For the royal family, the news of a cancer diagnosis for Catherine, Princess of Wales, was another heavy blow, sidelining one of its most visible figures at a time when its ranks were already depleted.

In addition to King Charles III, who has canceled public appearances to undergo his own cancer treatment, the family has been adjusting to the loss of Queen Elizabeth II, who died in 2022; the departure of Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan; and the exile of Prince Andrew, disgraced by his association with the convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

Harry and Meghan issued a statement saying they wished “health and healing for Kate and the family, and hope they are able to do so privately and in peace.”

Since Harry and Meghan, who are known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, withdrew from royal duties in 2020 and left Britain for Southern California, Harry has been estranged from his father, Charles, and his brother, Prince William. He visited his father briefly after Buckingham Palace announced the king’s cancer diagnosis in February.

The palace said on Friday that Charles was “so proud of Catherine for her courage in speaking as she did.” Noting that the king had visited her when they were both being treated in a London hospital, the palace said Charles “has remained in the closest contact with his beloved daughter-in-law throughout the past weeks.”

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