Princess Kate Middleton’s news of her cancer diagnosis shocked much of the world, but even some of her close friends weren’t aware of her condition until she made her announcement on March 22.

“The circle of knowledge was very tight,” a former palace aide told People in an article published on Wednesday, March 27.

Another close source added that Kate’s announcement was a “heck of a shock.”

Kate, 42, received an outpouring of support from around the world after news of her diagnosis spread. She and husband Prince William thanked the public for their support on March 23.

“The Prince and Princess are both enormously touched by the kind messages from people here in the U.K., across the Commonwealth and around the world in response to Her Royal Highness’ message,” the statement obtained by Us Weekly read. “They are extremely moved by the public’s warmth and support and are grateful for the understanding of their request for privacy at this time.”

While Kate’s announcement didn’t include the specific type of cancer she had been diagnosed with, she did reveal that she’s receiving “preventative chemotherapy” and she’s in the “early stages” of that treatment.

Kate Middleton Didn’t Reveal Cancer News to Friends
Samir Hussein / Getty Images

“In January, I underwent major abdominal surgery in London and at the time, it was thought that my condition was non-cancerous. The surgery was successful. However, tests after the operation found cancer had been present,” the princess said. “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.”

The news of the Princess of Wales’ cancer diagnosis came as conspiracy theories about her whereabouts reached a fever pitch after she underwent an abdominal procedure in January. Kate had been widely absent from the public eye since December 2023 when she was seen at a Christmas Service with Prince William, 41, and their three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. ​

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