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Rishi Sunak: ‘Intense social media scrutiny on brave Kate has been unfair’

Rishi Sunak praised the Princess of Wales’s “tremendous bravery” after she announced she was undergoing treatment for cancer.

The Prime Minister said Kate had been “unfairly treated” and “subjected to intense scrutiny” in recent weeks and called for her to be given the privacy to focus on her recovery and be with her family.

Kate told others battling the disease “you are not alone”.

In an emotional video message, she spoke about the “huge shock” of the medical development and how her family have experienced an “incredibly tough couple of months” and at times her voice cracked with feeling.

King Charles, himself undergoing treatment for cancer, said in a statement released by Buckingham Palace: “His Majesty is so proud of Catherine for her courage in speaking as she did.”In a post on X, formerly Twitter, Mr Sunak said: “My thoughts are with the Princess of Wales, Prince of Wales, the Royal Family and in particular her three children at this difficult time. The Princess of Wales has the love and support of the whole country as she continues her recovery.

“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.

“I know I speak for the whole country in wishing her a full and speedy recovery and look forward to seeing her back in action when she’s ready.”

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 Princess of Wales said it had ‘taken us time’ to explain the news to her children (Jonathan Brady/PA) (PA Archive)
The Princess of Wales said it had ‘taken us time’ to explain the news to her children (Jonathan Brady/PA) (PA Archive)

The Labour leader criticised “lurid speculation” in relation to Kate as he stressed that she was entitled to privacy as she continues her treatment.

He said in a statement: “On behalf of the whole Labour Party, I want to send my very best wishes to Her Royal Highness at this distressing time. Our thoughts are with the whole Royal Family as they come to terms with the news and as they support The Princess of Wales through her treatment and recovery.

“Any cancer diagnosis is shocking. But I can only imagine the added stress of receiving that news amid the lurid speculation we’ve seen in recent weeks.

“Their Royal Highnesses are entitled to privacy and, like any parents, will have waited to choose the right moment to tell their children.

“I am heartened by The Princess of Wales’ optimistic tone and her message of faith and hope. Her Royal Highness will be in our thoughts and prayers as she progresses through her treatment with the love and support of not just her whole family, but the whole nation too.”

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan posted on X: “On behalf of Londoners, I wish the Princess of Wales a swift recovery as she undergoes treatment. My thoughts are with her & her family.

“Cancer has an impact on so many of us – & her bravery in sharing her diagnosis will help raise awareness & encourage others to get checked.”

Sarika Patel, chairwoman of trustees at Action for Children, of which the Princess of Wales is patron, said staff were sending their “very best wishes” to Kate.

She said: “The Princess of Wales is an amazing patron for Action for Children, always engaging with the children, young people and families she meets at our services.

“We want her to know we are thinking of her at this very challenging time and send her our love and support.

“Our staff join me in sending our very best wishes to her and her family and wish her a full recovery.”

SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn said he had “no doubt” that the Princess of Wales’ words will be “of comfort and support to others” facing a battle against cancer.

The MP said in a post on X, formerly Twitter: “We all know the suffering and distress that a cancer diagnosis brings to individuals, their families and friends.

“I wish Kate well in her battle, and have no doubt that her words will be of comfort and support to others facing their own.”

Former Love Island contestant Dr Alex George, who campaigns on mental health issues and hosted a panel discussion with The Prince and Princess of Wales last year, was among those wishing Kate a “speedy recovery”.

Commenting on a video posted to The Prince and Princess of Wales’ official Instagram account, George said: “Sending love and best wishes. You were so amazing when I met you for World Mental Health Day. I wish you a speedy recovery.”

Author and podcast host Giovanna Fletcher has sent the Princess of Wales and her family “so much love from me and mine”.

Kate appeared on Fletcher’s parenting podcast, Happy Mum Happy Baby, in 2020.