Kate Middleton Shares Cancer Diagnosis After Long Absence From Public

The Princess of Wales said the news of cancer came as a "huge shock" to her and her family.
A still of the Princess of Wales, provided by BBC Studios
A still of the Princess of Wales, provided by BBC Studios

Kate Middleton released a new video on Friday revealing that she has been diagnosed with cancer.

The type of cancer has not been specified.

“In January, I underwent major abdominal surgery in London and at the time, it was thought that my condition was noncancerous,” Kate said in the video, which was filmed by BBC Studios and shared with HuffPost. “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,” she explained.

“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,” she continued. “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,” Kate continued.

“Having William by my side is a great source of comfort and reassurance too. As is the love, support and kindness that has been shown by so many of you. It means so much to us both. We hope that you will understand that, as a family, we now need some time, space and privacy while I complete my treatment.”

Kate signed off by saying that she looks forward to being back at work when she is able, but she is now focusing 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,” she said.

The update follows endless speculation about the Princess of Wales’ abdominal surgery, subsequent absence from public engagements and a photoshopping controversy.

The palace first revealed that Kate had undergone an operation on January 16, and said at the time that the royal was likely to stay in the hospital for 10 to 14 days.

“Based on the current medical advice, she is unlikely to return to public duties until after Easter,” the palace shared with HuffPost in a statement on January 17.

At the time, the princess’s condition was thought to be non-cancerous.

In keeping with the original timeline, the palace shared on January 29 that Kate returned home after a nearly two-week hospitalisation “to continue her recovery.”

The palace added that the princess was “making good progress.”

Nearly a month later, on February 29, the palace shut down rumours with a statement reiterating Kate’s original plan for returning to public duties.

“Kensington Palace made it clear in January the timelines of the princess’ recovery and we’d only be providing significant updates. That guidance stands,” the palace shared with HuffPost, adding that Kate was “doing well.”

While the statement did little to quell the social media fervour, days later on March 4, Kate was photographed by paparazzi riding in a car with her mother, Carole Middleton.

It was the first sighting of the royal in public since December 25, 2023, when she attended the Christmas church service at Sandringham alongside members of the royal family.

Kensington Palace later released the first photo of the royal and her three children on March 10 to mark Mother’s Day in the UK, which was quickly overshadowed by a digital manipulation scandal.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

Kate with her family on Christmas Day
Kate with her family on Christmas Day
Mark Cuthbert via Getty Images

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