operated on in January (Lucy North/PA)

Kate’s brother James Middleton posted a message of support for his sibling on Instagram: “Over the years, we have climbed many mountains together. As a family, we will climb this one with you too,” ending with a mountain and heart emoji.

The announcement may go some way to ending weeks of intense speculation and conspiracy theories on social media about the whereabouts and health of the future Queen.

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 February 27.

It is now understood the prince’s decision not to attend was related to his wife’s condition, but it is not known when the princess was told about the positive test for cancer.

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

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William and Kate have been focused on their children during the princess’s cancer scare (Aaron Chown/PA)

A further 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.

Kate ended her video message by saying: “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.

“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.”

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.

Mr Sunak said about the princess: “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.”