Sarah, Duchess of York praises Kate’s handling of cancer diagnosis

Sarah, Duchess of York has expressed her admiration for the Princess of Wales, saying she will be “surrounded by the love of her family and everyone is praying for the best outcome”.

The duchess, who was herself diagnosed with skin cancer this year after facing breast cancer last summer, said the princess’s video revealing her cancer treatment would do a “tremendous amount of good” to raise awareness.

Kate, 42, has begun a preventative course of chemotherapy after she was discovered to have had cancer following major abdominal surgery.

Macmillan Cancer Support revealed that traffic to its online information and support pages were the highest seen on a weekend since the first Covid-19 lockdown, after Kate’s message to the nation.

Sarah – the Duke of York’s ex-wife – posted on social media on Monday: “All my thoughts and prayers are with the Princess of Wales as she starts her treatment.

“I know she will be surrounded by the love of her family and everyone is praying for the best outcome.

Royals attends Christmas Day Church service
Sarah, Duchess of York attending the morning church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk, last Christmas Day (PA)

“As someone who has faced their own battles with cancer in recent months, I am full of admiration for the way she has spoken publicly about her diagnosis and know it will do a tremendous amount of good to raise awareness.

“I hope she will now be given the time, space and privacy to heal.”

The duchess, 64, was told by doctors earlier this month the good news that it appeared her malignant melanoma skin cancer had not spread.

It was her second bout of cancer after she was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery last year.

Princess of Wales cancer announcement
The Princess of Wales recording her message announcing that following her abdominal surgery, tests after the operation found cancer had been present (Kensington Palace/PA)

Kate opened up about her own diagnosis in an emotional video message released on Friday evening, in the wake of online conspiracy theories about her health and whereabouts.

She described the news as a “huge shock” and told how her family had faced an “incredibly tough couple of months”.

The message was issued on the day William and Kate’s children – Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis – began their Easter school holidays, to take advantage of the break to shield them from coverage of their mother’s health.

“It has taken me time to recover from major surgery in order to start my treatment,” the princess said.

“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 okay.”

Kate has not revealed what type of cancer she was diagnosed with, nor has the King, who is also undergoing treatment for the disease, at a time of immense challenge for the royal family.

Macmillan Cancer Support said the princess’s message was encouraging others to seek support, and raising the issue of how parents talk to children about a cancer diagnosis.

Chief executive Gemma Peters said: “In sharing her news, the Princess of Wales has raised awareness of these worries and will be helping to encourage others who have concerns, to visit their GP and seek support.”

Armistice Day 2023
William and Kate wanted to find the right time to talk to their children about the princess’s cancer diagnosis (Chris Jackson/PA)

She added: “Many will be relating to the Prince and Princess of Wales at this time.

“Some of the first thoughts parents have after being diagnosed with cancer are how it may affect their children and whether talking to them about it will make them worry, but it is important to give them the chance to talk openly about their fears.”

Over the past weekend, Macmillan Cancer Support experienced close to 100,000 visits, 10% higher than this time last year.