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Kate Middleton and Prince William Speak Out in First Joint Statement Following Her Cancer Diagnosis

Prince William, Prince of Wales and Catherine, Princess of Wales

Kate Middleton and Prince William have spoken out through a Kensington Palace spokesperson for the first time since revealing late last week that Middleton has been diagnosed with cancer.

The Princess of Wales shared her diagnosis with the public in a video message that the palace released on Fri., March 22. Though Middleton did not reveal the type of cancer she is battling, she explained it was discovered following an abdominal surgery she underwent in January. The princess said she began chemotherapy treatment at the recommendation of her medical team.

“This of course came as a huge shock, and William and I have been doing everything we can to process and manage this privately for the sake of our young family,” Middleton said in her message.

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Following her announcement, a Kensington Palace spokesperson said in a statement shared with multiple media outlets this weekend that Middleton and the Prince of Wales “are both enormously touched by the kind messages from people here in the U.K., across the Commonwealth and around the world in response to Her Royal Highness’ message.”

“They are extremely moved by the public’s warmth and support and are grateful for the understanding of their request for privacy at this time,” the statement added.

The 42-year-old royal’s abdominal surgery earlier this year sparked a wave of conspiracy theories about her health that her weeks-long absence from the public eye only fueled. Now that Middleton has explained why she has been out of sight, some royal experts believe she and William waited to tell the public until they had a chunk of time when they could protect their young children from the immediate public reaction to her diagnosis. Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5, were beginning their Easter holiday break from school as their mother publicly revealed her cancer battle.

Middleton mentioned in her March 22 message that “it has taken us time to explain” her diagnosis to their children “in a way that is appropriate for them, and to reassure them that I’m going to be okay.” She mentioned her family again while requesting privacy as she continues her cancer battle.

“We hope that you’ll understand that, as a family, we now need some time, space and privacy while I complete my treatment,” she said.

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