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Catherine, Princess of Wales, announces she has cancer

Mar 22, 2024, 12:08 PM | Updated: 3:04 pm

London (CNN) — Catherine, Princess of Wales, revealed Friday she has been diagnosed with cancer and is in the “early stages” of treatment.

The announcement, which the princess described as a “huge shock,” came in a video message. The news came two months after she had stepped away from public life temporarily following what Kensington Palace said at the time was surgery for a non-cancerous abdominal condition.

“In January, I underwent major abdominal surgery in London and at the time, it was thought that my condition was non-cancerous,” said Catherine, 42, who is married to the heir to the British throne, Prince William.

“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.”

Kate continued that her diagnosis was “a huge shock” and that “William and I have been doing everything we can to process and manage this privately for the sake of our young family.”

The princess added, “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 am going to be ok.”

Kate said that she had told them she is “well and getting stronger every day by focusing on the things that will help me heal; in my mind, body and spirits.”

She praised Prince William for being by her side as “a great source of comfort and reassurance” as well as the support she has received from the public.

“We hope that you will understand that, as a family, we now need some time, space and privacy while I complete my treatment. My work has always brought me a deep sense of joy and I look forward to being back when I am able, but for now I must focus on making a full recovery,” the princess said.

She ended her heartfelt message by saying that she was also keeping “all those whose lives have been affected by cancer” in her thoughts.

“For everyone facing this disease, in whatever form, please do not lose faith or hope. You are not alone,” Kate concluded.

The announcement is a devastating blow for the British monarchy as King Charles III is currently undergoing treatment for an unspecified cancer, which was announced by Buckingham Palace in early February.

The update on the princess’s health came after Kate successfully underwent abdominal surgery on January 16. She remained in a London hospital for 13 days following the procedure and, on doctor’s advice, had since been away from public duties during her recovery.

Kate was spotted in public for the first time since her surgery, visiting a farm shop with her husband Prince William last weekend.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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Catherine, Princess of Wales, announces she has cancer