Prayers for Princess of Wales after cancer diagnosis

(Photo: Kensington Palace)

Prayers are being said for the Princess of Wales after she revealed on Friday that she is undergoing treatment for cancer. 

Catherine released a poignant video message to the nation in which she said that it had been an "incredibly tough couple of months" but that she was "well and getting stronger every day". 

The 42 year old said that tests after abdominal surgery in January had detected cancer and that she was in the "early stages" of a course of preventative chemotherapy. 

Aside from the treatment, which started in February, she said her priority at the moment was her family.

"William and I have been doing everything we can to process and manage this privately for the sake of our young family," she said, adding, "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."

She asked for "some time, space and privacy" as the family deal with her diagnosis but thanked people for their support.

"Having William by my side is a great source of comfort and reassurance too," she said. 

"As is the love, support and kindness that has been shown by so many of you. It means so much to us both."

She also took a moment to say she was thinking of all people affected by cancer and encouraged them not to lose faith or hope. 

"You are not alone," she said. 

King Charles III, who is also being treated for cancer, said he was "so proud of Catherine for her courage" in speaking out about it.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said his prayers were with the princess and her family "at this tremendously difficult time".

"I join the whole country, and the world, in praying for her full recovery," he said.

"I take this opportunity to praise her for her spirit of optimism in the face of such difficult news, and am pleased to hear that she is feeling stronger every day. Her bravery in sharing in this way and her continued commitment to supporting others speaks to her compassion and sense of service.

"Please join with me in praying for the Royal Family as they deal with this private matter and I would urge people to respect their privacy at this time."

The Church of England has released a special prayer to be used in praying for the princess. 

"Gracious God,
 we pray for the continued recovery of the Princess of Wales,
 for her husband, and for their family.
 Grant to them,
 and to all who are affected by sickness,
 faith, hope, and the knowledge of your love,
 through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Archbishop Angaelos, the Coptic Orthodox Archbishop of London, said on X, formerly Twitter, "Prayers for the Princess of Wales and her whole family following her incredibly moving and emotional yet courageous video message."

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, praised her courage and said she was a source of encouragement for others experiencing ill-health.

"I salute the courage of the Princess of Wales in speaking so openly about her personal health. Not only does she give encouragement to all who carry the burden of ill health, but she also speaks so movingly of the importance of her family life," he said. 

The Dean of Westminster, Dr David Hoyle, said: "In the face of this news, it is our hope that Her Royal Highness will feel sustained by the love that surrounds her and find renewed hope in the prayers that we offer."

Marcus Walker, leader of the Save the Parish campaign, joined others in condemning the media and social media frenzy about Catherine's health and whereabouts in the last few months. 

"Many people who have been hounding the Princess of Wales over these last few weeks should take some time to ask how they became the people that would do that to a person they already knew to be recovering from an illness," he said. 

The Association of English Cathedrals said prayers will be offered up for the princess in all its cathedrals.