(This post was co-written by Lainey and Sarah, tagged as “Lainey” because we do not have a co-tag ability yet on the website layout.) 

Late this morning, we were alerted to rumblings from London that the royal family would be issuing a statement, maybe to do with Princess Kate. Now, officially, it has been confirmed: Kate Middleton has cancer, and is undergoing chemotherapy. Kate issued a video message about her diagnosis and treatment, filmed in Windsor on Wednesday:

It is encouraging that Kate seems optimistic about her recovery. She says that she is getting better, she uses the words, “I am well” and “I’m going to be OK” when talking about how she and Prince William prioritised telling their children about her condition. 


Earlier this week in our coverage of the Kate situation after she’d been seen at the farmer’s market  and the confusing way it was handled, we (Lainey) said that it would appear that she is fine. This, obviously, is not the case, and of course now it is everyone’s hope that she’s on her way to being fine and that all the media chaos of the last few weeks will come to an end.

Which is what it was supposed to be when they first announced she would be out for months, back in January, after abdominal surgery. And this is why we weren’t posting about it. We started posting about it in late February when the work, the communications strategy around Kate and William became its own story. So we will focus here, again, on the work. And this is the best work Kensington Palace, and their comms team, has done during this crisis. 


The garden setting is an especially nice touch. Kate has always positioned herself as a country girl at heart, most at home in her country estate with her children. Family portraits are often taken outside, in nature. And contrasting her diagnosis with the image of flowers in bloom is promising, a symbol of rebirth. All the way through, this is good work. And it sets her up comfortably for her message, which was probably not easy to perform. 

The message is short, just over two minutes, but the information is all there – not overly revealing but still personal and not panicky. That is key for the British royal family, and it’s what the late Queen Elizabeth II was known for: steadiness, especially under pressure. This family is supposed to be the symbol for a nation and one of their most powerful products is stability. Kate was able to deliver on this with her video.


Again, this is good work, some of the best work, after a streak of not very good work. 

As we have said here at LaineyGossip and at The Squawk, we were not focused on her specific medical condition, nobody needed to see her medical chart. Kate is owed privacy especially around her health, and yet she is also a public figure, the senior member of a very public institution, which set a good example concurrently with their most senior member. King Charles announced he had cancer around the same time as Kate’s announcement about abdominal surgery but provided no other details. Because none are needed—cancer is common enough, and scary enough, for people to grasp the scope of what he’s dealing with. One little bit of transparency was enough to buy him the privacy he needs right now.


Kensington Palace did not follow the same course. We know now that the children were a factor in what and when Kate and William could share. But as time went on, the public discourse began to change but their strategy didn’t. And then the Mother’s Day photo happened… 

Which Kate ended up apologising for. We (Lainey) described that as throwing her under the bus and we know now that amidst all the wild speculation and the wondering about where she was and why the photo was edited, she was going through chemotherapy. 

Yes, as we have covered, the internet and social media were out of control but the decision to even release that photo and then have Kate take responsibility for it afterwards did not fall on TikTok. The KP comms team made that confounding call which has, in part, led us to this moment today and Kate finally stepping in, herself, to issue a clarification. Buckingham Palace has released a statement on behalf of King Charles. Per PEOPLE

“A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said that King Charles is "so proud of Catherine for her courage in speaking as she did."

King Charles and Princess Kate were both hospitalized at The London Clinic in January, and the monarch has "remained in the closest contact with his beloved daughter-in-law throughout the past weeks."

Both King Charles and Queen Camilla "will continue to offer their love and support to the whole family through this difficult time."


Which, now, should end it. Should… but will it? The conspiracy theorists on social media are beyond saving but what about the British media, the tabloids? We study media here at LaineyGossip and we can explore this more in the days to come but in the immediate aftermath of Kate’s revelation, the usual suspects are already generating content about their usual targets and how they might be blamed for Kate’s diagnosis, while claiming that the princess’s privacy is paramount. You can’t respect her privacy when you’re creating storylines using her health condition in order to villainise others, unless the villain is cancer itself. 

At the end of her message, Kate extended a warm hand to the community of cancer patients and survivors she’s now, unfortunately, joined. This should be the biggest takeaway for everyone: that it is a disease that affects everyone, even royals. So let’s end today’s post there. 

Health is important and annual checkups are part of good health, so everyone get screened, mammogrammed, prostate-poked, colonoscopied, whatever it takes. Take care of yourself! 

We're talking about this on The Squawk. (app link here)