A montage of the front pages of some of Britain's newspapers in London, on Saturday, March 23, 2024. Britain's Kate, Princess of Wales' revelation that she is undergoing treatment for cancer has sparked an outpouring of support and well wishes from around the world. Image Credit: AP

London: Kate, Britain's Princess of Wales, was praised on Saturday for her "extraordinary dignity", as the shock announcement of her cancer diagnosis triggered an outpouring of support from well wishers.

The news dominated British newspaper front pages on Saturday, with supportive messages combined with criticism of those who had speculated about her health in recent weeks.

Kate said on Friday she was undergoing preventative chemotherapy after tests done after she had major abdominal surgery in January revealed that cancer had been present.

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Kate, Princess of Wales
Kate, Princess of Wales, appears in this still image from a handout video released March 22, 2024, in which she announced that she is undergoing preventative chemotherapy after cancer was found to have been present, following her abdominal surgery in January. Image Credit: REUTERS

The 42-year-old wife of heir to the throne Prince William, called the cancer discovery a "huge shock". The news comes as a fresh health blow to the British royal family: King Charles is also undergoing treatment for cancer.

"Seeing the extraordinary dignity which Kate has shown, and her trying to hold together the royal family, I hope that now what the media will do is to give her and her family the privacy and respect that they deserve," solicitor Simon Davis, 64, said outside Kensington Palace park.

Kate made her statement via a video message, which was filmed at Windsor on Wednesday.

"It's good that she said what's going on because I think it helps a lot of people that experience that," said Sarah Macdonald-Brown, a 50-year old art gallery owner.

"It's great that she came out and made a public statement so that people know she's doing okay, and what's going on. And I think we're all just sending well wishes, especially for her young children." One of the most personal messages of support came from Kate's brother, James Middleton.

He posted a childhood photo of him and his sister on Instagram and wrote: "Over the years, we have climbed many mountains together. As a family we will climb this one with you too."

Front pages

"KATE, YOU ARE NOT ALONE," splashed The Sun tabloid, saying she received a "huge outpouring of love and support", while rival the Daily Mirror went with "KATE REVEALS CANCER SHOCK" and shared her remarks about how she had to explain the news to her children Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5.

The Daily Telegraph quoted the princess as saying: "Cancer came as huge shock", but noted she said she is "going to be OK".

The Daily Mail rounded on people who have speculated on her health, asking: "How do all those vile online trolls feel now?" Rumours and gossip on social media, in newspapers and even some US talk shows had abounded since Kate's January surgery, although her Kensington Palace office had announced at the time that she would be absent from royal engagements while she recovered.

On Friday, messages of support poured in for Kate, including from King Charles, Prince Harry, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and US President Joe Biden.

Sunak said Kate had "shown tremendous bravery" with her statement, adding she "has been unfairly treated by certain sections of the media around the world and on social media".

A big news internationally

Kate's diagnosis was also big news internationally.

"Catherine's Cancer Diagnosis Puts UK Royals on Even More Uncertain Terrain," said the New York Times, noting that the grave health concerns of both the king and Kate are stretching an already slimmed down monarchy.

Charles, who took the throne in September 2022 after the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth, underwent a corrective procedure for an enlarged prostate at the same hospital as Kate in January.

Buckingham Palace then revealed in February that the 75-year-old king was to have treatment for cancer, meaning he has had to postpone his public royal duties.