Sunday, March 24, 2024

Princess of Wales (Kate Middleton) diagnosed with cancer, following royals with similar ills

Catherine, Princess of Wales, formerly known as Kate Middleton, said in a personal, emotional video message last week that she has cancer, though she didn't say what form or stage.

In a story by Karla Adam, Bryan Pietsch, and Jennifer Hassan in editions of The Washington Post a few days ago, she also disclosed that she was in the early stages of chemotherapy and "was getting stronger every day."

Catherine, Princess of Wales
The 42-year-old princess said the news came as "a huge shock" and that her husband, William, and she "have been doing everything we can to process and manage this privately for the sake of our young family," the article states.

Kate's disclosure adds another casualty to the British royal cancer cavalcade. In February, Buckingham Palace announced that King Charles III had cancer, again disclosing neither the form nor stage. The month before, Sarah Ferguson, ex-wife of Prince Andrew, said she'd been diagnosed with malignant melanoma, a form of skin cancer.

Another story, by Jill Lawless of the Associated Press, notes that "the ranks of working royals have been thinned, making the monarchy's future suddenly look fragile." It cites Prince Harry being in California, estranged from his brother, while Prince Andrew "is in disgrace over his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein and faced allegations of sexual abuse."

The most visible royal now, that article says, is 76-year-old Queen Camilla, Charles' second wife (the first being the nationally beloved Diana, who was killed in a car crash).

The triple-bylined Post story indicates that the princess explained that "after she underwent major abdominal surgery in January, she thought that her condition was noncancerous [but] tests after the operation found that cancer had been present."

Her elaboration was the result of multiple conspiracy theories that had been proliferating in British media.

Kate also was quoted as saying that "as you can imagine…it has taken me time to recover from major surgery in order to start my treatment. But most important, it has taken us time to explain everything to George, Charlotte, and Louis [their three kids] in a way that is appropriate for them and to reassure them that I will be okay."

In the United Kingdom, according to the National Health Service, 50% of people will develop some form of cancer in their lifetime, with the most common forms being breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, and bowel cancer. 

More about unexpected diagnoses can be found in Rollercoaster: How a man can survive his partner's breast cancer, a VitalityPress book that I, Woody Weingarten, aimed at male caregivers.      

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