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Sarah Ferguson reveals how she, King Charles and Princess Kate are supporting each other through cancer diagnoses

The Duchess' illness has changed her outlook on life

Laura Benjamin
News Director
June 3, 2024
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Sarah, Duchess of York has opened up about how she and the royal family are supporting each other through their health crises. 

In an exclusive interview with HELLO!, the Duchess – who is about to publish the paperback version of A Woman of Intrigue, her second work of historical fiction for Mills & Boon – reveals how "family unity is key" to getting through the tough times.

Sarah Ferguson in a gorgeous dress during a HELLO! photoshoot© David Venni
Sarah said 'family unity is key' to getting through the tough times

Last summer, Sarah, 64, was diagnosed with breast cancer during a routine mammogram, undergoing a single mastectomy; six months later, she was found to have malignant melanoma.

Now, although she has been told by her doctors that she shouldn't use the phrase "cancer-free" and is having regular check-ups for any recurrence, the outlook is positive.

The royal family's support system

Her diagnoses were sadly echoed by the news earlier this year that King Charles is also being treated for cancer, which was found after his routine prostate operation, while the Princess of Wales is also undergoing preventative chemotherapy treatment.

Sarah said: "I think the key is that you don't have to be in anyone's face – the odd note, the odd: 'Hello, we're all here.' I was so impressed that the King became patron of Cancer Research UK; it's such an amazing move.

Sarah Ferguson in a green snake print suit© David Venni
The Duchess praised her daughters Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie for being by her side

"And I think the Princess of Wales was so brave with that video [in which Kate made her diagnosis public]. I think family unity is key. I love that the royal family are all supporting each other and carry on."

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Her close bond with her daughters

The mother-of-two has also always counted on her daughters Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie for support.

"I have the most exceptional family and an extraordinarily great team," she said. "I have an enormous ability to turn to joy."

Read the full interview with the Duchess in this week's issue

Sarah's changed outlook on life

Sarah has since made it her mission to encourage people to be vigilant about their health and says the experience has influenced her outlook on life.

"I think it woke me up," she said. "It gave me a swift kick in the butt and told me: 'Right, are you going to start living now, at 64, or are you going to keep on not quite living?'"

Sarah Ferguson sitting on a sofa wearing a blue jumpsuit© David Venni
Since her diagnoses, Sarah has made it her mission to encourage people to be vigilant about their health

To read the full interview, pick up the latest issue of HELLO! on sale in the UK now. You can subscribe to HELLO! to get the magazine delivered free to your door every week or purchase the digital edition online via our Apple or Google apps.


Princess Kate wearing black and white polka dots and a hat

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