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Princess Kate penned grieving Kate Garraway a 'beautiful letter' from hospital

The royal family offered their support to the GMB presenter throughout her husband's health battle

Kate Garraway, Kate Middleton and Prince William
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Sharnaz ShahidDeputy Online Editor
Danielle StaceyOnline Royal CorrespondentLondon
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Kate Garraway has confirmed the Prince and Princess of Wales have sent their heartfelt condolences following her sad announcement of her husband Derek Draper's death.

The author and former political adviser passed away at the age of 56 following complications from COVID after contracting the disease in March 2020.

Kate Garraway on GMB© ITV
Kate Garraway appeared on GMB on Monday

Appearing on Monday's Good Morning Britain, Kate - who said her final goodbyes to Derek at his funeral on Friday - confirmed along with the royal couple, King Charles and a whole host of celebrities reached out with condolence letters.

"I had the most beautiful letter from David and Victoria Beckham – handwritten, very good handwriting… that was Darcey’s observation," the GMB host shared.

She then suggested that Kate had written to her while recovering in hospital, adding: "And from the royal family - Catherine and William sent a beautiful letter, and I know Catherine has been in hospital herself."

WATCH: Kate Garraway shares heartbreaking moment between daughter Darcey and Derek

Kate continued: "Even the King - because there is somebody [who] knows about grief - that anticipatory grief where you know something has a risk of happening and how different it is when it does happen."

Despite revealing the heartwarming gesture, Kate confessed she had been "sort of sworn to secrecy" about the contents of the letters from the royal family. 

"I just think it was lovely of them to reach out to me," she noted. "But it's lovely to know that those people understand those emotions. I think for all of us, it connects us all together." 

Kate Garraway greeting Prince Charles at Prince's Trust Awards 2021© Getty
Kate thanked the then Prince Charles for his support at the Prince's Trust Awards 2021

Kate has previously expressed her gratitude to the royal family for their support throughout Derek's health battle.

At the Prince's Trust Awards at St James's Palace in October 2021, the Good Morning Britain presenter revealed that then Prince Charles wrote a letter to her, which included an offer of help from a royal physician for her husband.

Speaking to Charles at the time, Kate told him: "And you might not remember but you were very kind to me because my husband got very sick with Covid after the last Prince’s Trust awards. You wrote to me and gave me help, so thank you very much."

Kate Garraway with Derek Draper and her parents after being made an MBE © Getty
Kate, pictured with Derek and her parents, was made a MBE by Prince William last June

Derek was also present as Kate was made an MBE by Prince William at Windsor Castle in June 2023. The mother-of-two was recognised in the 2022 New Year Honours for her services to broadcasting, journalism and charity.

ITV star Kate made two documentaries detailing her family’s life as Derek battled the long-term effects of coronavirus, with both programmes winning National Television Awards in the authored documentary category.

Kate Garraway at Kate Middleton's Christmas carol concert© Getty
Kate gave a reading at the Princess of Wales's Christmas carol concert in 2021

She has also written two books – The Power Of Hope: The Moving Memoir From ITV’s Kate Garraway and The Strength Of Love: Embracing An Uncertain Future With Resilience And Optimism.

A timeline of Derek Draper's health battle

March 2020: Derek is diagnosed with COVID-19

Kate's husband was rushed to hospital after contracting COVID-19. He was left critically ill and would remain in hospital for over a year, fighting complications from the disease.

April 24, 2020: Derek placed in medically induced coma 

Derek was placed in a medically induced coma to help his body battle the impacts of COVID. He lost eight stone during this time.

July 2020: Derek wakes from his coma

Kate revealed he was in a "minimally conscious state".  The presenter and her two children were finally able to visit Derek in hospital as coronavirus restrictions eased.

September 2020: Kate gives an update on Derek's health

Kate revealed that his first word when he came around was "pain". After 214 days in hospital, he was able to breathe without a ventilator.

March 23, 2021: Kate releases Caring for Derek documentary

The ITV programme offered an insight into the family's struggle and how different their lives had been since Derek fell ill.

April 8, 2021: Derek allowed to move home

Kate began providing 24/7 care for Derek at their family home in London. She revealed his speech was "very minimal" and that moving around was difficult.

April 2022: Derek reunites with nurse who cared for him

Kate interviewed his carer, Beth Dixon, on GMB. It was an emotional moment for the whole family.

June 2022: Derek briefly returns to hospital

A family insider said they were worried about Derek's condition. Kate also stepped back from her GMB presenting duties.

January 2023: Derek returns to hospital

Kate revealed Derek had fallen out of his wheelchair and expressed her concern at the long ambulance waiting times.

July 2023: Derek watches Kate receive her MBE

Kate was presented with an MBE for services to journalism. Derek was pictured sitting in a wheelchair and cheering her on in an emotional photograph.

September 2023: Kate shares heartbreaking update

The GMB host admitted they didn't know whether Derek would ever get better.

December 2023: Derek suffers a heart attack

Kate revealed Derek had suffered a setback and was re-admitted to hospital. She said watching her husband struggle daily was "heartbreaking".

Kate announced her husband's death in a statement on her Instagram page, writing on 5 January: "I'm sad to have to tell you all that my darling husband Derek has passed away. As some of you may know he has been critically ill following a cardiac arrest in early December which, because of the damage inflicted by Covid in March 2020, led to further complications.

"Derek was surrounded by his family in his final days and I was by his side holding his hand throughout the last long hours and when he passed. I have so much more to say, and of course I will do so in due course, but for now I just want to thank all the medical teams who fought so hard to save him and to make his final moments as comfortable and dignified as possible.

"Sending so much love and thanks to all of you who have so generously given our family so much support. Rest gently and peacefully now Derek, my love, I was so lucky to have you in my life."

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