Stephen Colbert Reacts to Princess Kate’s Cancer Diagnosis After Controversial Jokes

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Kate Middleton on the catwalk wearing a sheer black lace dress over a bandeau bra and black bikini bottoms
St Andrews University Charity Fashion Show, Scotland, Britain - 26 Mar 2002
Kate Middleton, 19, a friend of Prince William at the university wearing a sheer black lace dress over a bandeau bra and black bikini bottoms. She is believed to be one of his future flatmates in his second year.

Kate Middleton
Kate Middleton at Game Fair, Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, Britain  - Aug 2004
Could 2008 be the year that Prince William and Kate Middleton make their relationship official?

Back in August 2004, Kate looked like she didn't have a care in the world - perhaps safe in the knowledge that she had snagged the world's number one eligible bachelor.

The couple met at University of St Andrews, Scotland, in 2001, when Kate was in her first year.

From around Christmas of 2003 to April 2007, she and Prince William were involved in a relationship that was subjected to intense media attention.

But at the Game Fair at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, Kate seemed to be bearing up to the pressure pretty well and has rarely been seen without a smile for the cameras since.

There have been rumours that the couple have already taken the next major step in their relationship. Miss Middleton has supposedly moved into Clarence House, and given the keys to her Chelsea flat to her sister, Pippa. Will a ring on the finger be next?

Kate Middleton
HUGH VAN CUTSEM AND ROSE ASTOR WEDDING, BURFORD, OXFORDSHIRE, BRITAIN - 04 JUN 2005

Image Credit: Getty Images

After Princess Kate announced her cancer diagnosis, the public poured their hearts out onto social media. Many apologized for spreading false conspiracy theories and speculating over her whereabouts and health, while others wished her a full recovery. Some of the stars who sent well wishes to Kate have also lived with a form of cancer.

In her heartfelt Friday, March 22 video, Kate explained why she had been noticeably absent from the public eye since she underwent abdominal surgery in January.

“It has been an incredibly tough couple of months for our entire family, but I’ve had a fantastic medical team who have taken great care of me, for which I am so grateful,” she said before noting, “In January, I underwent major abdominal surgery in London and at the time, it was thought that my condition was non-cancerous. The surgery was successful. However, tests after theoperation 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.”

Kate pointed out that processing the diagnosis “has taken 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.”

Read which celebrities have reacted to Kate’s heartbreaking cancer revelation below.

Olivia Munn

Olivia Munn Instagram comment on Kate Middleton's postInstagram

In response to Kate’s official Instagram video post, Olivia — who recently revealed her breast cancer diagnosis — commented, “Thank you for showing what it’s like to fight with grace and determination for yourself and your family. Wishing you all the best.”

The White House

An hour after Kate revealed the news, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre provided the White House’s reaction to Kate’s announcement.

“All of us just heard the terrible news,” Karine said during a press conference. “Our thoughts are with the Duchess of Cambridge and her family members and friends during this incredibly difficult time, and we certainly wish her a full recovery.”

Jamie Lee Curtis

Hours after slamming false conspiracy theories about Kate’s whereabouts, Jamie commented on her own Instagram post, reacting to the news.

“And now Princess Kate has told us about her health, and now we should send nothing but our best wishes to her and her family and focus on our own lives and the lives of people directly related to us, and the myriad life-threatening issues to our children that we can focus on,” the Halloween actress wrote.

Prince Harry & Meghan Markle

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Duke and Duchess of Sussex leave after a service of thanksgivingAP Photo/Matt Dunham, Pool

Harry and Meghan said in a statement obtained by Reuters, “We wish health and healing for Kate and the family, and hope they are able to do so privately and in peace.”

Blake Lively

Blake Lively's Instagram messageInstagram

Blake acknowledged that she joked about Kate’s Photoshop controversy earlier this month and took to her Instagram Stories to send her best wishes.

“I’m sure no one cares today but I feel like I have to acknowledge this,” she wrote. “I made a silly post around the ‘photoshop fails’ frenzy, and oh man, that post has me mortified today. I’m sorry. Sending love and well wishes to all, always.”

Stephen Colbert

WATCH: A remorseful @StephenAtHome on his The Late Show following his recent jokes about the Princess of Wales and the rumours about her disappearance and marriage.
“I tell a lot of jokes” he says but wishes Kate a “swift and thorough” recovery 👇 @colbertlateshow pic.twitter.com/ksZ3DU2ccx

— Chris Ship (@chrisshipitv) March 26, 2024

Days after Kate broke the news of her condition, Stephen reacted to the news following his controversial joke about the “KateGate” speculation.

“There’s a standard that I try to hold myself to, and that is I do not make light of somebody else’s tragedy,” the comedian explained during a March 25 episode of The Late Show. “Far too many of us know that any cancer diagnosis of any kind is harrowing for the patient and for their family. Though I’m sure they don’t need it from me, I and everyone here at The Late Show would like to extend our well-wishes and heartfelt hope that her recovery is swift and thorough.”