A man who spoke to the “brave” Princess of Wales after he was diagnosed with cancer said that his “heart goes out to her” following the announcement that she was undergoing chemotherapy.

Paul Philip Roberts, 53, told the PA news agency he met Kate in Blackpool in 2019, shortly after he underwent surgery for his lung cancer, and the princess showed him “she cares”.

Kate and William, the Prince of Wales, spent the day at the seaside town touring a series of projects focused on regeneration and visited Blackpool Tower, where the princess met Mr Roberts.

Paul Philip Roberts’ wife Theresa Shaw taking a photo with Kate Middleton in Blackpool (Paul Philip Roberts/PA)

Mr Roberts said: “I’d just come out of hospital and Kate was visiting Blackpool with Prince William, they were touring Blackpool, and it was then that I managed to chat to her.

“She did a walkabout, William went on one side and she came the other side, she came to my side, and we were chatting for a good five minutes.

“We were chatting and I was saying, my life has changed, it was so difficult, you’ve got to go through every emotion.

“She basically said, ‘what cancer is it?’ and I said it was stage three and that I had my lung out, and she said ‘oh my God, that’s awful’ and she said ‘just keep going’ and she gave us a hug.

“She wished me all the luck in the world and she listened.

“She cared, and that’s one thing that struck me – she cares.”

Paul Philip Roberts was diagnosed with lung cancer shortly before meeting the princess (Paul Philip Roberts/PA)

He said that it is “such a shame” that the Princess of Wales has been diagnosed with cancer.

“I can feel for her and I have a lot of empathy for her because she’s such a nice lady,” he said.

He said he had suspected something was very wrong with the princess, saying: “I just kind of knew. You know what, I knew. I had an inkling, just looking at the news and social media.

“I think it’s brave that she’s come out, sat down and addressed the world, and she’s put speculation to bed. Now I think she just wants to get on and do her treatment,” he added.

Mr Roberts believes that the Princess of Wales announcing that she has cancer could encourage others to get checked for the illness.

“It’s beneficial to the community and to the world, when you think about how many people she might have saved,” he said.

Mr Roberts met Kate shortly after receiving his cancer diagnosis, which left him “devastated”.

“I got issued some antibiotics for a chest infection from a doctor, then I used all the antibiotics and then I had another chest infection so they sent me for an X-ray.

“It was from the X-ray that they found a shadow in my lung. All hell broke loose.

“Everything was a rush then really. I had more scans and then I had the operation about six weeks later and they took out my right lung.”

Paul Philip Roberts said the Princess of Wales showed him that ‘she cares’ (Paul Philip Roberts/PA)

He underwent only one round of chemotherapy because it made him feel “really ill” and “so disoriented” so instead he opted for 15 sessions of radiotherapy.

After radiotherapy he is in remission but has been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which has “taken over”, he said.

He explained: “Basically, I’m on end-of-life now, I’m with a hospice now, I’ve got nurses now.”

He said cancer is “a long road, so you need all the support”.

On his message to the Princess of Wales, Mr Roberts said: “Always focus on getting stronger. That’s my message to her, is to focus on getting stronger, and take all the support that you can because it’s crucial.

“I just wish her all the luck in the world and I hope she manages to get through it, especially for her family.”