Kate and William need time and space to heal, says former royal spokesperson

  • By Joshua Cheatham
  • BBC News

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Following Catherine's cancer diagnosis, the couple were said to be “overwhelmed” by the public support

Following Catherine's cancer diagnosis, people should give the Prince and Princess of Wales “time to heal”, a former royal spokesman has said.

And King Charles, who is being treated for cancer, was “very resilient”, Paddy Harverson said.

He added that the royal family “with this sticky patch, I think we will get back to normal”.

Catherine said on Friday that she had started treatment after speculation about her health.

He said the cancer was diagnosed after a stomach surgery.

Details about the cancer have not been released, but Kensington Palace said it was confident the princess would make a full recovery.

Both were treated at the same time at the London Clinic private hospital.

Speaking to the BBC's Laura Kuensberg program on Sunday, William and Catherine's former official spokesman, Mr Harverson, said he did not believe the royal family was “very weak due to recent illnesses”.

Asked how Kensington Palace handled the situation, he said: “It's not just an institution, it's a family, you have to deal with individuals and family members like anyone else,” he said.

“You have to give them space, so when there's communication… you have to remember that they're human too and you have to follow their lead to a certain extent,” he added.

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WATCH: Princess of Wales' full video message

The couple faced intense public speculation about Catherine's health in January, when she underwent surgery in January.

Catherine, 42, has not attended any official events since Christmas.

A photo of her and her children, which was posted on Mother's Day, caused a stir on social media due to the discrepancies in the picture.

In a statement, Catherine later apologized for the “confusion” caused by the photo, adding that “like many amateur photographers, I occasionally experiment with editing.”

Mr Harverson said he had “no problem” with how the royal family had handled Kate's diagnosis and criticized the “perpetual death loop” of speculation on social media.

“She wanted the film to be as good as possible and she apologized for it, so everyone should have moved on,” he said. “I think we need to give them time and space.”

“They will get through this,” he added. “I am sure that the king, whom I know well, is incredibly strong, very determined, a great spiritual person.”

Victoria Newton, editor of The Sun, told the BBC that Catherine decided to announce her cancer two weeks ago on the last day of her children's school term.

“Her priority is to protect her three children. She doesn't want them to be asked more than they already are,” said Ms. Newton, a Sunday guest with the Laura Kuensberg Program.

Days after publishing a video of Kate and William at a farm shop in Windsor, The Sun has called for “social media trolls, silly conspiracy theorists and sniping media critics” to “fire Kate”.

Ms Newton defended her decision to release the video.

“Changing the narrative is very important,” Ms Newton told the BBC. “A lot of other media started saying 'back of the gate'”.

He said he had been in touch with Kensington Palace before the release and was assured that “we will have no problem running those films”.

Separately, a Kensington Palace spokesman said the Prince and Princess of Wales were “deeply touched” by the good news they had received and were “grateful for your understanding of their request for privacy at this time”.

The couple have already said they will not be attending Easter Sunday services this year. It is unclear whether King Charles will take his family to church.

Buckingham Palace say they are “hopeful” he will be able to join his family by the end of next week.

The King has said he is “very proud” of his “beloved daughter-in-law” and that he and Camilla are in “close contact” with her.

The BBC understands William and Catherine, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, have reached out to him since his diagnosis.

you can Watch the BBC News special On BBC iPlayer, now about how the Princess of Wales revealed her cancer diagnosis in a video message to the nation – 'Kate's Cancer Diagnosis'.

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