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Global support pours in for Princess Kate after cancer announcement

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

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

“This has of course been a huge shock, and William and I have done everything we can to process and manage this privately for the sake of our young family,” Kate said in the video recorded Wednesday in Windsor.

“It took us a while to explain everything to George, Charlotte and Louis in a way that worked for them, and to reassure them that everything will be OK,” she added, referring to her three young children. children.

Kate, 42, did not say what type of cancer was discovered after undergoing 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 her condition was thought not to be cancerous, until post-surgery tests revealed the diagnosis.

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

Hashtags such as “WeLoveYouCatherine” and “GetWellSoonCatherine” trended Friday on X, formerly Twitter, as political leaders and cancer survivors sent messages of support.

“She has come under intense scrutiny and has been unfairly treated by sections of the media around the world and on social media,” Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said. “She showed immense courage with her statement.”

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Friday that “we are incredibly sad” to learn of the “terrible news.”

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

Until Friday, there was little information about Kate’s condition, and her disappearance from the public eye for several months fueled a wave of rumors about the “missing” future queen.

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

Feelings of distrust towards the royal family gained ground earlier this month after Kate admitted she had altered an official photo released to mark Mother’s Day in the UK.

The photo, which was intended to calm and reassure the public, sparked a backlash after the Associated Press and other news organizations removed the image over concerns it had been manipulated.

Even a video posted last week by The sun and TMZ appearing 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.

In contrast, many of Saturday’s newspaper front pages featured sympathetic headlines, with the Sun proclaiming: “Kate, you’re not alone.” » The Daily Telegraphha published an opinion piece that said: “The sickening online trolls reveling in Princess’ misery should be ashamed.” »

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

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

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