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Kate Middleton, Princess of Wales, undergoing cancer treatment

Catherine, Princess of Wales, has been out of the public eye while she has been undergoing cancer treatment, she announced Friday.

“In January, I underwent major abdominal surgery in London and at the time, it was thought that my condition was noncancerous,” she said in a video released on X. “The surgery was successful, however, test after the operation on cancer had been present.”

Details about what kind of cancer the princess has been diagnosed with have not been disclosed. However, Middleton said she is recovering and is “going to be OK.”

“As you can imagine, this has taken time,” she said. “It has taken me time to recover from major surgery in order 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 that I’m going to be OK. As I’ve said to them, I am well. I’m getting stronger every day by focusing on the things that will help me heal in my mind, body, and spirit.

“For everyone facing this disease, in whatever form, please do not lose faith or hope,” she said. “You are not alone.”

King Charles III said he is “so proud of Catherine for her courage in speaking as she did,” according to a statement from Buckingham Palace released Friday. Charles announced his own cancer diagnosis earlier this year. Catherine’s husband, William, Prince of Wales, is next in line for the British throne.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle said in a statement that they “wish health and healing for Kate and the family and hope they are able to do so privately and in peace.”

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak commended Catherine for her statement and also advised that the public should give her privacy as she battles cancer.

“She has shown tremendous bravery with her statement today,” Sunak said. “In recent weeks 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. When it comes to matters of health, like everyone else, she must be afforded the privacy to focus on her treatment and be with her loving family.”

Catherine’s whereabouts following her surgery in January sparked several conspiracy theories in the media, despite Kensington Palace officials saying at the time that it would be unlikely she would return to public duties until Easter. A Mother’s Day post earlier this month, which was “killed” by several media agencies after it became apparent it had been modified, only fueled speculation about the Princess of Wales.

The White House also stressed the necessity for the public to respect Catherine’s privacy.

“All of us just heard the terrible news,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters Friday. “Our thoughts are with [Catherine] and her family members and friends during this incredibly difficult time. It’s important that we respect her privacy.”

First lady Jill Biden separately responded to Catherine’s announcement, saying, “You are brave, and we love you.”

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