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Kate, Princess of Wales, says she has 'taken time' to explain cancer diagnosis to her three children after 'huge shock'

The Princess of Wales said she and Prince William have been doing everything they can to "process and manage this privately for the sake of our young family" after revealing she is receiving cancer treatment.

The future queen added it has "taken time" to explain her diagnosis to her children George, Charlotte and Louis in a way that is "appropriate for them, and to reassure them that I am going to be OK".

Kate shared news of her treatment in a video message on Friday and revealed she is undergoing preventative chemotherapy.

The statement follows weeks of global social media speculation and conspiracy theories about her whereabouts after she had not been seen on official engagements since last December.

The 42-year-old had planned abdominal surgery in January but was then not seen again publicly again until early March when she was photographed by celebrity news site TMZ.

In a message shared from her official X account on Friday, Kate said of her diagnosis: "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.

"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.

"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."

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The princess added that her husband has been a "great source of comfort and reassurance" during her ordeal, and said she hopes the public understands her family now need "time, space and privacy while I complete my treatment".

Kate also said that at the time of her abdominal surgery it was thought her condition was non-cancerous.

"The surgery was successful. However, 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 added.

The princess also thanked the public for all "the wonderful messages of support and for your understanding whilst I have been recovering from surgery", adding that it has been an "incredibly tough couple of months for our entire family".

"I've had a fantastic medical team who have taken great care of me, for which I am so grateful," she continued.

Kate ended her statement by saying she is "thinking of all those whose lives have been affected by cancer".

She added: "For everyone facing this disease, in whatever form, please do not lose faith or hope. You are not alone."

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In the hours after Kate's announcement the King, Harry and Meghan were joined by world leaders and celebrities in sharing messages of support for the princess.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex said in a statement: "We wish health and healing for Kate and the family, and hope they are able to do so privately and in peace."

The King, who is also currently being treated for cancer, shared a message of support for his daughter-in-law, with Buckingham Palace saying: "His Majesty is so proud of Catherine for her courage in speaking as she did.

"Following their time in hospital together, His Majesty has remained in the closest contact with his beloved daughter-in-law throughout the past weeks.

"Both Their Majesties will continue to offer their love and support to the whole family through this difficult time."

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In a statement shared on X, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak wrote: "The Princess of Wales has the love and support of the whole country as she continues her recovery.

"She has shown tremendous bravery with her statement today... I know I speak for the whole country in wishing her a full and speedy recovery and look forward to seeing her back in action when she's ready."

Meanwhile US President Joe Biden said he and his wife Jill "join millions around the world in praying for your full recovery, Princess Kate".

It came as Oscar-winning actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, who is Welsh, shared a picture of the Princess of Wales on Instagram, writing: "Wales and the World is with you. HRH Princess of Wales. Love to you always."