Kate Middleton reveals cancer was found after abdominal surgery, says she is undergoing 'preventative chemotherapy'

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

Kate Middleton is undergoing preventative chemotherapy after doctors discovered cancer during her abdominal surgery in January.

Following months of speculation about her health, the world heard directly from the Princess of Wales on Friday about her condition in an emotional video. Middleton began by thanking everyone for their messages of support, and said that "it has been an incredibly tough couple of months for our entire family."

"I underwent major abdominal surgery in London, and at the time, it was thought that my condition was non-cancerous. 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 am now in the early stages of that treatment."

Middleton said the news was a huge shock to both her and Prince William.

"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 to start my treatment, but most importantly, it has taken us time to explain everything to George, Charlotte and Louis in a way that's appropriate for them and to reassure them I'm going to be OK," she continued.

"As I've said to them, I am well and getting stronger every day by focusing on things that will help me heal in my 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 been shown by so many of you. It means so much to as both," she said. "We hope that you'll 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'm able. But for now, I must focus on making a full recovery. At this time, I'm also thinking of all those whose lives have been affected by cancer."

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

Middleton's video statement comes days after it was reported that hospital staff members tried to access her personal medical records at the London Clinic.

On Jan. 16, Middleton was admitted to the private hospital, where King Charles was also treated, for planned abdominal surgery. The palace released a statement the following day and declared the surgery successful. A statement said that she'd be hospitalized for 10 to 14 days, and her public duties would not resume until after Easter. Although the palace did not provide further details, it said at the time her condition was non-cancerous.

Middleton had largely remained out of the public eye — until the internet started going wild with conspiracy theories about her health and marriage.

"We were very clear from the outset that the Princess of Wales was out until after Easter and Kensington Palace would only be providing updates when something was significant," her spokesperson said in a statement on Feb. 29 as media outlets were getting restless about Middleton's whereabouts.

Four days later, Middleton was photographed for the first time post-surgery while riding in a car with her mom. The grainy photo, shot from far away, only fueled rumors. Then, an edited picture in honor of Mother's Day in the U.K. sent the internet into a collective meltdown.

In the photo shared on March 10, Middleton sat surrounded by her and Prince William's three children — George, Charlotte and Louis — but parts of the image were later found to have been digitally altered. The next day, she issued a statement on the manipulated photo.

"Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing," she said on the Kensington Palace X account. "I wanted to express my apologies for any confusion the family photograph we shared yesterday caused."

On March 18, TMZ posted a video of Prince William and Middleton from an outing two days earlier at the Windsor Farm Shop. The sighting divided people, and some posted online that they doubted that the woman in the video was the princess.

Middleton quashed those rumors with Friday's personal update.