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What's next for Kate Middleton, Prince William and their kids after cancer diagnosis

Kate shared publicly that she has begun undergoing chemotherapy.

March 26, 2024, 11:21 AM

As Kate, the Princess of Wales, undergoes treatment for cancer after revealing her diagnosis publicly last week, the public is learning more details about the impact of that diagnosis and the support she is receiving.

Kate, 42, is understood to have had lunch privately with her father-in-law, King Charles III, last Thursday, the day before Kensington Palace released a video of Kate sharing a personally written message announcing her cancer diagnosis.

In January, Kate and Charles, 75, overlapped in hospital stays at the London Clinic, where Kate underwent abdominal surgery and Charles underwent a procedure to treat an enlarged prostate. In the days and weeks after their respective procedures, both Kate and Charles were diagnosed with cancer.

Neither of the royals has shared the type of cancer with which they were diagnosed, but both are currently undergoing treatment.

Kate said in her video message that she had started preventative chemotherapy, while Charles has also started "a schedule of regular treatments," according to Buckingham Palace, which has not said what type of treatment Charles is receiving.

Charles has mostly stepped back from his public duties during his treatment but has made a few public appearances, including on Tuesday, when he met with community faith leaders at Buckingham Palace.

PHOTO: Britain's King Charles III sits alongside Vijaya Nath during an audience with community faith leaders from across the UK, in the Billiard Room at Buckingham Palace, March 26, 2024, in London.
Britain's King Charles III sits alongside Vijaya Nath during an audience with community faith leaders from across the UK, in the Billiard Room at Buckingham Palace, March 26, 2024, in London.
Jonathan Brady/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Kate asked for privacy for her family in her message announcing her diagnosis, and Kensington Palace has said only that she will return to public duties once she is medically cleared to do so.

Kate, her husband Prince William and their three children, Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5, are believed to be spending time at Anmer Hall, their country estate in Norfolk, England.

While Charles and his wife Queen Camilla will join members of the royal family Sunday for their traditional Easter service at St. George's Chapel, William, Kate and their children will not attend.

Prior to Kate's announcement of her cancer diagnosis, royal watchers had suspected that Kate could make her return to public duties at the Easter service. The princess's last royal engagement was on Christmas Day, when she joined family members walking to church in Sandringham.

PHOTO: Catherine, Princess of Wales, Prince Louis of Wales, Princess Charlotte of Wales, Prince William, Prince of Wales and Prince George of Wales process out of The "Together At Christmas" Carol Service at Westminster Abbey, Dec. 8, 2023, in London.
Catherine, Princess of Wales, Prince Louis of Wales, Princess Charlotte of Wales, Prince William, Prince of Wales and Prince George of Wales process out of The "Together At Christmas" Carol Service at Westminster Abbey, Dec. 8, 2023, in London.
Chris Jackson/Getty Images, FILE

William is expected to return to public duties later in April, once George, Charlotte and Louis return to school from Easter break. Palace officials made clear Friday that updates will not be forthcoming on Kate, telling reporters, "Kensington Palace will provide information, when the time is right, and The Princess is able to restart work and her duties. In the meantime, we would ask that the family's privacy is respected."

Even amid her absence from the public eye though, Kate is making an impact.

Macmillan Cancer Support, a U.K.-based nonprofit organization, said Monday that following the release of Kate's video message, visits to its website reached record levels.

"Following Friday's news, there were close to 100,000 visits to Macmillan's information and support pages by the end of Sunday -- a 10% increase on the same period last year and the highest for a weekend period since at least March 2020, the same month the first national COVID lockdown was announced in the U.K.," the charity wrote in a blog post, noting there was also a spike in website visits after Charles' diagnosis. "With more than 1,000 people being diagnosed with cancer each day in the U.K. -- on average one person every 90 seconds -- the charity is pleased that those who may be worried about cancer are seeking support."

NHS England, the national health agency in the U.K., also reported a spike in online interest after Kate's diagnosis. According to the agency, visits to the cancer-focused page on its website rose by 375% after Kate's announcement.

"Receiving a cancer diagnosis can be very daunting -- it turns your life upside down and speaking about it can be really difficult for people -- the Princess of Wales bravely speaking out about her diagnosis will help others to do the same," Peter Johnson, NHS England's national clinical director for cancer, said in a statement. "Thanks to this, we have seen a spike in people visiting vital information on our website about signs and symptoms -- there is no doubt that talking about cancer saves lives if it encourages people to come forward sooner if things aren't right."

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