Politics

Worldwide Support Pours in For Princess Kate After Cancer Announcement

LONDON (AP) – Support poured in from around the world Saturday for Kate, the Princess of Wales, after she revealed in a candid video message that she is undergoing chemotherapy for cancer following major abdominal surgery.

The princess’s poignant video, in which she spoke about the “huge shock” and “incredibly tough couple of months” for her family after her diagnosis, came after weeks of frenzied speculation on social media about her health and well-being.

“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,” Kate said in the video, which was recorded Wednesday in Windsor.

“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,” she added, referring to her three young children.

Kate, 42, did not say what type of cancer was discovered after she underwent what she described as “major” abdominal surgery. She said she is now in the early stages of preventative chemotherapy, and is “getting stronger every day.”

The royal said it had been thought that her condition was non-cancerous, until post-surgery tests revealed the diagnosis.

The announcement will at least partly tamp down the intense and sometimes fantastical speculation and conspiracy theories about her condition that have multiplied on social media since Kensington Palace announced in mid-January that she had been hospitalized for unspecified abdominal surgery.

Hashtags including “WeLoveYouCatherine” and “GetWellSoonCatherine” were trending Friday on X, formerly Twitter, while political leaders and cancer survivors sent messages of support.

“She has been subjected to intense scrutiny and has been unfairly treated by certain sections of the media around the world and on social media,” Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said. “She has shown tremendous bravery with her statement.”

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Friday “we are incredibly sad” to hear the “terrible news.”

King Charles III, who is also undergoing treatment for an unspecified type of cancer, said in a statement that he was “so proud of Catherine for her courage in speaking as she did.” Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, who have been estranged from the royal family since their move to California in 2020, said they wished “health and healing for Kate and the family.”

Until Friday there had been little information about Kate’s condition, and her months-long disappearance from public view fueled a flurry of rumor-mongering about the “missing” future queen.

Officials had only said that Kate’s surgery in January was successful and recuperation would keep the princess away from public duties until April.

Feelings of distrust about the royals gained ground earlier this month after Kate acknowledged that she had edited an official photo released to mark Mother’s Day in the U.K.

The photo, which was meant to calm and reassure the public, triggered a backlash after The Associated Press and other news agencies retracted the image over concerns it was manipulated.

Even a video published last week by The Sun and TMZ that appeared to show Kate and William shopping near their home did not dispel the negative coverage, with some armchair detectives refusing to believe the video showed Kate at all.

In contrast, many of Saturday’s newspaper frontpages featured sympathetic headlines, with The Sun proclaiming: “Kate, you are not alone.” The Daily Telegraph featured an opinion piece that read: “Sickening online trolls revelling in Princess’s misery ought to be ashamed.”

Well-wishers and fans visiting Windsor and Kensington Palace expressed their support for Kate.

“I hope that they can find hope and some togetherness in their family,” said Andrea Stunz, who was visiting London from Texas when she heard the news about Kate. “We´ll be praying for them. We will be praying for the family.”

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