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Palace Addresses Rumors and Conspiracy Theories About Kate Middleton's Health in New Statement

Palace Addresses Rumors and Conspiracy Theories About Kate Middleton's Health in New Statement

Kensington Palace said they were "very clear from the outset" about the Princess of Wales' recovery timeline

<p>Stephen Pond/Getty</p> Kate Middleton attends Christmas mass on Dec. 25, 2023

Stephen Pond/Getty

Kate Middleton attends Christmas mass on Dec. 25, 2023

The palace is making a rare statement about Kate Middleton's recovery from abdominal surgery after the Princess of Wales became the subject of online speculation in recent days.

A spokesperson for Princess Kate said, "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."

The spokesperson reiterated the princess, 42, is "doing well."

Following Prince William's unexpected withdrawal from a memorial service honoring his late godfather on Tuesday, concerns regarding Princess Kate's welfare surged across the internet, fueling a wave of conspiracy theories — despite a palace source sharing on Tuesday that Kate "continues to be doing well" in her recovery.

<p>Chris Jackson/Getty Images</p> Kate Middleton attends the Shaping Us National Symposium on Nov. 15, 2023

Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Kate Middleton attends the Shaping Us National Symposium on Nov. 15, 2023

Related: Why Haven't We Seen Kate Middleton Since Her Abdominal Surgery?

In the initial statement about her surgery released on Jan. 17, one day after the operation, Kensington Palace said it was Princess Kate's "wish that her personal medical information remains private."

The palace added that they would "only provide updates on Her Royal Highness’ progress when there is significant new information to share."

They also shared the expected timeline for her recovery, including a 10 to 14-day stay in the hospital post-surgery (she ended up leaving on Jan. 29, 13 days after the procedure) and a continued period of recovery at home with no return to public duties until after Easter.

<p>Stephen Pond/Getty</p> Kate Middleton attends Christmas mass on Dec. 25, 2023

Stephen Pond/Getty

Kate Middleton attends Christmas mass on Dec. 25, 2023

“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."

While Princess Kate has spent most of her recovery at their home in Windsor, she traveled to Anmer Hall, her and Prince William's home on the Sandringham estate in Norfolk, with their three children while they were on a school break in February.

"Catherine is recovering well," a source told the Daily Mail at the time. "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."

<p>Samir Hussein/WireImage</p> Kate Middleton, Princess Charlotte, Prince George, Prince William, Prince Louis and Mia Tindall on Christmas 2023

Samir Hussein/WireImage

Kate Middleton, Princess Charlotte, Prince George, Prince William, Prince Louis and Mia Tindall on Christmas 2023

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Prince William returned to royal duties this month after taking time off to help his wife and keep things normal for their children, Prince GeorgePrincess Charlotte and Prince Louis. He has given updates on Princess Kate's recovery, including that she was being cared for by two "amazing and kind" nurses.

Kate's absence from public view is in stark contrast to King Charles, who has faced his own health battles in recent weeks. The monarch, 75, underwent a procedure to treat an enlarged prostate in January and revealed his cancer diagnosis on Feb. 5 (his cancer is understood to not be prostate cancer, however). While he has not made public outings, he has been seen going to church with Queen Camilla, sharing statements as he works behind the scenes and even appearing in a video where he read letters from well-wishers.

Meanwhile, Princess Kate chose discretion.

"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; and her wish that her personal medical information remains private," the palace's initial statement on her surgery said. "Kensington Palace will, therefore, only provide updates on Her Royal Highness’ progress when there is significant new information to share."

<p>Jonathan Brady / POOL / AFP</p> Kate Middleton attends Buckingham Palace reception on Dec. 6, 2023

Jonathan Brady / POOL / AFP

Kate Middleton attends Buckingham Palace reception on Dec. 6, 2023

Related: Why Kate Middleton Didn't Have Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis Visit Her in the Hospital

Princess Kate's surgery comes after a busy December for the royal.

On Dec. 5, she pulled double duty with a morning hospital visit and evening reception at Buckingham Palace. Kate hosted her third annual Christmas concert at Westminster Abbey on Dec. 8, which highlighted her “Shaping Us” early childhood campaign in its first year.

Her final appearance before the surgery came on Christmas when she joined members of the royal family for their annual church outing.

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