Kate Middleton, the Princess of Wales, has revealed that she has been diagnosed with cancer and discussed the importance of explaining the situation to her three children in a way "that is appropriate for them".

She spoke about the “huge shock” of the medical development and how her family have experienced an “incredibly tough couple of months” and at times her voice cracked with feeling.

This was revealed in a video message recorded on Wednesday (March 19) in Windsor that was released at 6pm today (Friday, March 22).

It is not known how long Kate will be receiving treatment but it is understood she may be keen to attend events as and when she feels able to, in line with medical advice, although this will not indicate a return to full-time duties.

Kate discusses the importance of explaining the situation to her children

In the video, Kate said the news of the cancer had come as a shock to her and her family.

She added: “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 am going to be OK.

“As I have 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.”

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It is understood the video was released on the day William and Kate’s three children began their Easter school holidays to take advantage of the break to shield them from coverage of their mother’s health.

The Princess of Wales was admitted to the London Clinic in January for abdominal surgery.

Since the surgery, she has been largely absent from the public eye, leading to speculation about her health which the Archbishop of Canterbury described as “village gossip” and “wrong”.

Reports also emerged of an alleged attempt to access the Princess’ medical records while she was at The London Clinic.

Responding to the claims, the clinic vowed that all appropriate steps will be taken when dealing with the alleged data breach.