March 23, 2024 | National & World News
Fr. Stephen Van Lal Than

Britain’s Prince George, Prince Louis, and Princess Charlotte, accompanied by their parents Prince William and Catherine, Princess of Wales, are pictured in a Sept. 7, 2022, photo. Anglican Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury has praised the “compassion and sense of service” of Britain’s Princess of Wales after she revealed March 22, 2024, that she is undergoing treatment for cancer. (OSV News photo/Jonathan Brady, pool via Reuters)

Prayers, well-wishes pour out as Kate, the Princess of Wales, reveals she has cancer


(OSV News) — Anglican Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury has praised the “compassion and sense of service” of Britain’s Princess of Wales after she revealed that she is undergoing treatment for cancer.

In a video message posted on her social media channels March 22, Kate, the mother of three, described her diagnosis as a “huge shock” and said that she and husband Prince William “have been doing everything we can to process and manage this privately for the sake of our young family.”

In a post on X, formerly Twitter, Archbishop Welby, who is the head of the Church of England, said his prayers are with the entire family. “I take this opportunity to praise her for her spirit of optimism in the face of such difficult news, and am pleased to hear that she is feeling stronger every day.”

“Her bravery in sharing in this way and her continued commitment to supporting others speaks to her compassion and sense of service,” the archbishop said.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster added in his social media post: “I salute the courage of the Princess of Wales in speaking so openly about her personal health.

“Not only does she give encouragement to all who carry the burden of ill health, but she also speaks so movingly of the importance of her family life,” the cardinal said.

Bishop Stephen Wright of the Catholic Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle said in a post on X, acknowledged Kate’s message “with prayers for the Princess of Wales, her family and for all who are suffering with cancer.”

The royal couple have been subject to intense media scrutiny, particularly in the tabloid press, given that the last time Kate appeared at an official function was to attend church for Christmas Day.

Speculation intensified when the royal family issued a photograph of her with her three children to mark Mother’s Day on March 10 that news agencies later withdrew due to an assessment the picture had been altered. The princess later issued a statement, describing herself as a keen amateur photographer, saying that she had edited the photograph.

Earlier in the week, Archbishop Welby urged more privacy for the princess.

He described the conspiracy theories as “old-fashioned village gossip” and said people who have health concerns should be allowed “to live their lives in peace.”

Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh, Northern Ireland, told OSV News that he is “praying for the gifts of healing, courage and serenity for Princess Catherine, Prince William and their children.”

“A diagnosis of cancer is a life changing moment for anyone, with all the uncertainty and worry it brings — and all the more so for a young mother,” he said. “Please keep them and all those living with cancer in your prayers these days.”

In the newest video message, the 42-year-old royal said: “I am well and getting stronger every day.”

Details of the cancer have not been disclosed, but the royal family said it is confident the princess will make a full recovery.

The princess’s statement says that when she had abdominal surgery in January, it was not known that there was any cancer.

“However tests after the operation found cancer had been present. My medical team therefore advised that I should undergo a course of preventive chemotherapy and I am now in the early stages of that treatment,” she revealed.

The Princess of Wales added: “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.”

She said the family now needs “some time, space and privacy.”

Her video comes less than two months after Buckingham Palace revealed that King Charles III, 75, is undergoing treatment for cancer. Speaking in Belfast March 21, Queen Camilla told well-wishers that her husband is “doing very well.”

Princess Kate concluded her message saying her thoughts were with everyone affected by cancer. “For everyone facing this disease, in whatever form, please do not lose faith or hope. You are not alone.”

Within minutes of the future queen’s announcement, the official X account of the Church of England posted a prayer for her health. OSV News has reached out to church leaders for reaction.

Responding to the news, Macmillan Cancer Support, one of Britain’s biggest charities working with people with cancer and their families took to X to post: “We hear from people all over the country, every day going through the experience the princess has described, and our thoughts are also with His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales and their children.”

“Many families will be sending solidarity to them,” Macmillan said.

Michael Kelly writes for OSV News from Dublin.

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