Kate, Princess of Wales, reveals cancer diagnosis

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Kate, the Princess of Wales, says she’s been diagnosed with cancer, asking the public for “time, space, and privacy” amid a media frenzy surrounding her absence from public appearances.

“It’s been an incredibly tough couple of months for our entire family,” Kate, sitting on a bench outdoors, said Friday in a video posted on social media.

The 42-year-old British royal family member underwent abdominal surgery in January.

“At the time, it was thought that my condition was noncancerous. The surgery was successful; however, tests after the operation found cancer had been present,” she said. The mother of three said she is in the “early stages” of chemotherapy.

Kate’s announcement about her health came just weeks after Buckingham Palace revealed King Charles III also faced a cancer diagnosis following a hospital procedure for an enlarged prostate. Charles, Buckingham Palace said in a statement last month, “remains wholly positive about his treatment and looks forward to returning to full public duty as soon as possible.”

In her Friday message, Kate said, “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’s appropriate for them, and to reassure them that I’m going to be OK.”

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

The update comes after weeks of intense speculation — and wild conspiracy theories on social media — involving Kate’s health, partly fueled by a grainy video that emerged this week appearing to show her exiting a farm shop near her home.  

Saying she’s “getting stronger every day,” the princess asked for privacy during her recovery.

“At this time, I’m 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.

Reaction to Kate’s medical disclosure immediately began to pour in.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said at Friday’s press briefing, “Our thoughts are with the Duchess of Cambridge and her family members and friends during this incredibly difficult time, and certainly we wish her a full recovery.”

“I think it’s important we respect their privacy, especially at this time,” Jean-Pierre said, adding that President Biden had not yet spoken to Kate, and the White House learned of her diagnosis at the same time that the royal’s video went public.

Updated at 2:28 p.m.

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