Kate’s treatment ongoing after diagnosis marked difficult year for royal family

The Princess of Wales has said she continues to receive treatment for cancer after her health announcement in March marked the latest blow to the royal family over the past year, including the King also being diagnosed with the disease.

Kate appealed for time, space and privacy for her family when she made the shock health announcement, but she said in a statement on Friday that she will attend the King’s Birthday Parade on Saturday and hopes to join a few public engagements over the summer.

She was initially admitted to hospital for abdominal surgery on January 16 and at the time her condition was thought to be non-cancerous, but cancer was found after a successful operation.

The King looks at get well cards
Charles has been diagnosed with a form of cancer (Jonathan Brady/PA)

The princess wrote a letter to the Irish Guards to apologise for not being able to take the salute and wish them luck for The Colonel’s Review in London last Saturday.

The Prince of Wales gave a positive update about his wife’s treatment during a visit to the Isles of Scilly in May, saying “she’s doing well” when asked by a hospital administrator.

William spent a number of weeks with Kate and their children during the Easter holidays before returning to public work in mid-April.

Charles was admitted to hospital just days after Kate, also for a procedure deemed unrelated to cancer.

In February, Buckingham Palace confirmed that he had been diagnosed with a form of cancer, which is not prostate cancer, that was discovered while the King was being treated at the private London Clinic for an enlarged prostate.

In wishing the monarch a full recovery, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said thankfully the cancer had been “caught early”.

The King speaking to a D-Day veteran
The King spoke to D-Day veterans following the UK national commemorative event (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Charles initially postponed public-facing duties but resumed at the end of April, speaking of his “shock” at being diagnosed with cancer as he met patients on a visit to University College Hospital Macmillan Cancer Centre in central London.

His appearance at a D-Day event in Portsmouth last week was his first public speech and most high-profile appearance since his cancer diagnosis.

The Queen provided an update on her husband’s health at the Queen’s Reading Room Literary Festival at Hampton Court Palace in Surrey last Saturday, telling author Lee Child the King is “doing fine” but “won’t slow down and won’t do what he’s told”.

Sarah, Duchess of York announced a medical procedure at the beginning of 2024, when she revealed a diagnosis of malignant melanoma, a form of skin cancer.

It was her second cancer diagnosis within a year, having been diagnosed with breast cancer the summer before, which led to her undergoing a mastectomy and subsequent reconstructive surgery.

She had discovered an early form of breast cancer during a routine mammogram screening.

“Naturally another cancer diagnosis has been a shock, but I’m in good spirits and grateful for the many messages of love and support,” Sarah said on Instagram.

Sarah, Duchess of York
Sarah, Duchess of York revealed a diagnosis of malignant melanoma (Chris Jackson/PA)

Princess Beatrice shared an update on her mother’s health on This Morning in May when she said the duchess was “all clear” and “doing really well”.

In late February, tragedy befell Prince Michael of Kent’s family when Thomas Kingston, the husband of Prince Michael’s daughter, Lady Gabriella Windsor, died from a “catastrophic head injury” with a gun found close to his body.

For many years, it was the estrangement of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex that dominated discourse around the royal family after the pair stepped down as working royals in 2020.

Having relocated to Montecito, California, Harry has returned to the UK infrequently but did so after the King’s cancer diagnosis.

Though the duke only conducted a whirlwind 45-minute meeting with his father, Harry suggested that the King’s cancer diagnosis could lead to a reconciliation with the family.

Asked by a US breakfast show if the diagnosis could have a “reunifying effect”, the duke replied: “Yeah, I am sure.”

In May, a spokesperson for Harry said he “hopes” to see his father “soon” after the King’s “full programme” meant a reunion was not possible during the duke’s UK trip to celebrate his Invictus Games.