Harry and Meghan 'had no idea' about Kate's cancer and 'contacted her and William privately' after shock video

23 March 2024, 06:59

Harry and Meghan are said not to have had any idea about Kate's diagnosis until she made it public
Harry and Meghan are said not to have had any idea about Kate's diagnosis until she made it public. Picture: Alamy/BBC Studios

By Kit Heren

Harry and Meghan have reached out to Kate and William privately with their best wishes after Kate revealed her cancer diagnosis on Friday evening.

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The Sussexes are said to have had "no idea" about Kate's illness, finding out along with the rest of the world when she released her video.

Kate thanked the public for their "wonderful messages of support" and understanding during her recovery from abdominal surgery in January.

She said tests after her operation found cancer had been present, with her now undergoing preventative chemotherapy.

The princess added that she had been keeping it private so she and William could take their time explaining what had happened to their three children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

Princess of Wales reveals she is in early stages of treatment for cancer

Details of the type of cancer and stage it is at are being kept private.

Harry and Meghan said in a public statement: "We wish health and healing for Kate and the family and hope they are able to do so privately and in peace."

Meghan, Harry, William and Kate on the balcony at Buckingham Palace
Meghan, Harry, William and Kate on the balcony at Buckingham Palace. Picture: Alamy

But they are also understood to have contacted Kate and William in private after hearing the news. It is unclear how the contact was made, or whether Harry might fly back to the UK to spend time with his family.

An insider told the New York Post: "They had no idea, and only learned of the news around the same time the rest of the world found out."

Kate is receiving treatment for cancer
Kate is receiving treatment for cancer. Picture: Kensington Palace

Sharing the update in a video, Kate said: "It has been an incredibly tough couple of months for our entire family, but I’ve had a fantastic medical team who have taken great care of me, for which I am so grateful.

"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.

Andrew Marr reacts as Kate, Princess of Wales announces she is receiving treatment for cancer

"As you can imagine, this has taken time. 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.

"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."

She directly addressed people who have been affected by cancer, adding: "Please do not lose faith or hope. You are not alone."

Royal expert on Princess Kate's cancer treatment announcement: "It was a very well-crafted, very human statement."

It comes as Kate has faced weeks of online speculation over her health and whereabouts.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak responded to the announcement saying: "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."

Meanwhile, 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".

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."

Kate was last seen on Christmas Day
Kate was last seen on Christmas Day. Picture: Alamy

Kate's last public engagement was at Sandringham on Christmas Day, with Kensington Palace announcing that she would not return to public engagements until Easter at the earliest.

Kensington Palace acknowledged from the outset that when she is ready, the Princess may choose to disclose further details about her surgery and recovery.

But aides have also stressed that she is entitled to privacy around her personal medical information.

It comes after it was revealed that three London clinic staff were placed under investigation for allegedly trying to access Kate's medical records following her operation.

On Wednesday, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) confirmed it had received a complaint and said it is currently "assessing the information provided".

Kate was made aware of the "major security breach".