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Princess Of Wales Cancer Diagnosis: Will Trolls Delete Posts

After the Princess of Wales Reveals Her Cancer, Will Trolls Delete Their Posts?

After months of speculation on her whereabouts, ranging from the concerned to the downright outrageous, the Princess of Wales has announced she is in the early stages of treatment for cancer.

The news — which comes after rumours about everything from her marriage to her medical treatments flooded the internet with absolutely no credibility — left the nation and world shocked. The announcement came via a personal video on Friday evening. The format — a video, which saw Catherine (known as Kate Middleton to many) speaking directly to camera — was no doubt decided on for a myriad of reasons, but one of them must have been to try to stop the constant online trolling.

After everyone from A-list stars (including Kim Kardashian and Blake Lively) to your aunty posted their own theories on social media in the last few months, you have to wonder how people (normal people, not just trolls) will be feeling.

In the video, Princess Catherine said that after surgery in January, cancer had been found. And after recovering from the surgery, she has now started treatment.

"I wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you, personally, for all the wonderful messages of support and for your understanding whilst I have been recovering from surgery," she began. "It has been an incredibly tough couple of months for our entire family, but I've had a fantastic medical team who have taken great care of me, for which I am so grateful.

"In January, I underwent major abdominal surgery in London and at the time, it was thought that my condition was non-cancerous. The surgery was successful. However, tests after the operation found cancer had been present. My medical team therefore advised that I should undergo a course of preventative chemotherapy and I am now in the early stages of that treatment.

"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. 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.

"As I have said to them, 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.

"We hope that you will understand that, as a family, we now need some time, space, and privacy while I complete my treatment. My work has always brought me a deep sense of joy and I look forward to being back when I am able, but for now I must focus on making a full recovery.

"At this time, I am also thinking of all those whose lives have been affected by cancer. For everyone facing this disease, in whatever form, please do not lose faith or hope. You are not alone."

It was a gracious and moving statement from the Princess, who must be dealing with so much as it is. I could only think of putting myself in her position and how painful it must be, and wanting so much to have said to people: "This is what's going on, how do you feel about what you've been saying now?" She did not of course take that angle.

The desire to gossip and speculate is human enough, especially amongst friends and in private. And here in the UK, royal family members are of course huge figures. The news that both Princess Catherine and King Charles are undergoing cancer treatment in the same year is a big story of national interest. And no doubt there will be many a PR post-mortem to come in the halls of Kensington Palace — how that Mother's Day picture will now be viewed in history will be something only time will tell. Much of the commentary and conversation may have been understandable given all that. Some, though, always seemed out of line — and now will seem even more so. There's no doubt that "Where's Kate" got out of control.

It's not for any of us to be finger-wagging and holier than thou when it comes to talking about what's happened in recent months — there's probably few among us who can claim we've made no comment. But when comments so obviously went beyond the pale as the "drama" turned into conspiracy theories that became headline news, you have to believe some people will be settling into their Friday evenings, phone in hand, sheepishly logging into their social media accounts and hovering over the delete buttons with a lot to think about.

Rhiannon Evans is the interim content director at POPSUGAR UK. Rhiannon has been a journalist for 17 years, starting at local newspapers before moving to work for Heat magazine and Grazia. As a senior editor at Grazia, she helped launch parenting brand The Juggle, worked across brand partnerships, and launched the "Grazia Life Advice" podcast. An NCE-qualified journalist (yes, with a 120-words-per-minute shorthand), she has written for The Guardian, Vice and Refinery29.

Image Source: Kensington Palace
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