Kate cancer diagnosis rewrites story of past weeks

Kate cancer diagnosis rewrites story of past weeks

The video announcement from the Princess of Wales, unprecedented in its own way, is a poignant reminder of how badly she’s needed by the monarchy.

She’s been their dash of glamour in a greying royal world. And on a park bench in jumper and jeans, she’s sent a moving message about her cancer that will connect with many families that have faced similar moments.

She’s really been missed on the royal stage. They’ll want her back.

The palace will also fervently hope that the shift towards a greater openness about her health will be the point at which the speculation about her stops.

The conspiracy theories about her whereabouts fed on an information vacuum, but now there’s a much clearer account of what’s happened since her operation in January.

The outburst of rumour-mongering has been a bruising time for Catherine and Prince William – and the disclosure about her cancer diagnosis rewrites what’s happened in the past few weeks.

It all looks very different in retrospect. That creaking is the sound of a lot of necks being wound back in.

Her chemotherapy began in late February – and now we know the discovery of her cancer was the reason behind Prince William’s last-minute absence from his godfather’s memorial service.

Watch: The full video message from the Princess of Wales

Those other moments of frenzied social media speculation – the edited Mother’s Day photo and the video of the couple out shopping, with the claims of a body double – all came after Catherine was undergoing chemotherapy.

The palace is calling for privacy and wants to draw a line under the media storm of recent weeks.

It seems like a very long time ago that there was talk of a need for a slimmed down monarchy.

Chris Jackson Kate and CharlesChris Jackson
Both Catherine and King Charles are out of action for royal duties

With King Charles also undergoing cancer treatment it means there are now very depleted ranks of senior royals.

Catherine and Prince William are now not expected to appear with the Royal Family on Easter Sunday, and there won’t be any early return to official duties for the princess.

And next week’s Maundy Thursday service, a fixture in the royal calendar, will see Queen Camilla standing in for King Charles.

She has been leading the line for the royals for the past few months, increasingly carrying out trips on her own that would once have been responsibility of her husband.

Trooping the Colour in June will now be a case of “to be confirmed” in terms of who will attend.

And international trips, such as connecting with the Commonwealth, seem very much on hold.

Prince William has kept up his projects such as Earthshot and Homewards, but is likely to limit his travels, in his bid to stay close to home and to protect some kind of normal family life.

But this video is a reminder of why they’ll want to see Catherine back and fully recovered. There’s a disarming straightforwardness to this conversation on a bench, spring flowers in the background. It was almost the opposite of edited.

She gave a sobering message but with a positive expectation of getting well and recovering soon.

It could be many of us. As she said in her message, she was thinking of the many families who have been affected by cancer.

Those families will know that finding a loved one has cancer makes you stop and take stock and put other things in perspective.

“For everyone facing this disease, in whatever form, please do not lose faith or hope,” Catherine said. “You are not alone.”

courtesy BBC