Kate Middleton’s Cancer Diagnosis: Everything We Know So Far

The Princess of Wales said she is "getting stronger every day" after announcing her cancer diagnosis in a video message

<p>BBC Studios</p> Kate Middleton announces cancer diagnosis on March 22, 2024.

BBC Studios

Kate Middleton announces cancer diagnosis on March 22, 2024.

Kate Middleton's cancer diagnosis came as a "huge shock" to the royal, as well as the rest of the world.

The Princess of Wales revealed she is undergoing preventative chemotherapy in a personal video message shared on March 22. The news came after weeks of speculation regarding Kate's health following her "planned abdominal surgery" in January.

"In January, I underwent major abdominal surgery in London, and at the time, it was thought that my condition was non-cancerous," she said in the emotional video, sharing that after she underwent tests following the surgery, it was determined that "cancer had been present."

Related: A Complete Timeline of Kate Middleton's Abdominal Surgery and Cancer Diagnosis

Prior to her announcement, Princess Kate had largely remained out of the public eye, though she and Prince William were recently filmed by a local resident while shopping in Windsor. The princess shared in her video that she and William were managing her health privately "for the sake of [their] young family" as they tried to find an "appropriate" way to tell their children, Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5.

“It has been an incredibly tough couple of months for our entire family, but I’ve had a fantastic medical team who have taken great care of me, for which I am so grateful," she said in her video.

From how Prince William and the royal family have been supporting her to when she might return to royal duty, here's everything we know so far about Kate Middleton's cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Kate’s condition was thought to be non-cancerous when she underwent major abdominal surgery

<p>Tristan Fewings/Getty Images</p> Kate Middletona rrives at HMP High Down on September 12, 2023 in Sutton, England

Tristan Fewings/Getty Images

Kate Middletona rrives at HMP High Down on September 12, 2023 in Sutton, England

When Kate underwent "major abdominal surgery" in January, doctors originally believed her condition to be non-cancerous.

Kate received her surgery at The London Clinic, where she stayed for 13 days during her recovery. Upon her release, the palace issued a statement with an update that she was "making good progress."

“The Princess of Wales has returned home to Windsor to continue her recovery from surgery. She is making good progress," Kensington Palace said in a statement. “The Prince and Princess wish to say a huge thank you to the entire team at The London Clinic, especially the dedicated nursing staff, for the care they have provided."

She was diagnosed with cancer following tests after her surgery

<p>Chris Jackson/Getty </p> Kate Middleton visits Nottingham Trent University to learn about their mental health support system on October 11, 2023 in Nottingham, England

Chris Jackson/Getty

Kate Middleton visits Nottingham Trent University to learn about their mental health support system on October 11, 2023 in Nottingham, England

Though the abdominal surgery was successful, Kate underwent tests after the operation, during which doctors discovered that "cancer had been present."

Around the same time, on Feb. 5, the palace announced that King Charles was diagnosed with cancer following treatment for a benign prostate enlargement.

"His Majesty has today commenced a schedule of regular treatments, during which time he has been advised by doctors to postpone public-facing duties. Throughout this period, His Majesty will continue to undertake State business and official paperwork as usual," the statement said.

King Charles and Queen Camilla were subsequently informed of Kate's cancer news.

The type of cancer has not been made public

<p>Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty</p> Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends the official opening of the Glade of Light Memorial at Manchester Cathedral on May 10, 2022 in Manchester, England.

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends the official opening of the Glade of Light Memorial at Manchester Cathedral on May 10, 2022 in Manchester, England.

Kate did not specify which type of cancer she has been diagnosed with in her video.

Following her announcement, a Kensington Palace spokesperson said, "We will not be sharing any further private medical information. The Princess has a right to medical privacy, as we all do."

Kate is in the early stages of preventative chemotherapy

<p>Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty</p> Kate Middleton arrives at the Shaping Us National Symposium at the Design Museum on November 15, 2023 in London, England

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty

Kate Middleton arrives at the Shaping Us National Symposium at the Design Museum on November 15, 2023 in London, England

Following her diagnosis, Kate was advised to begin chemotherapy, she explained.

“Tests after the operation found cancer had been present. 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," she said.

The princess did not, however, elaborate on when started her treatment or how long it is expected to last.

She and William took time to find the “appropriate” way to inform their children

<p>Chris Jackson/Getty</p> Prince William, Catherine, Princess of Wales, Princess Charlotte of Wales and Prince George of Wales on the Buckingham Palace balcony during Trooping the Colour on June 17, 2023 in London, England.

Chris Jackson/Getty

Prince William, Catherine, Princess of Wales, Princess Charlotte of Wales and Prince George of Wales on the Buckingham Palace balcony during Trooping the Colour on June 17, 2023 in London, England.

The Princess of Wales shared that it was important to her to take the time not only to process the diagnosis, which came as a "huge shock," but also to explain the situation to her three children: George, Charlotte and Louis.

Related: Prince William and Kate Middleton's 3 Kids: All About George, Charlotte and Louis

“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," she said. "As you can imagine, this has taken time. 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 is appropriate for them, and to reassure them that I am going to be ok," she added.

The princess may have strategically waited until the children were off from school to make her announcement. George, Charlotte and Louis all attend the Lambrook School, which is currently on a half-term break, giving the family private time together following Princess Kate's announcement.

William has been a “great source of comfort” to Kate

Neil Mockford/Getty Prince William and Kate Middleton on May 6, 2023, in London, England
Neil Mockford/Getty Prince William and Kate Middleton on May 6, 2023, in London, England

Following the news of Princess Kate's planned surgery back in January, PEOPLE reported that William was expected to postpone some engagements to be by Kate’s side. The following day, he was photographed driving himself to visit Kate at the hospital.

The prince continues to support the princess amid her cancer treatment, as Kate reiterated in her video message.

“Having William by my side is a great source of comfort and reassurance too," she said. "As is the love, support and kindness that has been shown by so many of you. It means so much to us both."

A Kensington Palace spokesperson confirmed to PEOPLE that following Kate's cancer diagnosis announcement, Prince William will continue official duties while balancing his work responsibilities and family life.

"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," the spokesperson said.

His duties will likely resume when the children return to school after Easter holiday break.

Kate is “getting stronger every day”

<p>Jane Barlow - WPA Pool/Getty</p> Catherine, Princess of Wales visits Outfit Moray on November 02, 2023 in Moray, Scotland.

Jane Barlow - WPA Pool/Getty

Catherine, Princess of Wales visits Outfit Moray on November 02, 2023 in Moray, Scotland.

The princess concluded her video message with a beacon of hope, sharing that she continues to gain strength.

"I am well and getting stronger every day by focusing on the things that will help me heal; in my mind, body and spirits," she said.

She also included a message to other families who may have been affected by cancer, letting them know they are "not alone."

"My work has always brought me a deep sense of joy and I look forward to being back when I am able, but for now I must focus on making a full recovery," she said. "At this time, I am also thinking of all those whose lives have been affected by cancer."

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

King Charles is “so proud” of Kate’s honesty

<p>Chris Jackson/Getty</p> Queen Camilla, King Charles III, Prince William, Prince of Wales and Catherine, Princess of Wales pose for a photograph ahead of The Diplomatic Reception in the 1844 Room at Buckingham Palace on December 05, 2023 in London, England.

Chris Jackson/Getty

Queen Camilla, King Charles III, Prince William, Prince of Wales and Catherine, Princess of Wales pose for a photograph ahead of The Diplomatic Reception in the 1844 Room at Buckingham Palace on December 05, 2023 in London, England.

As King Charles undergoes treatment for his own diagnosis, he is "so proud of Catherine for her courage in speaking as she did," a Buckingham Palace spokesperson told PEOPLE.

Both the monarch and Kate were hospitalized at The London Clinic in January and Charles has "remained in the closest contact with his beloved daughter-in-law throughout the past weeks," the spokesperson added.

He and Queen Camilla “will continue to offer their love and support to the whole family through this difficult time."

It is unknown when Kate will return to royal duty

<p>Pool/Max Mumby/Getty</p> Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends The Order of The Garter service at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on June 13, 2022.

Pool/Max Mumby/Getty

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends The Order of The Garter service at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on June 13, 2022.

Although Kensington Palace initially announced after Kate's surgery that she was expected to return to royal duties after Easter, it remains unclear when she'll return following her cancer diagnosis.

According to a palace spokesperson, the princess will make her official return based on advice from her doctors as she undergoes chemotherapy.

"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," the spokesperson told PEOPLE.

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