While acres of news coverage has been devoted to topic of Kate Middleton’s surgery and subsequent sick leave, there have been milestones in her journey out of the public eye. As stated by the palace in January, Kate would be undergoing a planned abdominal procedure and would be recuperating for a few months following the  operation at the London Clinic.

Here we breakdown the major sightings and news regarding the princess during her hospitalization and recovery.

December 25 2023: Happy Holidays

The Princess of Wales appears happy and healthy on the traditional walk at Christmas Day to mass service at St. Mary Magdalene southwest of royal residence Sandringham House. The princess warmly greets members of the public during the outing and shakes hands with well-wishers along the path. During the walk to church, the princess appears comfortable and relaxed and nothing seems amiss to fans and followers. Kate had a broad smile, her Christmas coat is a maxi McQueen in blue and she looks sharply dressed and impeccably styled for the holiday celebrations with the rest of the royal family.

PA Image


December 28, 2023: Mystery Emergency

A royal convoy of cars is spotted quickly leaving the Sandringham estate with an ambulance and police escort. The stream of cars leaving the Norfolk countryside is spotted around 8:30 in the vicinity of Marylebone (location of the London Clinic). Prince William’s Audi is also reportedly part of the car entourage.

Brian Moran/X


January 17, 2024: Planned Procedure

The palace issues a statement that the princess underwent a “planned abdominal surgery” at the London Clinic in Marylebone. The statement makes mention of the fact that the surgery was “successful” and the princess would be in hospital care for ten to fourteen days before returning home. Kate’s diagnosis is not revealed in the palace press release.

January 18, 2024: Spousal Support

Prince William is photographed visiting the London Clinic and is spotted driving himself to the medical building with an unidentified male passenger (possibly a member of his security team or an aide).



January 26, 2024: King Visits Kate

Multiple media outlets report that King Charles visits the princess while she remains in the central London medical facility. Before his admittance for a prostate procedure, the king spends time with his daughter-in-law at the private hospital.


January 29, 2024: Fetched Flowers 

While there were no additional sightings of William visiting the princess, Kate’s long time personal assistant and stylist Natasha Archer is snapped arriving at the clinic just prior to Kate being discharged. There are also no photographs of Kate’s parents, siblings or children visiting the princess (though it’s possible the media respectfully did not publish these private visits). Flowers from Kate’s hospital suite also appear en route to her home in Windsor.

The Prince of the Ocean/X


January 29, 2024: Royal Report

The palace issues a follow-up statement and says that Kate will continue her convalescence at home and adds that the princess’ condition is improving and that she is “making good progress.” There are no photos or sightings of Kate leaving the hospital.

February 7, 2024: Harry’s Hello

Prince Harry makes a short return to the UK but reportedly doesn’t spend time with his brother William during the visit. It’s not believed he has any contact with his sister-in-law during the trip.

Via YouTube



February 9, 2024: Country Escape

Media outlets like the Daily Mail report the princess is “on the mend” and is healthy enough to leave Adelaide Cottage in Windsor Home Park for the family retreat in Norfolk for a holiday break with the children.


February 27, 2024: Missed Memorial

Prince William cancels and is not in attendance at his godfather’s memorial service. He cites a “personal matter” for his absence at King Constantine’s service at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.

Kensington Palace


February 29, 2024: No More News

William’s last minute cancellation prompts worry and concern. Thus, the palace is forced to issue a statement explaining Kate’s current condition. “Kensington Palace made it clear in January the timelines of the princess’ recovery and we’d only be providing significant updates,” her representative tells news organizations. “That guidance stands.” In addition, the KP spokesperson reiterates that Kate is “doing well.”

ABC News/Facebook


March 4, 2024: Paparazzi Picture

The only paparazzi photograph of the princess since her surgical procedure is snapped by tabloid news site TMZ. Respecting her privacy, the UK media doesn’t publish the photograph. Kate is seen being driven by her mother Carole Middleton (reportedly dropping off her children at school) while riding as the passenger in a black Audi SUV near Windsor Castle. There appears to be no additional security with the two women for the early morning drive.


March 10, 2024: Mother’s Day Reveal

For Mothering Sunday in the UK, the princess shares a family snap of herself and her children taken on the back porch of her cottage home. The charming image taken by Prince William causes a deluge of new conspiracy theories and controversies and is given a ‘kill notice’ by major press agencies over concerns of manipulation.


March 11, 2024: Issuing an Apology

The princess issues an apology for confusion about the photograph.


March 11, 2024: Puzzling Passenger 

Another photo is taken of Prince William leaving Windsor Castle. Seated beside the prince is a dark figure; the passenger is a silhouette of a woman staring at a brick wall through the car window.  It’s hard to decipher if the woman is Kate or an assistant or even the family nanny Maria Borrallo. News outlets report that the woman beside the prince is indeed the princess but it’s hard to make a firm confirmation due to the lighting of the photograph. The photographer himself says he did not notice the princess in the vehicle until later reviewing his pictures.


March 16, 2024: Proud Parents

A report in the Sunday Times says that Kate has been spotted at her children’s school. The article states, “In recent weeks, Kate has been at Lambrook to support the children.” In addition, Prince William is reportedly seen at Princess Charlotte’s school football match.


March 17, 2024: Rustic Retail

The princess is spotted (but not photographed) by unnamed sources at Windsor Farm Shop while browsing the market. Shoppers tell the Sun that Kate looked “happy and healthy” at the gardening supply store and local cafe.


March 18, 2024: Catherine’s Comeback

Photos and video of the princess’ farm shopping trip are released and TMZ and the Sun publish the images of a healthy princess walking alongside William carrying a shopping bag. The mom of three is spotted in Windsor alive and well wearing black leggings and black sneakers for the market outing.

Dan Wootton/X