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Kate Middleton Had to Overcome ‘Shy’ Nature to Make Cancer Announcement, Author Says

Opening up about her cancer diagnosis didn’t come easy to Princess Kate Middleton.

“She is inherently shy, and for her to do that took a lot,” royal biographer Sally Bedell Smith, who has penned bestselling books including Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life, told People of Kate, 42, on Wednesday, April 3.

The author went on to praise Kate’s “sincere, dignified, poised” and “forthright” delivery when she shared the health update via Instagram last month.

During her video announcement, Kate shared that when she underwent abdominal surgery in January, doctors discovered that cancer had been present.

Kate Middleton Had to Overcome ‘Shy’ Nature to Make Cancer Announcement, Author Says
Princess Kate Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images
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“My medical team therefore advised that I should undergo a course of preventative chemotherapy, and I’m now in the early stages of that treatment,” Kate explained. “[My husband Prince] William and I have been doing everything we can to process and manage this privately for the sake of our young family. As you can imagine, this has taken time. It has taken me time to recover from major surgery in order to start my treatment.”

Kate stressed during the video that she is “getting stronger every day” and said she has reassured her three children, Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5, that she is “going to be OK.”

The statement came after weeks of speculation about the princess’ health and whereabouts as she took a break from public duties. In addition to shedding light on her own medical situation, Kate voiced her support for others affected by cancer.

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“When she ended with ‘You are not alone,’ it rang a bell with something that [the late] Queen Elizabeth [II] would have said,” Bedell Smith said on Wednesday. “It was very similar to what Queen Elizabeth said during COVID when she said, ‘We are all in this together.'”

She added that there “was not a trace of self-pity” in Kate’s candid speech.

Kate Middleton Had to Overcome ‘Shy’ Nature to Make Cancer Announcement, Author Says
Princess Kate Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

“She was mindful there are very few people who read about that or watched that who [don’t] know someone who has cancer. She was mindful of that,” Bedell Smith said. “It was a way of reassuring people not only about her condition but helping them have courage.”

Kate “wrote every word” of the announcement, one of her friends told The Sunday Times last month.

“It allowed her to speak directly to the public who, overwhelmingly, have always been with her and her family and who don’t buy into the noise and gossip,” the friend shared. “It came together very quickly.”

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King Charles III was also diagnosed with cancer earlier this year. Buckingham Palace confirmed the news in February.

“During The King’s recent hospital procedure for benign prostate enlargement. Subsequent diagnostic tests have identified a form of cancer,” the statement read, noting that Charles, 75, felt “wholly positive” about his prognosis.

The king reacted to Kate announcing her own diagnosis in a statement to ABC last month.

“His Majesty is so proud of Catherine for her courage and speaking as she did. Following their time in hospital together, His Majesty has remained in the closest contact with his beloved daughter-in-law throughout the past weeks,” the statement read. “Both their Majesties will continue to offer their love and support to the whole family throughout this difficult time.”

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