Northern Ireland’s leading politicians, including the First and Deputy First Ministers, have offered their well wishes after Kate Middleton, Princess of Wales, revealed on Friday, March 22 that she has cancer.

First Minister Michelle O'Neill sent her "best wishes" and "strength" to Middleton, and extended her thoughts to her "young family."

I am very sorry to hear the news of the Princess of Wales’ cancer diagnosis.

I send her my best wishes and the strength for her treatment, and a full and speedy recovery.

A special word of thought to her young family at this challenging time.

— Michelle O’Neill (@moneillsf) March 22, 2024

Deputy First Minister Emma Little-Pengelly sent her "heartfelt best wishes and love from so many in Northern Ireland."

Sending heartfelt best wishes and love from so many in Northern Ireland to the Princess of Wales.

May God bless her and support her and the family through this difficult time. I know the Princess will be kept in the thoughts and prayers of so many across Northern Ireland.

— Emma Little-Pengelly BL (@little_pengelly) March 22, 2024

Naomi Long, head of Northern Ireland's Alliance Party, wished the Princess "speedy recovery to full health."

Long added that she hopes Kate can "now be left in peace to focus on her health and her family." 

Colum Eastwood, head of Northern Ireland's Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), said he was "deeply sorry" to hear the news.

"Families across these islands know the stress and strain it place[s] on people and their loved ones," he added.

42-year-old Kate Middleton, who had largely been out of the public eye following “major abdominal surgery” in January, revealed she has cancer in a specially recorded message that was carried by major media outlets on Friday, March 22.

Middleton's message was issued as speculation about her whereabouts came to a fever pitch. Rumors were exacerbated after a photo of her and her children issued by Kensington Palace was retracted by the Associated Press and Reuters which claimed the photo "appeared manipulated."

Middleton explained in her video statement on Friday that while her surgery in January was successful, tests afterward “found cancer had been present.”

“My medical team therefore advised that I should undergo a course of preventive chemotherapy and I am now in the early stages of that treatment.”

Middleton said the news was a “huge shock” to her and her husband Prince William and that they have been trying to manage it “privately for the sake of our young family.”

She continued: “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’m going to be okay.

“As I’ve 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.”

She added: “We hope that you’ll 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’m 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."

On St. Patrick's Day, the Irish Guards, a regiment of the British Army with strong Irish roots that Middleton is the honorary colonel of, wished the Princess a speedy recovery from her surgery. Middleton typically attends the Irish Guards' St. Patrick's Day celebrations but was unable to this year.

Kate and William last visited Northern Ireland in 2022 and last made a visit to Ireland in March 2020. Meanwhile, Queen Camilla visited Northern Ireland during the week.