Kate Middleton Breaks Royal Tradition Amidst Cancer Treatment

The Princess of Wales sent thank you cards to royal fans wishing her well amid her cancer battle, but the special notes broke royal tradition in a major way.

Kate Middleton may be poised to one day become queen, but that isn't stopping her from defying a few royal traditions. As she showed her appreciation for well-wishers following the wave of support she received amid her cancer diagnosis, thank you cards issued by Kensington Palace on behalf of the Princess of Wales, 42, last month notably differed from previous royal correspondence.

The sweet gesture was first revealed by X user @AllexmarieHoll1, who shared an image of the thank you note she received from Kensington Palace after she sent a card with her family's "sincerest best wishes for healing and of course an abundance of love" to the royal in January. Signed by the princess and featuring the palace's letterhead, a short note on the postcard reads, "Thank you for your kind well wishes to Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales. Your thoughtful gesture is very much appreciated." In a break with tradition, however, a photo was not included in the thank you.

Official correspondence from the British royal family typically includes a picture, with many of Middleton and her husband Prince William's own messages usually including a family photo. Their 2023 Christmas card, for example, featured a black-and-white family photo that included their three children – Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5.

However, this is far from the first time Middleton has broken royal traditions. Most recently, the royal and her husband, Prince William, broke tradition when celebrating their two youngest children's birthdays, Prince Louis 6, and Princess Charlotte, 9. In past years, the couple has released new photos of their children the day before, or at midnight on, their respective birthdays, but for Louis' birthday on April 23 and Charlotte's on May 2, the couple did not release new portraits of the youngsters until late morning the day of their birthdays.

The break in royal traditions comes as Middleton continues to undergo chemotherapy for an unspecified cancer. Kensington Palace announced on Jan. 17 that the princess underwent a "planned abdominal surgery" and would remain "in the hospital for ten to fourteen days, before returning home to continue her recovery."

In a video message on March 22, Middleton told royal watchers that "tests after the operation found cancer had been present. My medical team therefore advised that I should undergo a course of preventative chemotherapy, and I am now in the early stages of that treatment." Visiting James' Place Newcastle in England recently, William told a well-wisher who asked how Middleton was doing, "we're all doing well."