Princess Kate Middleton dropped a bombshell about her health, announcing that she is battling cancer after undergoing a planned abdominal surgery in January. 

“My medical team therefore advised that I should undergo a course of preventative chemotherapy and I am now in early stages of that treatment,” Kate, 42, said via a video shared via X on Friday, March 22. “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 [the kids] in a way that is appropriate for them and to reassure them that I’m going to be OK.”

The princess – who shares children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis with husband Prince William – went on to say that the Prince of Wales has been a “great source of comfort.”

“I am well and getting stronger every day by focusing on the things that will help me heal in my mind, body and spirits,” she continued. “We hope that you’ll understand that as a family we now need some time, space and privacy while I complete my treatment. My work has always brought me a deep sense of joy and I look forward to being back when I am able. But for now, I must focus on make a full recovery.”

Kate Middleton Is Battling Cancer: Princess Shares Video Announcement

The devastating news comes amid major drama within the royal family and days after rumors began circulating that the British news organization was on “standby” for a major royal announcement. Social media was abuzz over reports that Union Jack – the national flag of the United Kingdom – was flying at half mast at several government buildings. 

Rumors surrounding Kate’s supposed disappearance have been swirling for months following her January planned medical procedure. The palace shared in the days following her abdominal surgery that the princess was making “good progress” in her recovery, however Kate has not made any public announcements about her health. 

Speculation about Kate’s whereabouts continued after the mother of three shared a photo via social media with her kids in honor of Mother’s Day. 

“Thank you for your kind wishes and continued support over the last two months,” the Princess of Wales captioned the image on March 10. “Wishing everyone a Happy Mother’s Day.” The post was signed “C,” short for her full first name, Catherine, also noting that the photo was taken by her husband. However, after it was determined that the image had been “manipulated,” several news and photo agencies received a “kill notification” to take down the photo. 

The princess later addressed the public’s concerns, writing via X, “Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing. I wanted to express my apologies for any confusion the family photograph we shared yesterday caused. I hope everyone celebrating had a very happy Mother’s Day. C.”

Kate’s marriage to Prince William has also been called into question in recent months, with rumors of an affair between the prince and Kate’s former friend Rose Hanbury running wild. 

“Kate taking her wedding ring off [in a recent family photo] just intensified all the drama surrounding their marriage and the rumors of William’s affair with Rose,” a source exclusively told In Touch. “You can’t blame her for being at her wits end with the rumors about Rose and William completely haunting her. It’s hurtful, especially because she’s still recovering from major surgery.”

In addition to chatter about the princess’ health and marriage, the royal family has been dealing with King Charles’ health after his cancer diagnosis.

“I would like to express my most heartfelt thanks for the many messages of support and good wishes I have received in recent days. As all those who have been affected by cancer will know, such kind thoughts are the greatest comfort and encouragement,” a February 10 statement from the King read. 

Just one day after Kate’s abdominal procedure, King Charles underwent a scheduled surgery to treat his enlarged prostate. It was later announced that during that procedure “a separate issue of concern was noted.”

“Subsequent diagnostic tests have identified a form of cancer,” Buckingham Palace announced in a statement on February 5, adding that His Majesty was already undergoing chemotherapy. 

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