Kate Middleton Releases Video Revealing Cancer Diagnosis

After months of speculation about her health, Kensington Palace released a video on Friday afternoon in which Kate Middleton revealed that she has been diagnosed with cancer.

“In January, I underwent major abdominal surgery in London and at the time, it was thought that my condition was noncancerous,” Catherine, the Princess of Wales, said in the video. “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.

Catherine did not reveal what type of cancer she has.

She said the news came as a “huge shock” and she and Prince William “have been doing everything we can to process and manage this privately for the sake of our young family.”

The princess said that as she has told her children, “I am well and getting stronger every day by focusing on the things that will help me heal, in my mind, body and spirits.”

“Having William by my side is a great source of comfort and reassurance too,” she added. “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.”

William and Catherine have three children: George, 10, Charlotte, 8, and Louis, 5.

Buckingham Palace released a statement from King Charles about an hour after Catherine’s video was posted, per People:

A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said that King Charles is “so proud of Catherine for her courage in speaking as she did.”

King Charles and Princess Kate were both hospitalized at The London Clinic in January, and the monarch has “remained in the closest contact with his beloved daughter-in-law throughout the past weeks.”

Both King Charles and Queen Camilla “will continue to offer their love and support to the whole family through this difficult time.”

In an awful coincidence, the king was diagnosed with cancer following surgery around the same time as his daughter-in-law. On January 17 Kensington Palace announced that the princess had undergone a “planned abdominal surgery.” There was no official word on what condition Kate had, but at the time royal sources told multiple outlets it was non-cancerous:

A day later, Buckingham Palace said King Charles would undergo a “corrective procedure” for a benign enlarged prostate. Then on February 5, the Palace said cancer had been found during the 75-year-old monach’s treatment:

During The King’s recent hospital procedure for benign prostate enlargement, a separate issue of concern was noted. Subsequent diagnostic tests have identified a form of cancer. 

His Majesty has today commenced a schedule of regular treatments, during which time he has been advised by doctors to postpone public-facing duties. Throughout this period, His Majesty will continue to undertake State business and official paperwork as usual.

Buckingham Palace, Charles and Camilla’s press team, and Kensington Palace, William and Kate’s, operate separately, and the two teams handled the royals’ respective health issues differently. Though we still do not know what kind of cancer Charles has or how it’s being treated, he’s been viewed as unusually forthcoming for a British monarch (for example, Queen Elizabeth II’s exact cause of death was never released). Palace sources said he would take a break from public appearances, but continue handling other duties. The king was spotted driving to and from his home on a few occasions in the weeks following his diagnosis. In early March the Palace posted a few batches of professional photos on social media showing Charles conducting virtual and in-person meetings.

From the start, there was more public speculation about Kate’s health and whereabouts — though the original statement said she was “unlikely to return to public duties until after Easter.” Unsurprisingly, the public had more questions about Kate because she is younger, appeared healthy when she was last seen on Christmas Day, and her press team didn’t initially offer much detail on her condition.

But the “Where is Kate Middleton” hysteria really took off following strange messaging from Kensington Palace. On February 27, Prince William abruptly canceled an appearance at his godfather’s memorial due to what was vaguely described as “a personal matter.” Then on Mother’s Day, Kensington Palace social media feeds shared a photo of Kate with her children that was so heavily manipulated that several major photo agencies refused to run it. The next day, the princess took personal responsibility for this “experiment with editing.”

It seems unlikely that Catherine would have revealed her cancer diagnosis before Easter had it not been for the wild rumors circulating online in recent weeks. Her announcement has prompted some justified soul searching about the media and the public’s embrace of conspiracy theories. But at the same time, the story probably wouldn’t have gotten so out of hand had Kensington Palace handled the situation differently.

This story has been updated throughout.

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