Prince and Princess of Wales 'extremely grateful' and 'moved by public's support' after Kate's cancer announcement

23 March 2024, 22:16 | Updated: 23 March 2024, 23:40

Prince and Princess of Wales 'extremely grateful' and 'moved by public's support' after Kate's cancer announcement
Prince and Princess of Wales 'extremely grateful' and 'moved by public's support' after Kate's cancer announcement. Picture: Alamy

By Christian Oliver

The Prince and Princess of Wales have said they are 'extremely grateful' and 'moved by the public's warmth and support' after Kate revealed she is undergoing treatment for cancer.

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Kensington Palace said the future king and queen were both "enormously touched' by the support they have received since Friday evening's announcement, and thanked people for their "understanding of their request for privacy at this time".

Kate publically revealed Friday that she was diagnosed with cancer following abdominal surgery in January. She is now undergoing preventative chemotherapy.

The diagnosis was a "huge shock", she said, and it had "taken time" for her and William to explain her diagnosis to their three children, George, Charlotte and Louis.

She said she reassured the young royals that she was going to be okay.

Kate and William at Sandwell Aquatics Centre on day five of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, August 2, 2022
Kate and William at Sandwell Aquatics Centre on day five of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, August 2, 2022. Picture: Alamy

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The Palace spokesperson said Saturday: "The Prince and Princess are both enormously touched by the kind messages from people here in the UK, across the Commonwealth and around the world in response to Her Royal Highness' message.

"They are extremely moved by the public's warmth and support and are grateful for the understanding of their request for privacy at this time."

Following her announcement, Kate has received both public and private messages of support from across the world, including from world leaders, politicians, and celebrities.

Crowds on Saturday also gathered outside Buckingham Palace in central London as well as at Windsor Castle, where the Wales' live at their family home.

She also received huge support from other members of the Royal Family. The King, who himself was diagnosed with cancer in February, said he was "proud" of his "beloved" daughter-in-law.

He praised her 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".

The King and Queen, Prince and Princess of Wales and Prince George after the service at St Mary Magdalene Church, Sandringham. December 25, 2023
The King and Queen, Prince and Princess of Wales and Prince George after the service at St Mary Magdalene Church, Sandringham. December 25, 2023. Picture: Alamy

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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.

"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."

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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'."

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.

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

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.

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."

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