Home Featured Kate Middleton cancer: UK reels as princess joins King Charles in sharing health diagnosis
Kate Middleton cancer: UK reels as princess joins King Charles in sharing health diagnosis

Kate Middleton cancer: UK reels as princess joins King Charles in sharing health diagnosis

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LONDON — Kate Middleton’s shocking announcement that she is undergoing treatment for cancer comes as the U.K. is already mired in a period of turbulence.

After weeks of speculation about her health, the Princess of Wales, whose husband Prince William is heir to the throne, issued a video statement Friday saying tests following the “major” abdominal surgery she underwent in January had detected cancer.

Her announcement comes just weeks after her father-in-law, King Charles, went public with his own cancer diagnosis, meaning two of the most senior U.K. royals will be absent from the public gaze as they face major health crises.

The mother-of-three , 42, said she is in the early stages of a course of preventative chemotherapy.

Her diagnosis comes as a major shock for a nation still mourning the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, monarch for 70 years until her death in September 2022. The monarchy’s role is largely ceremonial, but Charles is the head of state and carries out a number of political functions, including opening parliament and signing new laws.

Politicians from across the spectrum sent messages of support to the royals and expressed hope that the frenzied speculation about Kate’s health will now cease.

Politicians praise Princess Kate

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “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.”

Keir Starmer, leader of the opposition Labour Party, sent best wishes during the “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.”

Starmer said he was “heartened” by Kate’s “optimistic tone” in her video message, which Kensington Palace said was filmed on Wednesday.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre wished Kate a “full recovery” after hearing the “terrible news.” “[W]e are incredibly sad to hear this news,” she added.

Royal uncertainty

The announcement comes after two months of uncertainty since Kate and Charles underwent treatment in the same London hospital.

The 75-year-old monarch announced that he had a form of cancer, but Kate’s disappearance from the public gaze sparked frenzied speculation and the sharing of a myriad of conspiracy theories.

This was further fueled by leading news agencies, including the Associated Press and Reuters, withdrawing a Mother’s Day photo of Kate and her children because of concerns it had been “manipulated.”

Starmer had urged people Thursday to “leave her alone,” saying the princess deserved privacy during her recovery. Downing Street had urged everyone to “get behind” her.

The royals will now hope that sharing Kate’s diagnosis will end the clamor for information.

Charles has been king for less than 18 months. Buckingham Palace announced in February that tests detected cancer after he underwent treatment for an enlarged prostate. 

William, prince of Wales and next in line to the throne, lost his mother Diana when he was 15, when she was killed in a car crash in Paris in 1997. His and Kate’s son George, 10, is due to inherit the throne after him; the couple have two more children: Charlotte, eight, and Louis, five.

An “incredibly tough” time

In her video message, Kate told a concerned British public that it had been an “incredibly tough couple of months for our entire family.”

“It has taken me time to recover from major surgery in order to start my treatment,” she 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 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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