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Kate Middleton Reveals Cancer Diagnosis in Emotional Video: ‘It Has Been an Incredibly Tough Couple of Months’

Amid questions about her whereabouts, Kate Middleton, the Princess of Wales, has confirmed she has undergone treatment for cancer in a health update Friday.

In an emotional video, Middleton said that while her condition was originally thought to be non-cancerous, cancer was found in her system following abdominal surgery and she is now in the “early stages” of preventative chemotherapy. She did not confirm the type of cancer.

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“It has been an incredibly tough couple of months for our entire family, but I’ve had a fantastic medical team who have taken great care of me, for which I am so grateful,” she said in the video, which was reportedly recorded in Windsor on Wednesday.

Middleton is married to Prince William, the heir to the British throne. King Charles III, William’s father, is also currently undergoing cancer treatment after he was diagnosed earlier this year.

Rumors have been swirling about Middleton’s absence since January, when it was announced that she had been admitted to the hospital for a “planned abdominal surgery.” Palace officials declined to disclose the reason for the surgery, but said Middleton would be staying in the hospital for two weeks and was unlikely to return to her public duties until after Easter.

In her video update, Middleton did not confirm when she would return to public duties, although Easter is now looking increasingly unlikely. “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 making a full recovery,” she said.

On the same day as Middleton’s surgery was revealed, it was separately announced that King Charles was undergoing a medical exam for an “enlarged prostate.” Just a few weeks later, Buckingham Palace revealed that King Charles had been diagnosed with cancer.

As March began, the public started to grow curious as to Middleton’s whereabouts. Though the first paparazzi photo of her post-op was leaked on March 4, it was grainy and did little to quash conspiracies. Then, on March 10 — Mother’s Day in the U.K. — a photo was posted to Middleton and Prince William’s official social media accounts of Middleton with their three children. Internet sleuths were quick to point out that the photo appeared to be doctored — and sure enough, four of the world’s biggest news agencies eventually issued kill notices for the photo citing “digital manipulation.”

The next day, Middleton issued an apology for the photo controversy, admitting that “like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing.” However, this did little to convince the public that all was well, and theories on Middleton’s whereabouts have continued to rage ever since.

Read the princess’s statement below:

“I wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you, personally, for all the wonderful messages of support and for your understanding whilst I have been recovering from surgery.

It has been an incredibly tough couple of months for our entire family, but I’ve had a fantastic medical team who have taken great care of me, for which I am so grateful.

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. 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.

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. 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.

We hope that you will 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 making a full recovery.

At this time, I am also thinking of all those whose lives have been affected by cancer. For everyone facing this disease, in whatever form, please do not lose faith or hope. You are not alone.”

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