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How Princess Kate's video message was put together and how the press found out

Royal author Robert Hardman and ITV News' Chris Ship reveal all in the latest episode of A Right Royal Podcast

Kate Middleton wearing Breton top and jeans to announce cancer diagnosis
Andrea Caamano
Website Editor
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Last week’s cancer announcement by the Princess of Wales caught the whole world by surprise, including the royal correspondents who had been closely following her story since early January.

In this week’s episode of A Right Royal Podcast, host Andrea Caamano and HELLO!’s royal editor Emily Nash speak to two prominent royal journalists about the shocking news. Royal author Robert Hardman and ITV News’ royal editor, Chris Ship detail how they found out about Kate’s big health update and give insider information on how the two-minute, 15-second video was put together.

Catherine, Princess of Wales visits Nottingham Trent University, to hear how they and the University of Nottingham are ensuring their students have the right mental health support around them as they begin the new university year, on October 11, 2023 in Nottingham, England.© Getty
Kate recorded her video message last Wednesday in Windsor

Emily recalls: “We were putting the final touches to the magazine when I got a message to say that there was going to be an update on the Princess of Wales around 15:30pm in the afternoon.” She goes on to describe the moment that her “stomach turned” when she found out the exact nature of the update.

Author Robert said that he was “as surprised as everybody”. He adds: “It was one of those 'stand by your desks' moments. I was watching it in the newsroom at The Mail and people were very, very sad." He describes the shared emotion as "a national sense of very deep sympathy and shock", and emphasises: "That was not what we were expecting.”

Camilla chats to Robert Hardman as she hosts the 30th Anniversary Garden Party for the National Osteoporosis Society in St James Palace on July 12, 2016 in London© Getty
Robert Hardman, pictured with Camilla in 2016, described the moment he saw Kate's message

In the episode, which you can listen to below, Robert goes on to explain who was in charge of the production of Kate’s video and how the late Queen also relied on the same unit to get her most poignant message across to the nation during lockdown.

LISTEN: How Kate's video came about and how it's connected to the late Queen

“This was not a in-house production," he clarifies. "This was done by BBC Studios Events, who are the gold standard for filming anything, filming the coronation or filming the Cenotaph, and they were the team who came down to Windsor to film the late Queen when she did her famous ‘We will meet again’, COVID address to the nation. It was exactly the same unit came down to film this. "

Robert praises the professionalism of Kate's video for being "direct, incredibly poised, and all done in one take”.


Princess Kate wearing black and white polka dots and a hat

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ITV News’ Chris, also shares how he heard of the news before rushing to Buckingham Palace. He also reveals what a “good source” at Kensington Palace told him just a week before the announcement.

“This person clearly knew that they were going to make an announcement at the end of the school term,” he says after explaining the anecdote.

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