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Kate’s cancer: When was the princess diagnosed and what happens next?

The Prince and Princess of Wales were coming to terms with the news privately (Chris Jackson/PA)
The Prince and Princess of Wales were coming to terms with the news privately (Chris Jackson/PA)

The Princess of Wales is undergoing preventative chemotherapy for cancer, she has told the nation in a video message.

Kate, speaking from Windsor, described the development as a “huge shock”, but vowed “I am going to be ok”.

– What has the princess announced?

Kate has revealed she is in the early stages of a course of preventative chemotherapy.

Royals attends Christmas Day Church service
The princess on Christmas Day at Sandringham (Joe Giddens/PA)

Tests at the time of her abdominal surgery on January 16 showed her condition was non-cancerous, but post-operative tests found cancer had been present.

She said the surgery was successful and she took time to recover from the major operation in order to start the treatment.

– What type of cancer was found?

It has not been disclosed. Kensington Palace said no further medical information will be shared, and that Kate has a right to medical privacy just like everyone else.

– When did the princess find out about the cancer?

Once post-operative tests had been completed and results reviewed, but an exact date has not be released.

Princess of Wales surgery
Kate underwent abdominal surgery at the London Clinic on January 16 (Lucy North/PA)

– What treatment is Kate having?

The princess is now on a recovery pathway having commenced a course of preventative chemotherapy.

– What is the princess’ prognosis?

Kensington Palace are not commenting on this.

But Kate said in her message: “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.

“As I have said to them; I am well and getting stronger every day by focusing on the things that will help me heal; in my mind, body and spirits.”

Royals first day at new school
The Wales family (Jonathan Brady/PA)

– When did she start treatment?

Kate began a course of preventative chemotherapy in late February.

– How long will the chemotherapy last?

This is understood to be subject to medical advice.

Kensington Palace is not commenting on the length of the course, or how often she is having treatment or where.

– Was news of the cancer the reason the Prince of Wales pulled out of the memorial service for King Constantine of Greece on February 27?

Yes. At the time, Kensington Palace said it was due to a “personal matter” but gave no further details.

It is understood this was the reason William missed his late godfather’s service at short notice.

– Why is Kensington Palace only sharing the news now?

The Palace said: “The princess wanted to share this information when she and the prince felt it was right for them as a family.”

Trooping the Colour
George, Charlotte and Louis have been William and Kate’s focus in deciding when to issue the news (Aaron Chown/PA)

It is understood Kate wanted time and space to come to terms with diagnosis, recover from surgery and then begin her pathway to recovery.

William and Kate also wanted to be able to tell their children at the right time and allow them to understand and process the news before it became public, and decided to make the announcement now the children are away from school on their Easter holidays.

– Is Kate being treated on the NHS or with private healthcare?

It has not been confirmed, but her medical team will consider a balance of factors including the most appropriate specialists for her condition, the impact on other patients of resources, and privacy and security.

– When will Kensington Palace give another update?

A Palace spokesman said: “Their Royal Highnesses understand the interest this update will generate and are grateful for the public support they have received throughout this period.

“Kensington Palace will provide information, when the time is right, and the Princess is able to restart work and her duties. In the meantime, we would ask that the family’s privacy is respected.”

Easter Mattins Service at St George’s Chapel
The Wales family will not be at church on Easter Sunday (Andrew Matthews/PA)

– When will Kate return to official duties?

“The princess will return to official duties when she is cleared to do so by her medical team. She is in good spirits and is focused on making a full recovery,” a Palace spokesman said.

Kate may be keen to attend events as and when she feels able, in line with medical advice, but any initial public events will not necessarily signal a return to a regular public schedule.

– Will we see Kate at church on Easter Sunday?

No. The Wales family will not be attending the annual Easter Sunday church service.

– Will William carry on working?

Kensington Palace said the prince will continue to balance supporting his wife and family and maintaining his official duties as he has done since the start of the year.

He is expected to carrying out engagements when George, Charlotte and Louis return to school after the Easter holidays.

Trooping the Colour
Kate is focusing on her recovery (Aaron Chown/PA)

– How is the princess doing?

Kate is understood to be in good spirits and focused on her recovery.

She is said to be hugely grateful to the medical team and want to take the time and space to complete her treatment and make a full recovery.

– And William?

The prince was said to be focused on supporting his wife and children through the difficult period, while continuing to undertake engagements and work.

He said to be extremely grateful for the support from the public.

– When was Kate’s video released?

At 6pm on Friday. It was filmed on Wednesday in Windsor by BBC Studios.

– Were the King and Queen told?

Yes, and they also were made aware Kate was issuing her video message.

– Will this stop the conspiracy theories about Kate’s health and her whereabouts?

The couple will be hoping so. Kate appealed for “time, space and privacy” while she completes her treatment.