Where is Kate Middleton? Concerns Arise After Princess of Wales’ Absence After Abdominal Surgery

Kate Middleton typically dives back into royal duties in January after the holiday season. But this year, things were different. Despite a busy December and attending Christmas with the royal family, both Middleton and Prince William kept a low profile in early 2024, with only one solo engagement for William.

Then, on Jan. 17, it was revealed that Middleton, 42, had undergone planned abdominal surgery. She spent nearly two weeks in the hospital before continuing her recovery at home. Her return to public engagements is expected after Easter.

Concerns about Middleton’s well-being arose after Prince William unexpectedly missed a memorial service.

Though a palace source reassures that Middleton is recovering well, the lack of updates has led to worries. The only known detail is that her issue was non-cancerous.

Prince George, Prince William, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis, and Kate Middleton following the Platinum Pageant in June 2022. Credit: Getty.
Prince George, Prince William, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis, and Kate Middleton following the Platinum Pageant in June 2022. Credit: Getty.

Middleton’s absence from public events contrasts sharply with King Charles, who is dealing with his own health issues. Despite undergoing treatment for an enlarged prostate and revealing a cancer diagnosis, Charles has been seen accompanying Queen Camilla to church and sharing statements behind the scenes.

During her surgery and recovery, Middleton emphasised the importance of keeping Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis’ lives as normal as possible. Kensington Palace stated, “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.”

Prince William also played a supportive role by cancelling his royal duties to be with his wife and children. According to Robert Hardman, an expert on the monarchy, their focus is on normalising family life for the kids.

Traditionally, the responsibility of managing the children would have been left to the nanny, but Prince William has been actively involved in pickups and drop-offs.

Unlike King Charles, who shared details of his health issues, Middleton chose to keep her medical information private. The palace respected her wish for privacy and promised updates only when significant new information arises.

Kate Middleton is recovering in hospital following abdominal surgery. Credit: supplied.
Middleton is recovering in hospital following abdominal surgery. Credit: Getty.

Middleton was quietly released from the hospital on Jan. 29, 13 days after her surgery. She returned home to Windsor to continue her recovery, expressing gratitude for the care she received.

She will mostly recover at Adelaide Cottage on the Windsor estate until at least the end of March. A source close to the royal household emphasised the importance of taking the necessary time for recovery, setting a positive example for everyone.

“It is sensible to take the time,” a source close to the royal household told People.

“That is a great example to the rest of us, as you’re often told to get back to work as soon as possible, which can be damaging. It is good for all of us to see her taking the time, recovering properly and then coming back. We can all learn from that.”

Prince William later shared that Middleton was being cared for two “amazing and kind” nurses and in a promising sign, she travelled to Anmer Hall.

“Catherine is recovering well,” a source told the Daily Mail. “She was looking forward to a change of scene and will be able to take it easy in Norfolk while the children let off steam with William.”

After a period of absence during the Princess’s hospitalisation and recovery at home, Prince William resumed his royal duties. On Feb. 7, he hosted an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle and later attended the London Air Ambulance Charity Gala Dinner. During his speech at the event, Prince William expressed gratitude for the support received for Catherine and his father, particularly during recent challenging times.

In a light-hearted moment, Prince William joked, “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!”

A friend of Prince William shared with People that he is handling the return to public life remarkably well, considering the recent challenges his family has faced.

During his children’s school break, Prince William spent time with them and Middleton in Norfolk. He has since engaged in various activities, including visiting the British Red Cross headquarters, hosting another investiture ceremony, and attending the BAFTAs.

Prince William expressed regret for his wife’s absence at the BAFTAs, jokingly mentioning that she loves the event. He admitted to being preoccupied with other matters, indicating the challenging circumstances his family has been navigating.

Princess Kate is expected to refrain from public engagements until after Easter, according to the palace’s initial statement on her surgery and recovery. While it’s uncertain if Middleton will resume public duties in late March, it’s a tradition for the royal family to attend church on Easter. Last year, the Prince and Princess of Wales appeared as a family of five for the first time at the Easter event, marking Prince Louis’ debut.

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