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Catherine, Princess of Wales, announces she is undergoing treatment for cancer

Kate, Princess of Wales, is seen in north London on Nov. 24, 2023. The princess was diagnosed with cancer and is in the early stages of treatment, she said.
Frank Augstein
/
AP
Kate, Princess of Wales, is seen in north London on Nov. 24, 2023. The princess was diagnosed with cancer and is in the early stages of treatment, she said.

Updated March 22, 2024 at 3:08 PM ET

Catherine, Princess of Wales, has cancer, she announced in a video message released by Kensington Palace on Friday, and is in the early stages of chemotherapy.

In the video, the former Kate Middleton, 42, said the diagnosis was a "huge shock after an incredibly tough couple of months."

The cancer was found after she successfully underwent major abdominal surgery in January, Kate said.

She thanked the public for their support in recent weeks, adding that she and her family "now need some time, space and privacy while I complete my treatment."

Kate's health and well-being have been the subject of speculation since she virtually disappeared from public view in late December.

On Jan. 17, Kensington Palaceannounced that Kate was recovering from a planned abdominal surgery. The princess "is unlikely to return to public duties until after Easter," on March 31, the palace said at the time. Even so, her window of absence fueled online conspiracy theories about the princess.

Last month, the royal family revealed that King Charles III, 75, had been diagnosed with cancer. However, until now, no update had been given on Kate until a photo of the Princess of Wales and her children — Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis and Prince George — and credited to husband Prince William, was released on Mother's Day in the U.K. The photo was later revealed to be doctored.

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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