April 17, 2024

Westside People

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Catherine, Princess of Wales reveals she has cancer

Catherine, Princess of Wales reveals she has cancer

The mood was sombre Friday afternoon in a part of Manhattan's West Village that some people call “Little Britain” after Catherine, Princess of Wales, who announced she was receiving treatment for cancer.

At Myers of Keswick, a shop on Hudson Street that sells British goods such as Hobnobs biscuits, Wilkin & Sons jam, steaks and beer pie, owner Jennifer Myers-Poulidor said she saw the ad live while receiving troubling text messages from her father, Peter Myers. . He opened the store 39 years ago and is now retired and living in Keswick, England.

“I feel for her,” said Ms. Myers-Polydor, 45, who was born in New York and grew up spending summers in Keswick. She said that with her own three children, she could understand the princess's desire to address the matter with her family before discussing it publicly.

“I understand the desire to protect children,” Ms. Myers-Polidor said. “I can't imagine living in the spotlight like they do.”

She said she had not kept up with the recent wave of online speculation about why Catherine has not been seen in public much since undergoing abdominal surgery earlier this year. Mrs. Myers-Polydor had nothing good to say about those who spread the wild rumours.

“Horrible. It's pathetic that she couldn't even spend time alone,” she said. “It almost makes me think she had no other choice but to get clean.”

For Ms. Myers-Polydor, the news triggered painful memories of Diana, the former Princess of Wales whom the shop owner considers Catherine a spiritual heir.

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Mrs. Myers-Polydore said of Catherine: “She is beloved in England.” “People consider her the people’s princess.”

After Diana's death; Death of Queen Elizabeth II; Diagnosis of King Charles Cancer. And the estrangement between William, Prince of Wales, and his brother, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Mrs. Myers-Polydor said she was concerned about the future of the British royal family.

“I hope they do,” she said.

Outside the store, Richard Barnett winced as he discussed the news.

“The whole thing is very sad,” said Mr. Barnett, a London native who has lived in New York for 35 years. He added that he hopes that Catherine's treatment will be successful and that her recovery will be quick and comfortable.

“I wish her the best,” he said. “And peace and quiet.”

When asked if he had followed the recent gossip and speculation about Catherine that was condemned by Mrs Myers-Polydore, Mr Barnett nodded.

“It's good that it stopped the rumours,” he said.

Outside Tea & Sympathy, a British restaurant a few blocks away on Greenwich Street, Dave Heenan shook his head when asked about the news.

“Awful. I'm devastated, the whole royal family is damned! ” said Mr. Heenan, 81, who moved to New York from Newcastle, England, in 1963. He said that, like other Britons, he had come to love Catherine and was excited about her future.

“She is the only member of the royal family who can truly hold this crown,” he said.

One positive thing he could say was that he was able to share his feelings with fellow Englishmen and women: “It brings the English people together.”

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Tea & Sympathy director Ian Anderson said he had become concerned about Catherine recently as she had remained out of the public eye and rumors had spread about her. He said Friday's announcement seemed forced to him.

“Maybe they had to say something because of public pressure,” said Mr. Anderson, who is originally from Gloucestershire, England. “If they have to talk openly about this and they don't want to, that's unfortunate.”

Like Ms. Myers-Polydor, he said he had a grim feeling that he had seen it before.

“We've been through all this before with Lady Diana,” he said.

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Michael West, a Briton who lives in Manhattan, said he was reminded of the death of Queen Elizabeth II two years ago and also of King Charles' cancer diagnosis.

“It's as if the problem comes in threes,” he said as he passed the British Consulate on Second Avenue. “And it seems that for that family right now, the problems probably come by the dozens.”

Mr. West is originally from a village called Higham, famous as the place where Charles Dickens died. He said that although Catherine was not born into a royal family, she was well suited to her role as a member of the Windsor family.

He said about the family: “Among my family and friends, people were happy with them,” adding: “They do their work gracefully.”

Sean Piccoli Contributed to reports.