AP PHOTOS: A look at Kate, Princess of Wales, through the years

After weeks of speculation about her whereabouts, Kate, the Princess of Wales, announced in a video message Friday that she is undergoing chemotherapy for cancer.

Kate, 42, was hospitalized in January for unspecified abdominal surgery and until this week hadn’t been seen publicly since Christmas, sparking a frenzy of conjecture about her health.

That didn’t stop after Kensington Palace released a photo of Kate and her children on March 10 to coincide with Mother’s Day in the U.K. The move backfired when The Associated Press and other news agencies retracted the picture from publication because it appeared to have been manipulated. Kate issued a statement acknowledging she liked to “experiment with editing” and apologizing for “any confusion” the photo had caused.

This week, video surfaced of her with her husband, Prince William, at a farm shop near their Windsor home, which set off another round of wild rumors.

The royal family announced last month that King Charles III was being treated for an unspecified type of cancer. Charles’ relative openness about his diagnosis was a departure for the generally secretive royal family.

The former Kate Middleton, who married William in a fairy-tale wedding in 2011, has boosted the popularity and appeal of the British monarchy worldwide more than any royal since Princess Diana.

Kate and William moved with their three children — George, 10, Charlotte, 8, and Louis, 5 — from Kensington Palace in central London to a cottage near Windsor Castle in 2022, emphasizing their desire to raise the children in relative privacy.