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Archbishop of Canterbury Delivers Message About Kate Middleton in Easter Sermon

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During his Easter Sunday sermon, the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby delivered a message acknowledging the struggles of King Charles and Kate Middleton, the Princess of Wales, as they both battle cancer.

“In each of our lives, there are moments which change us forever,” he said in the service held at Canterbury Cathedral in the English county of Kent. “We’ve watched and sympathized with and felt alongside the dignity of the King and the Princess of Wales, as they have talked of their cancer, and in doing so by their lack of selfishness, by their grace and their faith, boosted so many others.”

Both the King and Princess have said that they chose to share their own diagnoses publicly in part to support others facing the disease.

King Charles was diagnosed with an undisclosed type of cancer during a recent treatment for an enlarged prostate. “His Majesty has chosen to share his diagnosis to prevent speculation and in the hope it may assist public understanding for all those around the world who are affected by cancer,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement on Feb. 5. Following his disclosure, the NHS reported a jump of over 50% in the number of visits to a webpage offering advice on the signs and symptoms of cancer.

On March 22, the Princess announced she had been diagnosed with cancer and is undergoing “preventative chemotherapy.” In a video message sharing the news, Kate offered support for all those whose lives have been touched by the disease.

“At this time, I am also thinking of all those whose lives have been affected by cancer. For everyone facing this disease, in whatever form, please do not lose faith or hope. You are not alone,” she said.

King Charles attended Easter church service at St George’s Chapel Windsor on Sunday, along with his wife Queen Camilla, marking his first major public appearance since his cancer diagnosis was shared by Buckingham Palace. Kate, who first stepped back from royal responsibilities in January after undergoing a planned abdominal surgery, was expected to return to royal duties after Easter, though her return has been postponed until she is given medical clearance.

The Archbishop previously spoke out against the conspiracies that surrounded Kate’s absence from public life in an interview with Times Radio released on March 21, just a day before she shared the news of her diagnosis.

“We are obsessed with conspiracy and we have little sense of the humanity of those who are caught in the glare of the news,” Welby said when asked whether the conspiracy theories surrounding her public absence pointed to a moral issue. “It doesn’t matter who it is, people should be allowed to be ill, have an operation, whatever it is, and to live their lives in peace without everyone demanding that they prove something every other day.”

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Write to Simmone Shah at simmone.shah@time.com