The Duchess of York stepped out for the first time since sharing the news
On Wednesday, the Duchess of York, 64, visited her doctor at King Edward VII’s Hospital in the Marylebone neighborhood of London, and she responded when well-wishers gathered outside asked how she was feeling after the appointment, the Daily Mirror reported.
“I’m fine, thank you,” the Duchess said, according to the outlet. The Duchess of York, who is popularly known as Fergie, “stopped to chat with locals before being driven off,” the Mirror reported. In photos published by the outlet, Fergie softly smiled and gave a wave as she left the hospital.
On Sunday, a representative for the Duchess of York announced that she was recently diagnosed with skin cancer. She was previously diagnosed with an early form of breast cancer in June 2023.
In a statement obtained by PEOPLE, the representative said, “Following her diagnosis with an early form of breast cancer this summer, Sarah, Duchess of York has now been diagnosed with malignant melanoma.”
According to the spokesperson, the Duchess of York had several moles removed and analyzed by a dermatologist while she was undergoing reconstructive surgery following her mastectomy, and one of the moles was identified as cancerous.
“The Duchess wants to thank the entire medical team which has supported her, particularly her dermatologist whose vigilance ensured the illness was detected when it was,” the representative added. “She believes her experience underlines the importance of checking the size, shape, color and texture and emergence of new moles that can be a sign of melanoma.”
The second cancer diagnosis in “a matter of months has obviously been a shock and a blow,” a friend of Fergie’s exclusively tells PEOPLE. But the Duchess is “very resilient and in good spirits,” the source adds.
Following the skin cancer diagnosis, Fergie spent time at MAYRLIFE Clinic, a medical health resort in Altaussee, Austria.
“Her time in Austria helped her gather her strength,” the source says. “And her family is supporting her.”
On Monday, Prince Andrew’s ex-wife discussed the diagnosis on social media and urged followers to be “diligent” about monitoring their skin for any changes.
“I have been taking some time to myself as I have been diagnosed with malignant melanoma, a form of skin cancer, my second cancer diagnosis within a year after I was diagnosed with breast cancer this summer and underwent a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. It was thanks to the great vigilance of my dermatologist that the melanoma was detected when it was,” Fergie began the Instagram caption. The author and Tea Talks podcast host shared the message with a photo of herself standing on a bridge in a mountainous location.
“Naturally another cancer diagnosis has been a shock, but I’m in good spirits and grateful for the many messages of love and support,” she continued. “I believe my experience underlines the importance of checking the size, shape, color and texture and emergence of new moles that can be a sign of melanoma and urge anyone who is reading this to be diligent.”
The Duchess of York thanked the medical teams who cared for her during both diagnoses and shouted out the MAYRLIFE Clinic for aiding in her recuperation.
“I am resting with family at home now, feeling blessed to have their love and support,” she said.
The Duchess of York and her two daughters are known to share a tight bond. In November, Fergie exclusively told PEOPLE that Princess Beatrice, 35, and Princess Eugenie, 33, were “my wholehearted cheerleaders, my devoted champions and my soulmates, and they have been as supportive as can be, as they always are” amid her breast cancer diagnosis.
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Fergie’s health news came nearly a week after the palace made announcements about Kate Middleton’s successful abdominal surgery and King Charles’ upcoming procedure for an enlarged prostate. Kensington Palace and Buckingham Palace shared the news in separate statements issued in quick succession on Jan. 17.
The next day, Prince William visited Princess Kate at The London Clinic (also in Marylebone) where Kensington Palace said she was expected to stay for 10 to 14 days after surgery, and Queen Camilla gave an update on how King Charles was doing.
"He's fine, thank you very much. Looking forward to getting back to work," Queen Camilla said during a stop in Scotland after someone asked how the King was. Buckingham Palace said that the King, 75, would have a “corrective procedure” at the hospital this week and that his condition is benign.
It's understood that King Charles wanted to share his diagnosis to encourage men who may be experiencing symptoms to get checked. Charles will be capable of fulfilling his constitutional requirements and duties during this time, a royal source tells PEOPLE.
In contrast, Princess Kate has been more private. Kensington Palace announced on Jan. 17 that her “planned abdominal surgery” the day prior was a success and that she was “unlikely to return to public duties until after Easter”
“It does sound serious with the length of time [she’s taking]. But she is in great hands and will have lots of care and support at home and is a fit young woman,” a source close to the royal household tells PEOPLE exclusively in this week’s issue. “I am sure she will bounce back.”
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