White House offers British Princess Kate a message of support and 'wish her a full recovery' following surprise cancer announcement

 March 23, 2024

In a stunning Friday afternoon announcement, British Royal Kate Middleton, the Princess of Wales, revealed that she has been diagnosed with an unspecified form of cancer and is receiving chemotherapy treatment.

Just moments later, on the opposite side of the Atlantic Ocean, the White House offered up its prayers and best wishes for a speedy recovery for the princess, according to the Daily Mail.

The news came amid a flurry of speculation about Kate's health and wellbeing over the past two months while she has been out of the public eye since undergoing abdominal surgery in January.

"We wish her a full recovery"

During Friday's press briefing, the start of which was reportedly delayed until after Princess Kate's announcement was complete, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre addressed the matter before discussing anything else.

"So, I wanted to just start off at the -- at the top that we just heard -- obviously, all of us just heard the terrible news. Our thoughts are with the Duchess of Cambridge and her family members and friends during this incredibly difficult time. And certainly, we wish her a full recovery," Jean-Pierre said, using one of Kate's several royal titles.

"And I think it’s important that we respect their privacy, especially at this time, so I’m not going to go further -- further than that," she continued.

"I’ll just -- I will do one more thing before that, though. I know folks are going to ask if the President has spoken to her or the family. I can just say right now that we don’t have anything to share at this time," Jean-Pierre added. "But obviously, we -- we wish the Duchess of Cambridge a full recovery and we are incredibly sad to hear of the news."

No word on first lady outreach to princess or advance notice from British royals

A reporter asked Jean-Pierre if first lady Jill Biden would send a note to Princess Kate, but Jean-Pierre replied, "I don’t have anything to share at this time. We -- this news just broke, obviously. So, we are taking this in -- this terrible news -- as all of you are. And so, just don’t have anything to share."

"We want to make sure that we certainly respect their privacy at this incredibly difficult time -- not just for her but her family," she reiterated. "So, I’ll just -- just leave it there."

A reporter then asked if the White House had received a "heads up" from the British Royal Family, but the press secretary stated, "I would just say we learned just like all of you. And we want to be incredibly respectful to their privacy."

Princess Kate reveals cancer diagnosis

ABC News reported that Princess Kate announced Friday in a video message that she had been diagnosed with cancer and had already begun preventative chemotherapy treatment, and 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."

She noted that her "major abdominal surgery" in January, which at the time was said to be related to a "non-cancerous" condition, had been a success. "However, tests after the operation found cancer had been present. My medical team therefore advised that I should undergo a course of preventative chemotherapy and I am now in the early stages of that treatment."

The princess went on to discuss the process of informing her three young children of her diagnosis in an "appropriate" manner and stated, "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."

She further praised her husband, Prince William, for being "a great source of comfort and reassurance" to her and requested "some time, space and privacy while I complete my treatment." She also said she looked forward to returning to her duties once she'd fully recovered and urged others who've received similar cancer diagnoses to "please do not lose faith or hope. You are not alone."

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