While the royal family are regular fixtures on the charity circuit and appear in weekly media bulletins, it’s unusual for the members of the Firm to leave the public eye for long periods. Devoted to duty and their public service, the royals rarely get extended leave or can afford lengthly absences. Yet, just as the general public suffer health woes and sickness, so too does the royal family.

Princess Kate has recently withdrawn from public life in order to heal following a planned abdominal surgery in January. According to the Mirror, Kate was discharged as a patient from the London Clinic on January 29th, 2024 (her procedure reportedly took place January 16th).

Thus, it was an unexpected and wholly welcome sighting of the princess that occurred yesterday near her home in Windsor.

Windsor Castle (Creative Commons/Pixabay)

The princess’ procedure and subsequent recovery have been a source of conflicting reports and ceaseless conspiracy theories running rampant on social media. The palace clapped back at those rumors and all the digital noise with a statement released last week which read, We were really clear from the start we weren’t going to provide a running commentary on the Princess of Wales’s health and only provide significant updates. Obviously, we’ve seen the madness of social media and that is not going to change our strategy. There has been much on social media but the Princess has a right to privacy and asks the public to respect that.”

Wild theories have circulated on social media platforms along with ridiculous demands regarding confirmation of Kate’s whereabouts and updates on her recuperation. Even political news outlets like the Atlantic have developed flow chart graphics to examine the princess’ supposed ‘missing status’ and posed the question: Where is Kate Middleton? (The publication waded through message boards and twitter feeds to decode and debunk the latest Internet gossip.)

Kensington Royal

The princess had not been photographed in public since Christmas Day last year when she attended traditional holiday celebrations at Sandringham with King Charles, Queen Camilla as well as her immediate family. The new paparazzi pictures released exclusively by celebrity gossip site TMZ show the 42-year-old with mother Carole Middleton shortly before 9am on Monday March 3rd returning from dropping of the Wales children at Lambrook School in Ascot (a six mile drive from Windsor).

Princess Kate’s mother Carole was pictured behind the wheel driving a black Audi SUV for the daytime outing. It appeared that no other relatives or security were present for the family school run. The Princess was snapped riding in the passenger seat of the vehicle wearing dark sunglasses and what appeared to be a winter coat.

As of now, Her Royal Highness is expected to return to regular royal duties after Easter but there have been reports that she will actually resume her schedule in June at the annual Trooping the Colour parade.