The Duchess of York has said she is in “shock” after being diagnosed with a malignant melanoma less than a year after undergoing surgery for breast cancer, but added that she remains in “good spirits”.
Sarah Ferguson, the mother of princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, said she was taking some time for herself after being diagnosed with skin cancer, following her treatment for breast cancer last summer.
She broke her silence for the first time since the news emerged in a post on Instagram, where she thanked her medical team and confirmed that she was now resting at home with her family.
The duchess’s cancer diagnosis is just the latest health scare to hit the royal family in recent days. The Princess of Wales is in hospital recuperating after undergoing successful abdominal surgery last week.
She was visited by her husband Prince William at The London Clinic after the planned procedure, which was said to be a routine one.
Meanwhile, the King revealed he would go into hospital this week for treatment for an enlarged prostate. His condition was described as “benign”.
During a visit to Swindon on Monday, Queen Camilla told a member of the public that Charles is “fine” as he prepares to undergo treatment.
Jessie Jackson, 86, from Swindon, said that she shook the Queen’s hand and asked her how Charles was doing.
Camilla thanked her for asking and said he was “fine”. Both senior royals have cancelled upcoming public appearances and commitments so they can recuperate.
The Duke of York’s ex-wife shared a photo of herself smiling and dressed in a vivid red warm winter coat while leaning on a small bridge over a river, apparently in Austria.
The duchess, 64, who underwent a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery last year, recuperated at the Mayrlife Clinic in Austria after being treated in London.
She said: “I have been taking some time to myself as I have been diagnosed with malignant melanoma, a form of skin cancer, my second cancer diagnosis within a year after I was diagnosed with breast cancer this summer and underwent a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery.
“It was thanks to the great vigilance of my dermatologist that the melanoma was detected when it was.
“Naturally another cancer diagnosis has been a shock but I’m in good spirits and grateful for the many messages of love and support.”
The duchess also praised the medics who cared for her, adding: “I believe my experience underlines the importance of checking the size, shape, colour and texture and emergence of new moles that can be a sign of melanoma and urge anyone who is reading this to be diligent.
“I am resting with family at home now, feeling blessed to have their love and support.” A spokesman said on Sunday that she was undergoing further investigations to ensure the disease had been caught in the early stages.
The duchess joined the other senior royals for the annual Christmas get-together at Sandringham in Norfolk in December, a sign she was back in the royal fold.
Since her divorce from Prince Andrew in 1996, she has forged a new career as a successful author. She remains close to her former husband and they still share a family home in Windsor.
Additional reporting by agencies