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How Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were told about Princess Kate's cancer diagnosis

The Princess of Wales released a heartfelt video statement for the public

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle leave after a service of thanksgiving for the reign of Queen Elizabeth II
Diane Shipley
Senior Online Writer
24 March 2024
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Royal watchers were saddened to hear that Princess Kate has been diagnosed with cancer, news that the royal revealed in a candid video shared on Friday evening. 

Kate's inner circle, including her family and the King and Queen, learned the news before it was made public. 

However, according to a new report in The Sunday Times, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were not informed

WATCH: Timeline of Princess Kate's surgery and health updates

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who quickly released a public message of support for their sister-in-law, are understood not to have spoken to Kate or William before Friday evening's bombshell, which comes after weeks of speculation over the Princess' health

The royals at the Queen's funeral in 2022© Getty
The royals at the Queen's funeral in 2022

Roya Nikkhah, the paper's royal editor, has been in contact with several sources who confirmed no private conversation between the estranged brothers took place and it is believed Harry and Meghan discovered the news at the same time as the general public. 

A Kensington Palace spokesman would only say: “We do not comment on private conversations.”

The Princess recorded the video message in Windsor on Wednesday and it was released on Friday to coincide with the start of her children's Easter holiday at Lambrook School. 

What did Kate say? 

As Kate explained in the short clip, she underwent major abdominal surgery in January, and that surgery was successful. At the time, it was thought that the condition was non-cancerous and no tests had confirmed the presence of cancer. 

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends the annual Irish Guards St Patrick's Day Parade at Cavalry Barracks on March 17, 2017© Getty
Princess Kate revealed her diagnosis on Friday

However, post-operative tests subsequently found that cancer had been present and she was thus started on a course of preventative chemotherapy. 

In her personal video message, the mother-of-three addressed her diagnosis, saying: "This of course came as a huge shock, and William and I have been doing everything we can to process and manage this privately for the sake of our young family. 

Kate and William were spotted together on Sunday, visiting a farm shop© Getty
Prince William is supporting his wife

"As you can imagine, this has taken time. It has taken me time to recover from major surgery in order to start my treatment. 

But, most importantly, it has taken us time to explain everything to George, Charlotte and Louis in a way that is appropriate for them, and to reassure them that I am going to be OK." 

Prince Georg, Prince William, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis and Kate stand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace following the Platinum Pageant on June 5, 2022 in London© Getty
The couple wanted to explain Kate's diagnosis to their children before telling the public

Kate added: "I am well and getting stronger every day by focusing on the things that will help me heal; in my mind, body and spirits. Having William by my side is a great source of comfort and reassurance too. 

As is the love, support and kindness that has been shown by so many of you. It means so much to us both." 

prince harry and prince william 100th anniversary of vimy ridge© Getty Images
Prince Harry and Prince William are no longer close

When were Prince William and Prince Harry last together? 

The Princes reunited to honour their late mother Princess Diana on Thursday as part of the Diana Legacy Award ceremony. However, while Prince William attended in person, Prince Harry joined the event by video, so the pair did not need to meet – or even speak. 

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex attend Christmas Day Church service on December 25, 2018© Getty
The couple attending Christmas Day service in 2018

The last time they were publicly seen together was following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, when Kate and Meghan joined their husbands for a walkabout to thank the public for their outpouring of kind messages. 

 Catherine, Princess of Wales, Prince William, Prince of Wales, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex meet members of the public on the long Walk at Windsor Castle on September 10, 2022 © Getty
The royal foursome put their differences aside in 2022

Like his brother and sister-in-law, Prince Harry attended King Charles' and Queen Camilla's coronation last May before leaving immediately afterwards to fly home to his family in California.

LISTEN: Our Right Royal Podcast discusses the Palace's PR crisis...

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