Princess Kate issues statement during cancer absence

Princess Kate has issued a rare statement amid her months-long absence during cancer treatment, following a tragedy involving an iconic World War II plane.

Squadron Leader Mark Long was killed in a crash while flying a Spitfire fighter plane belonging to the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight at RAF Base Coningsby in Lincolnshire in England on Sunday. The investigation has begun.

The BBMF maintains wartime aircraft and has six of the last few dozen airworthy Spitfires.

Princess Kate is seen during a visit to the annual Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford in England on July 14, 2023. She issued a statement after a pilot was killed in a Spitfire crash…


Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Prince William is the base’s honorary air commodore The couple expressed their respect for Long on X, previously Twitter: “Very sad to hear the news this afternoon from RAF Coningsby.

“Our thoughts this evening are with the pilot’s loved ones, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, and the wider RAF family. W&C”

It was a rare public statement from Princess Catherine, who has been off work since having abdominal surgery in January, after which she was diagnosed with cancer.

Kensington Palace released a major report on one of her biggest projects, her early childhood work, on May 20, though she did not make a statement accompanying the press release.

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Her aides stressed at the time that he had not yet received doctors’ approval to return to work. So it is noteworthy that it is included in this post in honor of Long.

The princess was the subject of wild speculation on social media in February and March as part of a trend of asking “Where is Kate Middleton?”

However, her announcement on March 22 that she had begun chemotherapy for cancer stopped the rumor mill in its tracks.

The newfound online respect for Kate’s privacy regarding her health has mostly remained in place since then, though it’s clear that careful decisions are being made about when she should comment and when not.

Kate has put her name on another social media post since going public after a series of stabbings at the Westfield shopping center in Bondi Junction in Sydney, Australia, in April.

“We are shocked and saddened by the terrible events that occurred in Sydney earlier today. Our thoughts are with everyone affected, including the loved ones of those lost and the heroic emergency responders who risked their lives to save others. W&C,” the couple’s post on X read in it the time.

William could have easily responded alone to the tragedy at RAF Coningsby as he is the one assuming the role of honorary air commodore at the base.

However, Kate clearly felt she wanted to support him and show her respect to a grieving family.

Quoted in WatchmanGroup Captain Robbie Lees, Air Show Wing Commander, said: “It is with great sadness that I must confirm the passing of Squadron Mark Long.

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“Mark was a Typhoon pilot here at RAF Coningsby, and for the last four years he has been a pilot on the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight [BBMF]. A great friend, colleague, professional and enthusiastic pilot, he will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

“An investigation into the cause of this tragic event has now begun.”

Jack Royston is chief royal correspondent for Newsweek, quoted in London. You can find him on X (formerly Twitter) at @jack_royston And read his stories on Newsweek‘s Kings page on Facebook.

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