Princess of Wales undergoes chemo

Princess of Wales undergoes chemo
AP

LONDON — Kate, the Princess of Wales, has cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy, she revealed Friday, March 22, 2024, in a stunning announcement that followed weeks of speculation about her health and whereabouts.

The princess disclosed her condition in a video message recorded Wednesday, March 20, in Windsor and broadcast Friday. It came after relentless speculation on social media ever since January, when she was hospitalized for unspecified abdominal surgery.

Kate asked for “time, space and privacy” while she is treated for an unspecified type of cancer that was discovered after what she described as “major” surgery.

Wearing a casual striped sweater and jeans, Kate sat on a wooden bench in front of a lawn dotted with daffodils. The flowers, which bloom in early spring, are often used as a symbol of hope for people fighting cancer.

“I am well,” she said. “I am getting stronger every day by focusing on the things that will help me heal.”

Kate, 42, hadn’t been seen publicly since Christmas until video surfaced this week of her with her husband, Prince William, heir to the throne. It showed them walking from a shop that sells produce grown on the royal family’s Windsor estate.

In a statement from Buckingham Palace, King Charles III said he was “so proud of Catherine for her courage in speaking as she did.” The king, who received prostate treatment in the same hospital and at the same time Catherine had her surgery, remained in the “closest contact with his beloved daughter-in-law” in the past weeks.

By choosing to speak directly to the country and the world about her condition, rather than issuing a statement through the palace, Kate offered a level of intimacy and transparency atypical of a member of the royal family and may help tamp down runaway conjecture. The king’s disclosure of his condition was also notably open by royal standards.

Kate said it had taken her time to recover from the surgery before starting “preventative” treatment, which she said was in the early stages.

Kate said it has been “an incredibly tough couple of months” for her family. She said it had taken time to tell her three children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis in a way “appropriate for them” and reassure them she will be OK.

The announcement came after the start of the Easter holidays, which will shield the children from media coverage of the news.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said in a statement that Kate “has shown tremendous bravery.”

The former Kate Middleton, who married William in a fairy-tale wedding in 2011, has boosted the popularity and appeal of the British monarchy worldwide more than any royal since Princess Diana.

The princess is the oldest of three children brought up in a well-to-do neighborhood in Berkshire, west of London. The Middletons have no aristocratic background, and the British press often referred to Kate as a “commoner” marrying into royalty. Kate attended the private school Marlborough College and then University of St. Andrews in Scotland, where she met William around 2001. (AP)

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