Kate and William 'enormously touched' by public support after cancer diagnosis

Members of the public and celebrities have shared their best wishes for the Princess of Wales following her shock announcement, as ITV News Correspondent Ian Woods reports

The Prince and Princess of Wales say they are "enormously touched" by the outpouring of support they have received after Kate revealed she is undergoing treatment for cancer.

Messages for the Princess have flooded in during the past 24 hours, following her announcement on Friday that, after successful abdominal surgery in January, doctors discovered cancer had been present.

On Saturday, a Kensington Palace spokesperson said: "The Prince and Princess are both enormously touched by the kind messages from people here in the UK, across the Commonwealth and around the world in response to Her Royal Highness’ message.

"They are extremely moved by the public's warmth and support and are grateful for the understanding of their request for privacy at this time."

King Charles had earlier made a public announcement saying he is "so proud of Catherine for her courage in speaking as she did".

Following their time in hospital together, the King has "remained in the closest contact with his beloved daughter-in-law throughout the past weeks," Buckingham Palace said in a statement.

ITV News Reporter Helen Keenan heard from members of the public in Windsor who wanted to express their best wishes to the Princess of Wales

The King and Queen said they "will continue to offer their love and support to the whole family through this difficult time".

Buckingham Palace said: "His Majesty is 'so proud of Catherine for her courage in speaking as she did'.

"Following their time in hospital together, HM has remained in the closest contact with his beloved daughter-in-law throughout the past weeks.

"Both Their Majesties ‘will continue to offer their love and support to the whole family through this difficult time."

The Prince and Princess of Wales, along with their children: Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, will not attend next weekend's traditional Easter church service, at Windsor Castle, as Kate's recovery takes priority.

But ITV News understands that the King will try to attend the service, if his doctors allow it.

Kate's brother, James Middleton, meanwhile, posted a photo of the pair as children donning backpacks on Instagram, accompanied with the words: "Over the years, we have climbed many mountains together. As a family, we will climb this one with you too".

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex also released a short statement in response to the news.

"We wish health and healing for Kate and the family, and hope they are able to do so privately and in peace," Harry and Meghan said via a spokesperson.

On Friday evening, hashtags including "WeLoveYouCatherine" and "GetWellSoonCatherine" were trending on X, the same website which played host to much of the fevered speculation earlier in the week, while celebrities, cancer survivors and medics all sent messages of support.

Political and religious leaders

Messages of support for the Princess have been flooding in following the announcement.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was also among the first to react to the news.

"My thoughts are with the Princess of Wales, Prince William, all of the Royal Family and in particular her three children at this difficult time.

"The Princess of Wales will have the love and support of the whole of the country as she continues her recovery.

"She has shown tremendous bravery with her statement today. In recent weeks she has been subjected to intense scrutiny and has been unfairly treated by certain sections of the media around the world and on social media.

"When it comes to matters of health, like everyone else, she must be afforded the privacy to focus on her treatment and be with her loving family. I know I speak for the whole country in wishing her a full and speedy recovery and look forward to seeing her back in action when she’s ready."

Keir Starmer MP, Leader of the Labour Party, said: “On behalf of the whole Labour Party, I want to send my very best wishes to Her Royal Highness at this distressing time.

“Any cancer diagnosis is shocking. But I can only imagine the added stress of receiving that news amid the lurid speculation we’ve seen in recent weeks.

First Minister of Scotland Humza Yousaf wrote: "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."

Their Royal Highnesses are entitled to privacy and, like any parents, will have waited to choose the right moment to tell their children.“

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said his prayers are with the Royal family "at this tremendously difficult time".

"I take this opportunity to praise her for her spirit of optimism in the face of such difficult news, and am pleased to hear that she is feeling stronger every day. Her bravery in sharing in this way and her continued commitment to supporting others speaks to her compassion and sense of service."

French President Emmanuel Macron has said the Princess of Wales’ “strength and resilience inspire us all”.

“In this difficult period you are going through, Brigitte and I wish you a full recovery," he wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said his thoughts are with the Princess of Wales following the news of her cancer diagnosis, which was “so courageously shared”.

Mr Trudeau wrote on X: “My thoughts are with the Princess of Wales, her children, and the entire Royal Family following the news of her cancer so courageously shared.

“On behalf of Canadians, I’m sending my support as she undergoes treatment. We’re all wishing her a swift recovery.”

US President Joe Biden wrote: "Jill and I join millions around the world in praying for your full recovery, Princess Kate."

NHS leaders and Kate's charities

The head of the NHS has said she is sorry to hear the “shocking news” of the Princess of Wales’ cancer diagnosis and has praised her bravery.

NHS chief executive, Amanda Pritchard, said “speaking out about it is really brave” and could help other people in a similar situation.

Ms Pritchard said in a statement: “On behalf of the NHS, I’m really sorry to hear this shocking news.

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

She also said that anybody who is worried about cancer should visit the NHS website.

Sarika Patel, chairwoman of trustees at Action for Children, of which the Princess of Wales is patron, said staff were sending their “very best wishes” to Kate.

She said: “The Princess of Wales is an amazing patron for Action for Children, always engaging with the children, young people and families she meets at our services.

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

“Our staff join me in sending our very best wishes to her and her family and wish her a full recovery.”

On Saturday the East Anglia's Children's Hospices, of which Kate is a patron, said in a statement: "Affording the time, space and privacy she and her family needs, and with the huge empathy and total compassion she has shown to so many children and families at EACH, we are all thinking of her and wish her a full and speedy recovery."

Entertainers, celebrities and sportspeople

Presenter Amanda Holden wrote on Instagram: "Wishing the Princess of Wales a speedy recovery and pray this announcement satisfies the blood thirsty mob who really need to shut up and leave her alone."

ITV chat show presenter Lorraine Kelly added: "Sending love – brave woman. Shame on all of the trolls who were vile to her."

Scottish hip-hop group Young Fathers’ Teenage Cancer Trust gig at the Royal Albert Hall on Friday was “even more significant” in light of the Princess of Wales’ cancer diagnosis, said the evening’s host Laura Whitmore.

Former Love Island host Whitmore, 38, told the crowd: “It’s something that no matter who you are, you’ll either be affected yourself or you’ll know someone who’s been affected.

“For us here at the Teenage Cancer Trust, seven young people today will have been told the words ‘You have cancer’.”

She added: “Every young person facing cancer feels scared, not just for them but for their families as well.”

England football manager Gareth Southgate sent his best to Kate and her family. Credit: PA

In a statement on X, Kate's uncle Gary Goldsmith, who recently appeared on Celebrity Big Brother 2024, said: "I hope this draws a line over the continued speculation and horrible conspiracies. Let's give Kate, William & the children time and show some love back."

He said he was "deeply upset" by the timing of a recent interview with The Times magazine in which he talked about his relationship with Kate and the royal family.

"As many will have seen, I am featured in Saturday's 'Times Magazine'. This interview and shoot was done over a week ago and went to print before I was aware of the sad news regarding my niece Kate," he said.

In a press conference on Friday, England football manager Gareth Southgate said: "We just wanted to send our thoughts and best wishes to her and all her family.

"Remarkably dignified statement that she gave and we obviously have a very close relationship with the family, so very upset to hear the news but hope everything goes well.”

Posting on X, the Football Association, of which Prince William is president, said: “Our thoughts are with the Princess of Wales, the Prince of Wales and their family. We send our very best wishes to the Princess for a full recovery.”

Meanwhile former Love Island contestant Dr Alex, now a TV doctor campaigning on mental health issues who hosted a panel discussion with William and Kate last year, was among those wishing Kate a “speedy recovery”.

In a statement posted on Instagram, he said: “The Princess of Wales left a real impression on me when we met for World Mental Health Day.

“I have met so many people who talk about mental health over the years, I have come to learn who talks the talk, and who walks the walk. The Princess is a stomper. A real good egg."

Fellow Love Island star Zara McDermott, who worked alongside Kate last year as part of the royal’s Shaping Us campaign – highlighting the importance of early years development, said: “Sending HRH Princess of Wales so much strength and love during this time."

“What an incredible woman she is; I know how it feels to be one of those young children and having your parents try to explain to you what is wrong with mummy through cancer diagnosis and treatment. Your strength is inspiring," she added.

Strictly Come Dancing star Amy Dowden said the news from Kate had “personally hit me hard”, after she was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer and received chemotherapy treatment.

“Thinking so much about our Princess, Cancer doesn’t discriminate,” she said on Instagram. "There’s no textbook, right or wrong way to deal with a diagnosis and treatment. It’s personal and I really hope all can #bekind and support our Princess.

“I was lucky enough to meet The Princess of Wales during my treatment who was so kind, supportive and generous of time. Sending all my well wishes with treatment ahead and as always to all those affected by cancer.”

TV star and musician Myleene Klass, who has had encounters with different members of the royal family over the years through her music and campaigning efforts, also sent well-wishes to Kate.

She wrote: “What an incredibly brave statement to personally make at such a vulnerable, frightening time for her and her family. Wishing you all love."

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know…