Kate Middleton's Cancer Diagnosis: What to Know

Kate Middleton resurfaced amid her recovery from major abdominal surgery to share her cancer diagnosis: "It has been an incredibly tough couple of months."

By Gabrielle Chung Mar 22, 2024 10:36 PMTags
Watch: Kate Middleton's Cancer Diagnosis: Everything We Know

Kate Middleton is getting candid about her health journey.

Nearly three months after undergoing abdominal surgery, the Princess of Wales shared on March 22 that she had been diagnosed with cancer and is now in the early stages of treatment.

"I wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you, personally, for all the wonderful messages of support and for your understanding whilst I have been recovering from surgery," she said in a video message shared across her and husband Prince William's social media channels. "It has been an incredibly tough couple of months for our entire family, but I've had a fantastic medical team who have taken great care of me, for which I am so grateful."

Noting that the diagnosis came as a "huge shock," the 42-year-old acknowledged her monthslong absence from the spotlight—during which a slew of conspiracy theories concerning her whereabouts emerged—and explained that she and William, 41, used the time to "process and manage this privately for the sake of our young family," which includes kids Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8 and Prince Louis, 5.

2024 Royal News

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

She added, "At this time, I am also thinking of all those whose lives have been affected by cancer. For everyone facing this disease, in whatever form, please do not lose faith or hope. You are not alone."

For a full breakdown of Kate's health journey, keep reading:

Ian Vogler - WPA Pool/Getty Images

When was Kate Middleton diagnosed with cancer?

The Princess of Wales was diagnosed after her abdominal surgery in January. "At the time," Kate explained in her video, "it was thought that my condition was non-cancerous. The surgery was successful. However, tests after the operation found cancer had been present."

What is Kate Middleton's cancer treatment?

Under the recommendation of her medical team, Kate said she is undergoing "a course of preventative chemotherapy." As she noted, "I am now in the stages of that treatment."

What type of cancer was Kate Middleton diagnosed with?

Kate did not publicly disclose the specific type of cancer doctors found. However, she said her kids are aware of the nature of her illness after the family took time to "reassure them that I am going to be OK."

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

Chris Jackson/Getty Images

What has Prince William said about Kate Middleton's cancer diagnosis?

According to Kate, her husband has been "a great source of comfort and reassurance" during this challenging time—especially when it came to breaking the news of her cancer diagnosis to their three children.

"It has taken me time to recover from major surgery in order to start my treatment," she shared. "But, most importantly, it has taken us time to explain everything to George, Charlotte and Louis in a way that is appropriate for them."

What has King Charles III said about Kate Middleton's cancer diagnosis?

Shortly after Kate went public with her diagnosis, a Buckingham Palace spokesperson told NBC News that King Charles III is "so proud of Catherine for her courage in speaking as she did."

In fact, Charles—who is undergoing cancer treatment as well—has "remained in the closest contact with his beloved daughter-in-law throughout the past weeks," according to the rep, who added that His Majesty and Queen Camilla "will continue to offer their love and support to the whole family through this difficult time."

Chris Jackson/Getty Images For Buckingham Palace

What has Meghan Markle and Prince Harry said about Kate Middleton's cancer diagnosis?

Likewise, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have voiced their support for the princess amid her health journey.

"We wish health and healing for Kate and the family," the Duke and Duchess of Sussex—who stepped back from their duties as senior royals in 2020 and relocated to California—told E! News in a statement, "and hope they are able to do so privately and in peace."

(E! and NBC News are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)

And keep reading for more well-wishes to Kate from around the world:

Shannen Doherty

The Beverly Hills, 90210 alum, who has herself been battling cancer for years, wrote on Instagram, "I admire your strength thru the endless onslught you've been under while going through cancer."

Catherine Zeta-Jones

On March 22, 2024, Kensington Palace released a video of Kate Middleton revealing that she is undergoing treatment for cancer, which was discovered after she had abdominal surgery in January.

"Wales and the World is with you HRH Princess of Wales," Zeta-Jones, who was born in Wales and was made a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) by now-King Charles III in 2011, wrote on Instagram. "Love to you always."

Olivia Munn

The Newsroom alum, who revealed March 13 she has been battling breast cancer, commented on Kensington Palace's Instagram video of Kate, "Thank you for showing what it's like to fight with grace and determination for yourself and your family. Wishing you all the best."

Angie Harmon

"We are praying for your full & complete recovery & for strength of mind, body & spirit for you & your entire family," the Rizzoli & Isles alum commented on Kensington Palace's video of Kate. "Thank you for your beautiful spirit & courage."

Lauren Sánchez

The media personality, fiancée of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, commented on the post as well, writing, "Sending love."

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak

"My thoughts are with the Princess of Wales, Prince of Wales, the Royal Family and in particular her three children at this difficult time," he said in a statement on X. "The Princess of Wales has the love and support of the whole country as she continues her recovery. She has shown tremendous bravery with her statement today."

He added, "I know I speak for the whole country in wishing her a full and speedy recovery and look forward to seeing her back in action when she's ready."

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre

Speaking at a press briefing following news of Kate's health battle, she said their thoughts are with the princess "and her family members and friends during this incredibly difficult time," adding, "certainly we wish her a full recovery."

James Middleton

"Over the years, we have climbed many mountains together," Kate's brother wrote on Instagram, alongside a childhood pic of the two, after she revealed her health diagnosis. "As a family, we will climb this one with you too."

Charles Spencer

The ninth Earl Spencer, brother of the late Princess Diana and Prince William and Prince Harry's uncle, wrote on Instagram, "Incredible poise and strength."

Meghan Markle & Prince Harry

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who stepped back as senior royals in 2020 and live in California, said in a statement to NBC News, "We wish health and healing for Kate and the family and hope they are able to do so privately and in peace."

King Charles III & Queen Camilla

A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said the King, who shared his own cancer diagnosis in February, is "so proud of Catherine for her courage in speaking as she did."

In fact, Charles has "remained in the closest contact with his beloved daughter-in-law throughout the past weeks," the rep told NBC News, adding that both he and Camilla "will continue to offer their love and support to the whole family through this difficult time."

U.S. First Lady Jill Biden

"You are brave," President Joe Biden's wife wrote on X, "and we love you."

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

"On behalf of Canadians, I’m sending my support as she undergoes treatment," he wrote on X. "We’re all wishing her a swift recovery."

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