Kate, Princess of Wales, announces she has cancer and undergoing treatment

A handout still from a recording released by The Prince and Princess of Wales shows Britain's Catherine, Princess of Wales, announcing her cancer diagnosis in Windsor, west of London. (Photo/AFP)

Catherine, Princess of Wales, has announced that she has cancer and is in the early stages of chemotherapy, asking for "time, space and privacy" as she completes her treatment.

Kate, as she is widely known, said the discovery of cancer after successful abdominal surgery in January was "a huge shock", but she was "well and getting stronger every day".

The disclosure came after royal officials said in February that King Charles III was being treated for cancer, forcing him to cancel all public engagements.

Charles said he was "so proud of Catherine for her courage in speaking as she did", leading messages of support, including from UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and the White House.

Kate's brother, James Middleton, posted a photograph of himself and his sister as children on Instagram, commenting: "Over the years, we have climbed many mountains together.

"As a family, we will climb this one with you too."

William's estranged US-based brother, Prince Harry, and his wife, Meghan Markle, said they wished "health and healing for Kate and the family".

'Preventative' chemo

Like Charles, the 42-year-old princess, whose husband Prince William is heir to the throne, did not disclose the exact nature of the cancer.

But she described the months since she went into hospital as "incredibly tough" for her, William and their three young children.

"In January, I underwent major abdominal surgery in London, and at the time, it was thought that my condition was non-cancerous," she added in a video statement, filmed on Wednesday at Windsor, west of London, where they live.

"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."

Preventative chemotherapy is given "after an operation to prevent recurrence", said Shivan Sivakumar, associate professor in oncology at the University of Birmingham in central England.

"This is to attempt to destroy any circulating cancer cells," he added.

Kate was the first commoner to marry a prince in close proximity to the throne in more than 350 years when she wed William in 2011 and has since become one of the most popular royals.

She said it had taken them time to explain the situation to Prince George, aged 10, Princess Charlotte, eight, and five-year-old Prince Louis, "and to reassure them that I am going to be OK".

William, Kate and their children are seen as the modern face of the British royal family, and key to its future as it faces declining support, particularly among younger people.

Rough months

Palace officials will be hoping that the unusually candid disclosure will end speculation and rumours about her health and whereabouts, particularly online.

Kate was last seen at a public engagement on December 25, when she joined the king and other senior royals at a Christmas Day church service.

Kensington Palace announced on January 17 that she was facing up to two weeks in hospital and several months' recuperation following abdominal surgery.

She was not expected to be ready to return to public duties until after Easter on March 31, a statement at the time said.

Royal officials did not disclose the exact nature of her condition but said it was not cancer-related.

That announcement came shortly before a separate statement from Buckingham Palace that 75-year-old Charles was to have surgery for a benign enlarged prostate.


Source: TRT