Kate Middleton Spotted in Public For First Time Since Abdominal Surgery

Catherine, Princess of Wales

The Princess of Wales – seen here at The 'Together At Christmas' Carol Service at Westminster Abbey last December – has been the subject of conspiracy theories since her withdrawal from public appearances following an unspecified abdominal procedure in January.  Photo: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

The Princess of Wales was spotted in public today for the first time since undergoing abdominal surgery in mid-January.

In a widely circulated photograph online, the 42-year-old royal was seen in the passenger side of an SUV driven by her mother Carole Middleton.

Kate was admitted to hospital for abdominal surgery on January 16, but hadn’t been seen in public since attending a family church service on Christmas Day – an absence that’s led to widespread speculation about the health of the Princess of Wales.

Today’s “sighting” comes after the palace responded to such online speculation on Friday – which included rumours that she had been diagnosed with cancer and was in a coma.

“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,” a palace spokesperson said in the statement, adding that the princess was “doing well.”

On Tuesday, Prince William unexpectedly withdrew from a memorial service for his late godfather, Greece’s King Constantine II, fuelling concern about Kate’s condition. The palace also shared a brief update on her condition at that time, saying she “continues to be doing well” in her recovery.

Still, social media users seemed to latch on to her “disappearance,” offering up hair-brained conspiracy theories – including one that pondered the possibility that the royal is Banksy, the anonymous England-based street artist who hasn’t revealed a new work since the princess has gone into recovery.

In a normal world, the new photograph of Kate with her mother would be proof enough to dispel any speculation about her wellbeing, but the trolls have already started to question the legitimacy of the photo.

Meanwhile, for the level-headed (and tinfoil helmet-free) royal watchers out there, it hopefully won’t be long before we see Kate back in action.

According to the Palace’s initial statement on her recovery, the Princess of Wales will return to royal duties after Easter, which falls on March 31.


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