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Kate Middleton, 42, says she was diagnosed with cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy

Kate Middleton, 42, says she was diagnosed with cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy
  • Kate Middleton, 42, has cancer, she said in a Kensington Palace video announcement Friday.

  • Kate said she's in the early stages of chemotherapy but did not specify what type of cancer she has.

  • The Princess of Wales also asked for privacy as she completes her chemo treatment.

Kate Middleton, the Princess of Wales, has cancer.

On Friday, Kensington Palace released a video of Kate, 42, speaking directly to the camera, marking her first official address to the public in 2024.

In the video, Kate said her medical team had discovered she had cancerous cells in her body after an abdominal surgery in January. She also said she's been undergoing chemotherapy.

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Kate did not specify what type of cancer she has in the announcement.

Kensington Palace first announced that Kate underwent "a planned abdominal surgery" on January 17. It said in a statement that she would not resume her public duties until after Easter and asked for her "personal medical information" to remain private.

In the video released Friday, Kate said her medical team initially thought her condition was "non-cancerous." But, she added, "tests after the operation found cancer had been present," leading her doctors to advise she "undergo a course of preventative chemotherapy."

Doctors said Friday they weren't sure what Kate meant by "preventative chemotherapy." Still, BI's Gabby Landsverk reported that it could mean that Kate is undergoing "adjuvant chemotherapy to get rid of any remaining cancer cells after an operation." But it's not clear and will likely remain so unless the princess releases additional information about the type of cancer she's been diagnosed with.

The princess, who started chemo in late February, went on to say that she is in the early stages of her treatment and that Prince William has been a source of comfort for her during this time.

She also said it took time to explain her condition to her children — Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5 — adding that she wanted them to know she would "be OK."

"As I have said to them, I am well and getting stronger every day by focusing on the things that will help me heal: in my mind, body, and spirits," Kate said.

She also reiterated a request for privacy in the video, saying, "We hope that you will understand that, as a family, we now need some time, space, and privacy while I complete my treatment."

Kate's cancer diagnosis comes after months away from the public eye

Kate's announcement comes less than two months after King Charles III was also diagnosed with cancer and started treatment for it.

In a statement shared with royal correspondents, including the Daily Mail's royal editor Rebecca English, the king said he is "so proud of Catherine for her courage in speaking as she did."

Charles has "remained in the closest contact with his beloved daughter-in-law throughout the past weeks" following their time in the hospital together, the statement added.

Kate's decision to share her cancer diagnosis also comes over three months after she made her last official public appearance alongside William, their children, Charles, and Queen Camilla on Christmas Day.

King Charles III, Queen Camilla, Kate Middleton, Prince George, and Prince William, attend the Christmas Morning Service at Sandringham Church on December 25, 2023, in Sandringham, Norfolk.
Kate Middleton, King Charles III, Prince George, Prince William, and Queen Camilla attend the Christmas morning service at Sandringham Church in 2023 in Norfolk, England.Samir Hussein/WireImage

The following month, after Kate's "planned abdominal surgery," Kensington Palace said she returned to Windsor to "continue her recovery" on January 29.

At the time, the palace said she was "making good progress."

There's been rampant speculation about Kate's whereabouts

While Kate has been recovering from surgery, wild theories about her whereabouts and well-being spread online.

In a statement shared with Business Insider on February 29, the palace said Kate was "doing well" and added that there wouldn't be a "running commentary" on her condition.

The speculation, which some have dubbed the "Katespiracy," reached a fever pitch after Kensington Palace released a Mother's Day portrait of Kate and her children, which major news and photo agencies later recalled over suspected digital manipulation.

Commentary on late-night television and social-media chatter also centered on Kate in recent weeks.

Kristen Meinzer, a royal commentator based in the US, told BI that she believes Kate's announcement will finally end the "Katespiracy."

"I think the public was desperate for some transparency," Meinzer said. "I think it was the right thing for Kate to come forward with more details about her health. It will no doubt cut down on questions and conspiracy theories, and it will give her subjects a clearer way to channel their concerns."

"The royal family is usually more direct with its messaging," she said, referencing how Buckingham Palace handled sharing news of Charles' cancer diagnosis.

Read the original article on Business Insider