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Marie Claire
Marie Claire
Rachel Burchfield

King Charles Had a “Very Emotional” Private Lunch with Princess Kate the Day Before She Announced Her Cancer Diagnosis to the World

King Charles and Kate Middleton.

Last Thursday, March 21—one day before the Princess of Wales announced via video message that she is battling cancer—King Charles traveled from London out to Windsor Castle to have lunch with his daughter-in-law.

Both Charles and Kate are battling cancer—the exact type and stage for both are heretofore unknown and will likely remain so—and both found out about their respective cancer diagnoses after undergoing procedures for other, separate health issues. To some, that Thursday lunch at Windsor Castle symbolized two of the most famous people globally breaking bread; at its core, though, was just a father-in-law and a daughter-in-law, enmeshed in a health struggle neither could have asked for or predicted, making sure the other was doing okay both physically but also emotionally, as the eyes of the world are upon them both.

The King and the Princess of Wales had a private lunch on Thursday at Windsor Castle, the day before Kate revealed to the world that she had been diagnosed with cancer. (Image credit: Getty Images)

“It is highly unusual for just the two of them to sit down together like this,” a source told The Sun. “The King had already been made aware that the woman he calls ‘my beloved daughter-in-law’ had cancer. They would have had lots to discuss and share because just weeks earlier the King had begun his course of treatment and dealt with announcing his diagnosis.”

Indeed, it’s almost eerie how similar the two royals’ experience is and how in tandem it all is. On Tuesday, January 16, Kate underwent abdominal surgery at The London Clinic; news of the surgery was announced the next day, as well as news—just 90 minutes later—that the King would also spend time at The London Clinic that month, he for a routine procedure for a benign enlarged prostate on January 26. Both Charles and Kate were discharged from hospital on Monday, January 29 and one week later, the King announced that cancer had been found through the prostate procedure. He commenced treatment for cancer that same day, Monday, February 5.

Meanwhile, Kate was recovering at home at Adelaide Cottage when, on or around Tuesday, February 27—the same day that her husband, Prince William, pulled out of a planned appearance at his godfather King Constantine’s memorial service—Kate learned that cancer had been detected after her surgery. A dramatic month followed, with a Mother’s Day photo controversy, endless conspiracy theories, and, finally, on Friday, March 22, a heartfelt video message telling the world intimate details about what was going on in her life, intentionally timed to line up with her kids Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis’ Easter break from Lambrook School.

Both Prince William's wife and father are currently battling cancer. (Image credit: Getty Images)

The day before, as the King left lunch with the Princess of Wales, he left “feeling very emotional,” The Sun reports. A source added of the two that “They are very close, and he thinks of Catherine as his daughter. There is no doubt there is a lot they can share and can use each other for support during their own deeply personal cancer battles.”

The King and Queen collectively sent a message of support following the Princess of Wales' announcement Friday. (Image credit: Getty Images)

The Sun reports that “Charles had been made aware of Kate’s cancer struggle before he traveled from London for the lunch.” After her video message was released, a statement from Buckingham Palace applauded Kate’s bravery, reading “His Majesty is so proud of Catherine for her courage in speaking as she did. Following their time in hospital together, His Majesty has remained in the closest contact with his beloved daughter-in-law throughout the past weeks. Both Their Majesties will continue to offer their love and support to the whole family through this difficult time.”

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