First official photo of Kate since surgery released – as health rumours swirl

UK

The first official photograph of the Princess of Wales has been released since she underwent abdominal surgery in January.

The image of Kate and her children, taken in Windsor earlier this week by the Prince of Wales, was posted on social media on Mother’s Day as she thanked the public for their continued support following her operation.

Kate can be seen sitting and smiling with her arms wrapped around her younger children Prince Louis and Princess Charlotte, while eldest child Prince George stands behind his mother and hugs her.

In a message accompanying the photo on Instagram, Kate wrote: “Thank you for your kind wishes and continued support over the last two months.

“Wishing everyone a Happy Mother’s Day.”

The 42-year-old future queen was admitted to the London Clinic for a planned operation on 16 January.

The princess returned home from the private hospital after 13 days, and Kensington Palace said at the time the princess was “making good progress”.

Kate has not been seen in public since she joined other members of the Royal Family for a Christmas Day walk, though US celebrity news site TMZ published a photo of her on 4 March which is understood to have been taken by unauthorised paparazzi.

More on Princess Of Wales

In the photo, which TMZ said was taken near Windsor Castle, Kate wore dark sunglasses and sat in the passenger seat of a black Audi being driven by her mother, Carole Middleton.

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See the resemblance? Photo of Kate as a child released
Why has there been so much speculation about Kate’s health?

Kate is not expected to return to official royal duties until after Easter.

Last Wednesday, the Ministry of Defence announced on its website Kate would be present at its Trooping the Colour event in June, but later removed her name from the event’s description.

It is understood the army had not asked for approval from Kensington Palace before making the announcement, and the palace has not confirmed her attendance.

The black-and-white photograph features on the Prince and Princess of Wales' Christmas card. Pic: Josh Shinner
Image:
A family photograph featured on the Prince and Princess of Wales’ Christmas card last year. Pic: Josh Shinner

Speculation about her health has increased since Prince William last month pulled out of his godfather’s memorial at Windsor Castle due to a “personal matter”.

The palace added in its statement about Prince William’s change of plans that Kate was “recovering and continues to be doing well” – but did not elaborate on what the “personal matter” was.

Prince William is due to attend Commonwealth Day celebrations at Westminster Abbey on Monday alongside the Queen.

Kate will miss the service as she continues to recover, as will the King, who continues to undergo treatment for his cancer.

Kensington Palace said in its update on Kate’s health in January that the princess “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 also said it would “only provide updates on Her Royal Highness’ progress when there is significant new information to share”.

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