All About Princess Kate’s Cancer Diagnosis

Catherine, the Princess of Wales, is staying strong as she undergoes treatment for cancer.

The royal revealed the news of her diagnosis in a video statement on March 22, months after undergoing planned abdominal surgery. “It has been an incredibly tough couple of months for our entire family, but I’ve had a fantastic medical team who’ve taken great care of me, for which I am so grateful,” she began.

Kate explained that when she had surgery, doctors believed her condition was noncancerous, and that while “the surgery was successful,” testing afterward found evidence of cancer.

See her full video statement here:

The video marked the first time Kate spoke publicly about her condition. In January, Kensington Palace told Harper’s Bazaar it would release information about the princess’s health only when necessary. Bazaar also learned, in February, from a source close to the situation, that Kate was in good spirits and “making good progress.”

Below, everything we know about the Princess of Wales’s condition, from her treatment plan, to her current state and more.

What kind of cancer does Kate have?

The princess has not revealed what type of cancer she has, but simply that it was found after she underwent abdominal surgery in January.

What treatment is she getting?

Kate is undergoing preventative chemotherapy, and has been since February, Bazaar learned.

A Kensington Palace spokesman said: “The princess is now on a recovery pathway having commenced a course of preventative chemotherapy in late February.”

Kate explained in her video message that because, following her surgery, doctors found that there had been cancer cells in her body, her medical team “advised that I should undergo a course of preventative chemotherapy, and I am now in the early stages of that treatment.”

What is preventative chemotherapy?

While chemotherapy is “a drug treatment that uses powerful chemicals to kill fast-growing cells in your body,” per the Mayo Clinic, Kate seems to be undergoing something called “chemoprevention,” which, according to the National Cancer Institute, is “the use of certain drugs or other substances to help lower a person’s risk of developing cancer or keep it from coming back.”

How is Kate feeling?

Kate said in March that while her diagnosis “came as a huge shock,” she and William and 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’m going to be okay,” she said.

All in all, however, Kate said she is doing okay.

“As I’ve said to [the children], I am well, and getting stronger every day by focusing on the things that will help me heal, in my mind, body, and spirits. Having William by my side is a great source of comfort and reassurance, too, as is the love, support, and kindness that has been shown by so many of you. It means so much to us both.”

A palace source also told Bazaar in March that Kate “is in good spirits and is focused on making a full recovery.” She will be back to work as soon as she’s able, they added. As for William, he “will continue to balance supporting his wife and family and maintaining his official duties as he has done since the start of the year.”

In May, William told a well-wisher that Kate is “doing well,” all things considered.

On June 14, Kensington Palace released a new letter penned by Kate, who gave a rare glimpse into her chemotherapy treatment and recovery—though she still refrained from specifying what type of cancer she is battling.

“I am making good progress, but as anyone going through chemotherapy will know, there are good days and bad days. On those bad days you feel weak, tired, and you have to give in to your body resting. But on the good days, when you feel stronger, you want to make the most of feeling well,” she wrote. “My treatment is ongoing and will be for a few more months. On the days I feel well enough, it is a joy to engage with school life, spend personal time on the things that give me energy and positivity, as well as starting to do a little work from home.”

Where has she been?

While the princess is, understandably, lying low right now and spending time at home with her family, she was seen out running errands with William and their kids this May in England. Prior to that outing, her last public sighting came in mid-March, when she and William were filmed leaving a farm shop near their Windsor residence.

Kate’s last official royal engagement was in December, when she joined the royal family for the traditional walk to Christmas morning service on the Sandringham estate, prior to her diagnosis.

When will she return to work?

Kate seems to be rethinking her role within the royal family amid her cancer diagnosis. An insider told Us Weekly in June that the princess “may never come back in the role that people saw her in before.”

The source added that she is “reevaluating what she’s going to be able to take on when she comes back.”

Will she be okay?

According to Kate, her medical team suggested chemotherapy treatment as a purely preventative measure, as the surgery to address the issue with her abdomen was successful. Therefore, she expects to make a full recovery soon.

“We hope that you’ll understand that, as a family, we now need some time, space, and privacy while I complete my treatment,” Kate said. “My work has always brought me a deep sense of joy, and I look forward to being back when I’m able.”

A palace source also confirmed to Bazaar that we won’t see Kate and the family at next weekend’s Easter Sunday service. They said: “The princess will return to official duties when she is cleared to do so by her medical team. She is in good spirits and is focused on making a full recovery.” For his part, William “will continue to balance supporting his wife and family and maintaining his official duties as he has done since the start of the year.”

King Charles is also privately battling cancer, and reportedly in good spirits. A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said in a statement to Bazaar in March: “His Majesty is ‘so proud of Catherine for her courage in speaking as she did.’ Following their time in hospital together, HM 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,’ ” the spokesperson added.

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Rosa Sanchez is the senior news editor at Harper’s Bazaar, working on news as it relates to entertainment, fashion, and culture. Previously, she was a news editor at ABC News and, prior to that, a managing editor of celebrity news at American Media. She has also written features for Rolling Stone, Teen Vogue, Forbes, and The Hollywood Reporter, among other outlets.