King praises Princess of Wales’s bravery after she shares cancer diagnosis

The King said he was proud of his daughter-in-law for speaking publicly
The King said he was proud of his daughter-in-law for speaking publicly - Royal Household/PA
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The King has revealed his pride in the Princess of Wales, his daughter-in-law, after she spoke publicly about her cancer diagnosis.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said that His Majesty, who is also undergoing cancer treatment, was “so proud of Catherine for her courage in speaking as she did”.

The spokesman added that the King had “remained in the closest contact with his beloved daughter-in-law throughout the past weeks”.

The King and the Princess are understood to have been supporting each other ever since they were treated at the same London hospital together in January. At the time, neither realised that they had cancer.

The palace said that both the King and the Queen “will continue to offer their love and support to the whole family through this difficult time”.

The King’s warm tribute was echoed by hundreds of others, from world leaders to health professionals and members of the public.

Joe Biden, the US president, was “incredibly sad to hear of the news”, his official spokesman said. Jill Biden said: “You are brave, and we love you.”

“We just heard, obviously, all of us just heard the terrible news,” Karine Jean-Pierre said at the White House’s daily press briefing. “I think it’s important that we respect their privacy, especially at this time, so I’m not going to go further than that.”

Emmanuel Macron, the French president, said the Princess of Wales’s “strength and resilience inspires us all”. In a post on X, formerly Twitter, Mr Macron added: “Your Highness. In this difficult period you are going through, Brigitte and I wish you a full recovery.”

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex sent wishes of “health and healing” to the Princess. The couple said in a statement: “We wish health and healing for Kate and the family, and hope they are able to do so privately and in peace.”

A spokesman for the Sussexes has not confirmed when the couple learnt news of Prince Harry’s sister-in-law’s diagnosis.

The statement used the popular version of the Princess’s name of “Kate”, rather than the “Catherine” used by the Waleses and the palace in their public statements.

Prince Harry is thought to have last seen the Princess at the Coronation of his father.

The Waleses and Sussexes are not known to have spent significant time together since Prince Harry and Meghan left the UK.

Leaders share support

At home, leaders of all political parties were united in their messages of love and support.

Rishi Sunak, the Prime Minister, commended the Princess’s bravery in speaking out, while Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, said she was in the nation’s thoughts and prayers, adding that he was heartened by her “message of faith and hope”.

Ed Davey, the Liberal Democrat Leader, said his thoughts and prayers were with the Princess as he expressed hope that the Royal family would be given space and privacy.

Liz Truss, the former prime minister, said the “entire country” would be wishing the Princess a speedy recovery.

Meanwhile, Amanda Pritchard, the NHS chief executive, said that the Princess “speaking out” about her diagnosis was “really brave” and could help others in a similar situation.

“On behalf of the NHS, I’m really sorry to hear this shocking news,” she said.

The King and Princess of Wales pictured in 2021
The King said he was "so proud" of his daughter in law - Chris Jackson/2021 Getty Images

“Our thoughts are with the Princess of Wales and the Royal family, especially while her treatment continues.

“We know how difficult a diagnosis and treatment journey can be for patients and their families.

“Speaking out about it is really brave and it can help others to get worrying signs and symptoms checked. If you’re worried about cancer, the NHS website has more information.”

Former prime minister Boris Johnson wished the Princess “all possible strength” and a “full and rapid recovery”.

Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf said: “I’m deeply saddened to hear the news about the Princess of Wales/Duchess of Rothesay. I am praying for her swift recovery.

“It must be an incredibly difficult time for the whole family. Royalty or otherwise, she has a right to privacy, which I hope will be respected.”

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle sent well wishes on behalf of the House and said the Princess’s candour would make a difference to others facing their own battle against cancer.

He said in a statement: “The Princess of Wales has been incredibly brave in revealing her cancer diagnosis and I am sure her candour will make such a difference to all those facing this dreadful disease.

“On behalf of the House of Commons, I would like to send my best wishes to Catherine and her family and hope she will be back to full health very soon.”

The Queen and King pictured with the Prince and Princess of Wales
The Queen and King pictured with the Prince and Princess of Wales - Chris Jackson

SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn said: “We all know the suffering and distress that a cancer diagnosis brings to individuals, their families and friends.

“I wish Kate well in her battle, and have no doubt that her words will be of comfort and support to others facing their own.”

Shadow foreign secretary David Lammy said: “Incredibly moved by the bravery of Her Royal Highness.

“At this extremely difficult time, her message to others affected by cancer will mean so much to so many.

“Wishing The Princess of Wales, and the whole Royal Family, the very best in recovery.

“May all respect their privacy.”

Stormont’s leaders, Michelle O’Neill and Emma Little-Pengelly, both sent messages of support on social media shortly after the Princess revealed the news in an emotional video message.

Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris said his thoughts and prayers were with the Princess of Wales and her family.

‘Praying for her full recovery’

Sarika Patel, the chairman of trustees at Action for Children, of which the Princess is a patron, said staff sent their “very best wishes” to the Princess.

“We want her to know we are thinking of her at this very challenging time and send her our love and support,” she said.

Michelle Mitchell, the chief executive of Cancer Research UK, said it was important that the Princess was given the time and space to focus on her treatment.

“Nearly one in two of us will develop cancer during our lifetimes, but many more are affected when someone they love is diagnosed with cancer,” she said.

“Thanks to research there is hope: cancer survival has doubled in the last 50 years.

“High-profile cancer cases often act as a prompt to encourage people to find out more or think about their own health. If people spot something that’s not normal for them or isn’t going away, they should check with their GP. It probably won’t be cancer. But if it is, spotting it at an early stage means treatment is more likely to be successful.”

The Archbishop of Canterbury hailed the Princess’s “spirit of optimism” as he said: “I join the whole country, and the world, in praying for her full recovery.”

He added: “Her bravery in sharing in this way and her continued commitment to supporting others speaks to her compassion and sense of service.

“Please join with me in praying for the Royal family as they deal with this private matter and I would urge people to respect their privacy at this time.”

The Church of England also released “A prayer for HRH The Princess of Wales” in which hope was made for “her continued recovery” along with support for her family and “all who are affected by sickness”.

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