As Kate announces her cancer treatment, a look at recent events that have fueled the rumors

LONDON – On Friday, Kate, Princess of Wales, said she is receiving chemotherapy for cancer, an announcement that comes amid what has so far not been a good year for the British royals.

First came the headlines about the “royal health shock” when palace officials announced that King Charles III and Kate had health problems. The lack of information about Kate’s health and whereabouts fueled an increasingly frenetic rumor mill that made its way from the fringes of social media to front pages around the world.

Distrust in the monarchy only intensified after Kate admitted she edited an official family photo, and palace officials have struggled to regain control of the narrative as speculation and conspiracy theories persist.

Here is a timeline of recent events related to the royal family:

December 25, 2023: Kate attends the Christmas service at Sandringham, the royal estate on the east coast of England, alongside Prince William, their children and other members of the royal family. This is the princess’s last public appearance.

January 16, 2024: Kate, 42, is admitted to the London Clinic and undergoes abdominal surgery. The news is not announced until the next day.

January 17: Kensington Palace reveals Kate is recovering from a planned operation. Authorities say her condition is not related to cancer, but they did not specify what surgery she had, only saying it was successful. They say she will remain in the private hospital for 10 to 14 days and she will be out of public view until after Easter.

Buckingham Palace announces on the same day that King Charles will be treated for a benign enlarged prostate.

January 21st: Prince Andrew’s ex-wife Sarah, Duchess of York, says she has malignant melanoma, a form of skin cancer.

26 of January: King Charles is admitted to a London hospital for a three-day stay for prostate treatment.

January 29: Kate and Charles are discharged from the hospital. Charles is pictured leaving the hospital with Camilla and greeting his supporters. Kate is not shown leaving the hospital, but authorities say she is “making good progress” and will continue her recovery at home.

February 5th: Buckingham Palace announces that Charles has cancer and will receive treatment. Officials did not say what type of cancer the king has.

February 7th: Prince Harry arrives in the UK from California to visit his father. He leaves the next day.

February 27: William pulls out of a memorial service for his godfather, the late King Constantine of Greece, at the last minute, due to a “personal matter.” The palace declined to give further details but said Kate continues to do well.

Later that day, Buckingham Palace reports that Thomas Kingston, son-in-law of Prince Michael of Kent, has died at the age of 45. Prince Michael is the cousin of the late Queen Elizabeth II.

March 1: An investigation reveals that Thomas Kingston died from a “traumatic head injury” on February 25. A gun was found near his body at his parents’ house.

March 4: A photo is reportedly circulating on social media showing Kate traveling in a car with her mother Carole Middleton in Windsor. It is published in some international media, but not in any of the British newspapers.

6th of March: People magazine quotes a royal spokesperson as saying that William “focuses on his work and not on social media.”

March 10th: Kensington Palace publishes a photo of Kate surrounded by her three children to commemorate Mother’s Day in Great Britain. The photo, the first official since the princess had surgery, was retracted hours later by The Associated Press and other news agencies over fears it had been digitally manipulated.

March 11th: Amid a new round of speculation about her health sparked by the edited family photo, Kate is apologizing on social media for the “confusion” caused. She says that she “occasionally experiments with editing,” like many amateur photographers.

March 16: The Sun newspaper publishes a video purportedly showing Kate, smiling and relaxed, shopping with William at a farm shop near her home in Windsor.

March 20: The Information Commissioner’s Office says it is investigating a report that at least one London Clinic staff member attempted to spy on Kate’s medical records while she was a patient at the hospital.

March 22: In a video speech, Kate announces that she is receiving cancer treatment, including preventive chemotherapy. She says that she is fine and every day she is getting stronger, but that she needs to focus on her recovery.

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