How Prince William 'found out' about Kate’s cancer diagnosis before pulling out of Windsor Castle memorial service

22 March 2024, 19:09

The Prince pulled out of the memorial for his godfather King Constantine following the news.
The Prince pulled out of the memorial for his godfather King Constantine following the news. Picture: Alamy/BBC Studios

By Jenny Medlicott

Prince William discovered his wife Kate had cancer before he pulled out of the memorial service for the late King Constantine of Greece.

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The Prince of Wales pulled out of the memorial service for his godfather King Constantine of Greece at Windsor Castle on February 27.

At the time of the service, Kensington Palace said William's decision not to attend was due to a "personal matter" but gave no further details.

William’s absence from the ceremony raised eyebrows from the public at the time, however, it is now understood that the Prince pulled out following his wife’s cancer diagnosis.

The Prince, who was due to deliver a reading, called the Greek royal family who attended the service in St George's Chapel to let them know he was unable to attend.

King Constantine's eldest son Crown Prince Pavlos stepped in to give the reading in his place.

Constantine was also godfather to Prince and Princess of Michael of Kent's daughter Lady Gabriella Kingston.

It comes as Princess Kate revealed on Friday evening that she is in the early stages of preventative chemotherapy.

Read more: Princess Kate receiving treatment for cancer telling public 'please do not lose faith and hope'

Read more: Kate says main focus is ‘reassuring children mummy will be ok’ as she undergoes cancer treatment

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

She had been advised to undergo the treatment after her abdominal surgery in January revealed cancer had been present.

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.

On Friday evening, the Princess urged the public to “not lose faith and hope” as she announced she is undergoing treatment.

Sharing the update, she 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.

Prince William pulled out of the memorial service following his wife Kate's cancer diagnosis, it is understood.
Prince William pulled out of the memorial service following his wife Kate's cancer diagnosis, it is understood. Picture: Alamy

"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 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."

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.

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