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The Prince and Princess of Wales are said to be “extremely moved by the public’s warmth and support” following Catherine’s cancer diagnosis
By Daniela Relph, royal correspondent & Ali Abbas Ahmadi
BBC News

The Prince and Princess of Wales are “enormously touched by the kind messages” they have received following Catherine’s cancer diagnosis, a Kensington Palace spokesman has said.

Saturday’s statement also added they were “grateful” that the public understood their request for privacy.

Catherine revealed in a video message on Friday that she had begun treatment.

She received her diagnosis after tests carried out after abdominal surgery “found cancer had been present”.

A spokesperson from Kensington Palace 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.”

The statement is the last we will hear from the prince and princess for a while.

It is a message that is both a thank you and a polite warning – with the couple saying the public side of this diagnosis is over and they want to be left alone.

It is also an acknowledgement of the overwhelmingly positive response to Catherine’s video message.

Social media has been a place of such toxicity for the princess in recent weeks with the wild rumours and gossip about her condition.

Watch: The full video message from the Princess of Wales

At the time of writing, Catherine’s video message, posted on Instagram, had been liked almost five million times.

Their latest ‘thank you’ statement is the final chapter in this stage of the princess’s diagnosis and Kensington Palace would like it to draw a line under all the speculation.

The past few weeks have been tough for the royal couple, their children and the team around them who have been trying to dampen down the gossip and rumour – a task that proved impossible.

The statement recognises the global interest in the princess’s condition with a nod to the UK, the Commonwealth and the world.

But it is the last few words that are perhaps the most meaningful – it is a direct appeal for privacy as they try to escape the glare.

Prince George, Prince Charlotte and Prince Louis started their school Easter holiday on Friday.

They don’t return to school until April 17 and we don’t expect to see or hear from the family during the break.

They have made it very clear that this is family time that they will protect fiercely.

The central element of any royal Easter is the church service on Easter Sunday, which is usually a strong gathering of royals at St George’s Chapel in Windsor.

Prince William and Catherine have already said they will not attend the service this year, but we may see the King lead the family to church.

Buckingham Palace say they are “hopeful” he will be able to join the family next weekend.

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