Kate Middleton Makes Rare Statement With Prince William Amid Cancer Battle: ‘Incredibly Sad’

Princess Kate Middleton made a rare statement alongside her husband, Prince William, amid her time away from the public eye due to her cancer battle.

The Princess and Prince of Wales released a statement via X on Saturday, May 25, following the news that Royal Air Force Pilot Mark Long died in a spitfire crash. The crash happened during a Battle of Britain event, where the pilot was maneuvering a World War II-era plane.

“Incredibly sad to hear of the news this afternoon from RAF Coningsby,” Kate and William wrote via their verified account. “Our thoughts this evening are with the pilot’s loved ones, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, and the wider RAF family.”

The couple signed off the rare message with “W&C” for Will and Catherine.

One day later, RAF Group Captain Robbie Lees, Commander Display Air Wing, released an official statement confirming Squadron Leader Mark Long had died in the accident.

“Mark was a Typhoon pilot here at RAF Coningsby and for the last four years, he has been a pilot with the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight,” the statement read on the RAF website on Sunday, May 26. “A great friend, colleague, and a passionate, professional aviator he will be sorely missed by all that knew him.”

The RAF Group Captain confirmed an “investigation into the cause of the tragic event has begun” and said he would not be offering any comments on the accident until it had concluded.

Will and Kate have a bond with the Royal Air Force, with William previously flying as an RAF Search and Rescue pilot from 2010 to 2013. In a more recent development, it was announced in August 2023 that William assumed the role of Royal Honorary Air Commodore of RAF Valley, while Kate was appointed as Royal Honorary Air Commodore of RAF Coningsby.

The rare statement comes as Kate spends out of the public eye following the announcement of her cancer diagnosis in March. The mom of three went public with the shocking news after being absent from the limelight following a planned abdominal surgery in January.

“In January, I underwent major abdominal surgery in London and at the time, it was thought that my condition was non-cancerous,” she shared in a video announcement on March 22. “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.”

After months of no news on Kate’s condition, Kensington Palace shared a rare update regarding the princess’s health and her anticipated return to her royal duties on May 21.

“The princess is not expected to return to work until it’s cleared by her medical team,” a spokesperson said, per BBC.