Kensington Palace shares update on Kate Middleton as rumors swirl about her health

ByKatie Kindelan ABCNews logo
Saturday, March 2, 2024
Rumors swirl about Kate Middleton following surgery
Kate, the Princess of Wales, is "doing well" as she continues to recover from abdominal surgery, according to a Kensington Palace spokesperson.

LONDON -- Kate, the Princess of Wales, is "doing well" as she continues to recover from abdominal surgery, according to a Kensington Palace spokesperson.

The spokesperson brushed off recent social media speculation about Kate's health, telling ABC News in a statement Thursday, "Kensington Palace made it clear in January the timelines of the Princess' recovery and we'd only be providing significant updates. That guidance stands."

Previously, the last major update the palace had provided on Kate came on Jan. 29, when Kate returned home to Windsor following a nearly two-week hospital stay after undergoing what the palace described as a "planned abdominal surgery" in mid-January.

The lack of updates about Kate's health, combined with her absence from the public eye, as well as her husband Prince William recently missing a royal engagement due to a "personal matter," have led to rampant speculation online about Kate's well-being.

Here is the latest on Kate's health and what is publicly known.

Kate's last public appearance was on Christmas Day

Kate, 42, made her last public appearance on Christmas Day, when she attended church with members of the royal family.

Kate was seen smiling and greeting fans as she walked to the royal family's traditional Christmas morning service at Sandringham alongside William and their three children, Princes George and Louis and Princess Charlotte.

The Waleses were joined by other members of the royal family as well, including King Charles III and his wife Queen Camilla.

SEE ALSO: King Charles III's cancer was 'caught early,' British PM says; Prince Harry arrives in London

Kate underwent abdominal surgery in January

Less than one month after Christmas, on Jan. 17, Kensington Palace announced that Kate had been admitted the previous day to The London Clinic for "planned abdominal surgery."

The palace did not provide further details on the type of surgery Kate underwent, but confirmed to ABC News at the time that the princess's medical issue was non-cancerous.

"The Princess of Wales appreciates the interest this statement will generate," the palace said in a statement issued on Jan. 17. "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."

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

William, the heir to the throne, postponed his public engagements while Kate was hospitalized.

He was spotted privately entering and exiting The London Clinic to visit Kate during her stay. The couple's three children are not believed to have visited Kate in the hospital.

Kate is now recovering at home

The palace announced on Jan. 29, nearly two weeks after Kate underwent surgery, that the princess had been discharged from the hospital.

From there, Kate continued her recovery at the family's home in Windsor, about 30 miles outside of London.

"The Princess of Wales has returned home to Windsor to continue her recovery from surgery. She is making good progress," a palace spokesperson said in a statement at the time. "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 spokesperson added, "The Wales family continues to be grateful for the well wishes they have received from around the world."

Since being home from the hospital, Kate has also spent time with her family at Anmer Hall, their home in Norfolk.

William has issued one public statement on Kate's health

After taking time off while Kate was hospitalized, William returned to his public duties on Feb. 7, stepping in for his father to lead an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle.

Later that day, William joined actor Tom Cruise at a central London hotel for a charity fundraising gala for London's Air Ambulance.

At the gala, William made his first and so far only public remarks about Kate.

"I'd like to take this opportunity to say thank you, also, for the kind messages of support for Catherine and for my father, especially, in recent days," William said. "It means a great deal to us all."

Following up with a joke, William continued, "It's fair to say the past few weeks have had a rather 'medical' focus. So I thought I'd come to an air ambulance function to get away from it all."

William has since attended the BAFTAS on his own, an event at which Kate is traditionally by his side.

On Tuesday, William sparked speculation after he missed a service of Thanksgiving for his godfather, King Constantine of Greece, at St. George's Chapel, citing a "personal matter."

William returned to his public duties on Thursday, visiting the Western Marble Arch Synagogue in London.

Kate has been completely out of the public eye while recovering, in contrast to Charles

William's father Charles was briefly hospitalized at The London Clinic at the same time as Kate in January.

Charles stayed multiple nights at The London Clinic for a planned procedure to treat an enlarged prostate.

Shortly after he was discharged from the hospital, Buckingham Palace announced the 75-year-old king had been diagnosed with cancer.

The palace has not specified Charles's type of cancer, the stage of cancer or the type of treatment he is receiving.

In contrast to Kate's absence, however, Charles has been seen publicly since his diagnosis, including attending church with Camilla in Sandringham and traveling back and forth to London for treatment.

Last week, the palace released photographs of Charles reading some of the cards and letters from well-wishes the palace says the king has received.

Kate's first public appearance could be on or around Easter Sunday

At the time of her surgery, the palace said Kate is not likely to resume her public duties until later this spring.

In past years, William and Kate and their children have been photographed walking to church on Easter Sunday.