‘Turned a corner’: Kate’s rare cancer update

Someone alert the Westminster Abbey bell ringers! Wake up the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery and take them to a royal park with swift batons to fire the salute! Alert the Zara store on the King’s Road! Your best customer could be back at any moment!

Why all the exclamation marks? Why all the fuss? Why the need to terrify the squirrels in Green and Hyde Parks?

More than two months after Kate, Princess of Wales, announced she has cancer, we have an update and the news is… good (And people have been telling me there’s no point in grabbing crystals with one hand and typing with the other.)

Vanity Fair’s Katie Nicholl has the honor of being one of the royal correspondents who has real, good, well-connected sources, rather than just quoting something the second cousin of a Kensington Palace chambermaid told a barman at her local Chelsea bar. And Nicholl is the bearer of today’s update.

More specifically, there are three words in her latest piece that are like a gift for royal fans, royal watchers, and anyone who enjoys looking at photos of princesses posing for selfies in machine-washable fabrics.

According to Nicholls’ source, Kate has “turned things around.”

“It’s a huge relief that she’s tolerating the medication and is actually doing much better,” a friend of Kate’s family told Vanity Fair.

“It was obviously a very challenging and worrying time. Everyone rallied around her – William, her parents and her sister and brother.”

Currently, that rally is taking place at Anmer Hall on the Sandringham estate, the ten-bedroom property the late Queen gave to Kate and Prince William for their 2011 wedding because she couldn’t find anything in her price range on the Homebase gift list.

With school closed for the half-term break last week, the Wales family, including children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, reportedly headed to Norfolk and decided to “get out of Windsor” for the duration of the half-term break.

Her family probably lives in the guest wing and is on hand for some post-Super Charades cheer. The gang were once rather caustically nicknamed the “En Masse Middletons” due to their penchant for going everywhere together. (I think that’s pretty sweet of them.)

It was the princess’s relatives, rather than the Wales’ long-standing close circle of friends, that Kate “leaned on” and “confided in” during her health crisis, a friend of the prince and princess told Tom Sykes of The Daily Beast.

The friend told the Beast: “The circle of trust is small. She was surrounded by Carole and Michael, and (sister) Pippa and (brother) James were obviously there for her too. They are an incredibly close family and Catherine can absolutely rely on them. They have been there for her for decades and have never let her down.”

Still, despite all this wonderful, exciting news, let us keep our expectations in check.

That Kate has “turned things around” is wonderful and will come as a huge relief to the manufacturers of the purple or lime green polyester blazers she’s now buying, as she remains stuck in her business casual phase. But that doesn’t mean the Princess of Wales will be back to making public appearances for Crown Inc. anytime soon.

The princess is in no rush to return to work, according to Nicholl, as she is completely focused on her recovery. A well-informed source told her: “There is no timetable and there is certainly no rush. It will happen when Catherine feels ready and when she gets the green light from her medical team. But she will 100 percent return to work, there is no doubt about that.”

At this point, a plaintive, worldwide cry goes up: “Whennnnnnnnnnn?” When exactly could that “100 percent” turn from a tantalizing possibility into a surefire bet?

2024 has been a difficult time – in every way imaginable. This year had the unfortunate honour of being the year we had to involuntarily impose an extreme hunger strike on the Princess of Wales, first due to her scheduled abdominal surgery and then after she was diagnosed with this malignant cancer.

What makes the resumption of normal Kate operations even more urgent from Buckingham and Kensington Palace’s perspective is that the first few months of this year have seen social media churn out crazy, strange and downright disgusting rumors and conspiracy theories about the 42-year-old’s health and exact whereabouts. (The only bright spot? I finally have a reason to use the word “crazy” professionally.)

Nicholls’ report on Wednesday suggests that Kate is slowly emerging from this PR disaster.

However, we are still miles away from a return to anything resembling normality.

In a few weeks, while the rest of the royal family puts on their hats for Trooping the Colour and prepares to wave the Defcon Five flag, the Princess will probably be at home in Windsor reading Colleen Hoover, getting inspiration on Pinterest to redesign her linen closet, or firing her air rifle in the direction of Prince Andrew’s royal box.

Earlier this week, a royal source told The Beast’s Sykes: “Kate’s diary for this year is empty. There is nothing planned. She may not appear in public for the rest of the year.”

Nevertheless, the signs are extremely positive. The princess “should occasionally drive her children to school,” reports Sykes.

“There were rumors that she had dropped her children off, but I haven’t seen her since the video,” a parent at the Waleses’ Lambrook school told him. “We are all very protective of her. Ask anyone at the school – they are great parents.”

So stay tuned, listen for the Abbey bells and keep an eye out for the London squirrels. Good things are coming.

Daniela Elser is a royal writer, editor and commentator with over 15 years’ experience working with a number of leading Australian media titles.

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