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Catherine, Princess of Wales announces cancer diagnosis

catherine, princess of wales sits and listens to people talking during an event at a hospital
Kate announces cancer diagnosisWPA Pool - Getty Images

Catherine, Princess of Wales has announced that she is being treated for cancer.

The princess spoke in a video statement released Friday (March 22) about the "major abdominal surgery" she underwent in January, which her doctors thought to be for a "non-cancerous" condition at the time

"The surgery was successful, however, tests after the operation found cancer had been present," she said. "My medical team therefore advised that I should undergo a course of preventative chemotherapy and I'm now in the early stages of that treatment.

"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, 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'm going to be okay."

The princess stressed that she is "well and getting stronger every day" and remains focused on "the things that will help [her] heal" in "mind, body and spirits".

"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," she continued.

"We hope that you'll understand that as a family we now need some time, space and privacy while I complete my treatment.

prince william and catherine, princess of wales
Chris Jackson - Getty Images

She encouraged anyone going through similar health issues to "not lose faith or hope", adding: "You are not alone."

In January, Kensington Palace said that Kate would be hospitalised for up to two weeks in order to have a planned abdominal procedure.

It was announced at the time that Kate would be taking a prolonged break from royal events — at least through Easter.

An official statement read: "Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales was admitted to The London Clinic [on January 16] for planned abdominal surgery. The surgery was successful and it is expected that she will remain in hospital for ten to fourteen days, before returning home to continue her recovery."

catherine, princess of wales walks outside
Samir Hussein - Getty Images

However, a lack of further details from the Palace led to widespread discussion on social media about the status of the Princess's health.

The online debate coincided with the news a few weeks later that King Charles III had been diagnosed with cancer, which was discovered following treatment for an enlarged prostate in January.

Earlier this month, Kate tweeted an apology for "confusion" caused by the Palace's release of a family photo for Mother's Day, which several news agencies recalled from publication due to concerns about the level of editing to the image.

catherine, princess of wales sits and listens to people talking during an event at a hospital
WPA Pool - Getty Images

In a statement signed with a "C" for the Princess's name, she wrote on Twitter / X: "Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing. I wanted to express my apologies for any confusion the family photograph we shared yesterday caused. I hope everyone celebrating had a very happy Mother’s Day."

If you would like more information or support about living with cancer or treatment, please click here for guidance from Macmillan Cancer Support, or click here to learn more from Stand Up to Cancer.

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