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Princess Kate 'working from home' on early childhood campaign post-surgery

A spokesperson from Kensington Palace confirmed the update

Kate Middleton wearing white dress and sitting at laptop
Faye James
Senior Editor
22 March 2024
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Princess Kate has gracefully resumed her charitable endeavours from the comfort of her home, months following an abdominal surgery in January that had led to widespread speculation about her health and activities. 

A spokesperson from Kensington Palace confirmed to the Telegraph that Catherine is gradually re-engaging with her duties at the Royal Foundation Centre of Early Childhood, an initiative close to her heart aimed at enhancing the developmental prospects of babies and young children.

Amid her recovery, Catherine has been keenly receiving updates on her campaigns, demonstrating her unwavering commitment to her philanthropic work. 

The palace also shared that a study inspired by the Princess has seen "overwhelmingly positive" outcomes, further highlighting the impactful nature of her engagements.

However, Catherine's temporary step back from public appearances has ignited various conspiracy theories concerning her well-being, whereabouts, and dynamics with her husband, Prince William, with whom she shares three children. 

Since then, conspiracy theories on social media have gone rampant. Last week, Kensington Palace was forced to brush off speculation surrounding her health.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visits the RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival to view the RHS 'Back to Nature Garden' which she co-designed at Hampton Court Palace on July 1, 2019 in London© Getty
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge is said to be working from home

 A spokesperson for Kate said: "We were very clear from the outset that the Princess of Wales was out until after Easter and Kensington Palace would only be providing updates when something was significant."

The situation was further complicated by a series of mishandled photographs of the princess, adding fuel to the speculative fire.

Timeline of Princess Kate's surgery and health updates

After photo agencies pulled the photo, the Princess confessed to making edits when questions were raised over whether the image had been digitally altered.

 In a message shared on social media on Monday morning, Princess Kate stated: "Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing.

"I wanted to express my apologies for any confusion the family photograph we shared yesterday caused. I hope everyone celebrating had a very happy Mother's Day. C." 

The same day, the Princess of Wales was pictured in the car with her husband, the Prince of Wales, as they left Windsor in a black Land Rover. 

princess kate surrounded by children in windsor
Princess Kate was surrounded by her children in the photo

What has happened to Princess Kate?

On 17 January, it was confirmed by Kensington Palace that Kate had been admitted to the private London Clinic for planned abdominal surgery.

The palace released a lengthy statement, which added: "The surgery was successful and it is expected that she will remain in hospital for ten to fourteen days, before returning home to continue her recovery. Based on the current medical advice, she is unlikely to return to public duties until after Easter.

"The Princess of Wales appreciates the interest this statement will generate. She hopes that the public will understand her desire to maintain as much normality for her children as possible; and her wish that her personal medical information remains private.

"Kensington Palace will, therefore, only provide updates on Her Royal Highness’ progress when there is significant new information to share.

"The Princess of Wales wishes to apologise to all those concerned for the fact that she has to postpone her upcoming engagements. She looks forward to reinstating as many as possible, as soon as possible."

No further details of the Princess's condition have been given, but it has been confirmed to be non-cancerous.

Princess Kate wearing blue on Christmas Day© Getty
Princess Kate was last seen publicly on Christmas Day

How long did Princess Kate stay in hospital?

The royal was discharged from the London Clinic on 29 January after a 13-day stay in hospital.

Kensington Palace shared in a statement: "The Princess of Wales has returned home to Windsor to continue her recovery from surgery. She is making good progress.

"The Prince and Princess wish to say a huge thank you to the entire team at The London Clinic, especially the dedicated nursing staff, for the care they have provided.

"The Wales family continues to be grateful for the well wishes they have received from around the world."

Police officers stand guard outside The London Clinic after Princess Kate underwent planned surgery© Getty
Police officers stand guard outside The London Clinic after Princess Kate underwent planned surgery

Kate spotted since surgery

The Princess was pictured for the first time since her surgery on 4 March, when TMZ published an unauthorised paparazzi shot of Kate sitting in the passenger seat of a car as her mother, Carole Middleton, drove the pair through Windsor. 

A sweet family photograph of the Princess with her children, taken by William, was shared on Mother's Day in the UK on 10 March, but the portrait sparked confusion as news agencies pulled the image after it was found to have been digitally altered. 

Kate later issued an apology via social media the day after, writing: "Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing. I wanted to express my apologies for any confusion the family photograph we shared yesterday caused. I hope everyone celebrating had a very happy Mother's Day. C."

The Princess was later pictured in a car with William as she travelled to London for a private appointment, while her husband attended the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey. 

On 19 March, The Sun and TMZ shared footage of the Prince and Princess leaving the Windsor Farm Shop, close to their home, Adelaide Cottage, with Kate seen dressed in sportswear and holding a large white shopping bag as she chatted to her husband. 

kate middleton sezane co ord at nottingham trent university © Max Mumby/Indigo
Princess Kate will return to public duties in Easter

Hospital security breach 

A security breach is reported to have taken place at the London Clinic, where Kate was treated. According to The Mirror, up to three people could have been involved in the alleged accessing of the Princess of Wales’s private medical records after Kate was discharged from hospital on 29 January.

The London Clinic vowed that "all appropriate investigatory, regulatory and disciplinary steps will be taken" over any breach.

In a statement, chief executive of the London Clinic Al Russell said: "There is no place at our hospital for those who intentionally breach the trust of any of our patients or colleagues."

The news of the breach broke on 20 March - the day after William and Kate were spotted leaving the Windsor Farm Shop. 

Timeline of Princess Kate's surgery and health updates

Close-up of Kate Middleton wearing a blazer© Getty
Kate went in for abdominal surgery on 17 January

25 December 2023 – Kate is last seen publicly on Christmas Day

9 January 2024 – Kate celebrates her 42nd birthday, with the King and Queen sharing a behind-the-scenes photo from the coronation to mark the day.

11 January 2024 – William returns to royal duties, meeting rugby heroes Rob Burrow and Kevin Sinfield at Headingley Stadium in Leeds.

17 January 2024 – Kensington Palace announces in a statement that Kate has undergone abdominal surgery at the London Clinic and that William has temporarily stepped back from royal duties to care for Kate and their children.

18 January 2024 – William visits Kate at the London Clinic.

26 January 2024 – King Charles visits Kate in hospital before undergoing treatment for an enlarged prostate.

29 January 2024 – Kate is discharged from hospital and returns home to Windsor to continue her recovery. King Charles also leaves the London Clinic on the same day after his treatment.

7 February 2024 – William resumes royal duties attending London's Air Ambulance Charity gala with Tom Cruise.

10 February 2024 – William and Kate spend February half-term with George, Charlotte and Louis at their Norfolk home, Anmer Hall. Kate's siblings are also pictured on holiday during the school holidays, with James Middleton and Alizee Thevenet flying to the Caribbean with baby Inigo, and Pippa Matthews and her family holidaying on the island of St Barts.

27 February 2024 – Kate said to be "doing well" as William pulls out of King Constantine memorial due to a "personal matter".

29 February 2024 – Kensington Palace addresses social media speculation, reiterating: "We were very clear from the outset that the Princess of Wales was out until after Easter."

10 March 2024 - A photograph of Kate with their three children at home in Windsor is released to mark Mother's Day and to thank the public for their "continued support".

11 March 2024 - Kate publicly apologises for the "confusion" around the photograph as she admitted  she "occasionally experiments with editing," after news agencies pulled the image amid claims it had been digitally altered. The Princess is then seen in a car with William as she's driven to a private appointment in London. 

19 March 2024 - Footage of William and Kate leaving the Windsor Farm Shop is shared by The Sun and TMZ in the first video sighting of the Princess since surgery.

22 March 2024 - Princess Kate confirms that she has been diagnosed with cancer. Kate, 42, is currently in the early stages of preventative chemotherapy, having started treatment in late February. Kensington Palace has not confirmed the type of cancer.

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