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Breaking Down Kate Middleton’s Disappearance From the Public Eye — and Every Sighting Since

Every Kate Middleton Sighting Since Speculation Into Her Whereabouts
Karwai Tang/WireImage

One question has been on everyone’s mind for the last several months: where is Princess Kate Middleton?

Kensington Palace announced in January 2024 that Kate would be out of the public eye until after Easter following a planned abdominal surgery.

“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,” read a statement shared via the palace’s official X account. “The Princess of Wales wishes to apologize to all those concerned for the fact that she has to postpone her upcoming engagements. She looks forward to reinstating as many as possible, as soon as possible.”

With few details made public about Kate’s procedure, questions quickly arose about whether there was more to the story. King Charles III was simultaneously hospitalized for a prostate treatment and was diagnosed with cancer less than one month later.

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While Charles continued to make rare public appearances, Kate remained focused on her recuperation. Theories about Kate’s whereabouts have run rampant on social media as she stayed out of the spotlight, from Gone Girl comparisons to speculation about her marriage to Prince William.

Reps for both Kate and William attempted to debunk the rumors, and Kate was eventually spotted in a car on multiple occasions, though the photographs from both outings were blurry.

The drama continued when a photo of Kate and her three children — Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis — was shared for Mother’s Day. Followers pointed out that small details in the portrait indicated that it could have been edited. Kate confirmed the rumors after several news agencies refused to publish the manipulated photo.

“Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing,” read a statement shared via X in March 2024. “I wanted to express my apologies for any confusion the family photograph we shared yesterday caused.”

Later that month, a source exclusively told Us Weekly that Kate would explain her health condition in due time.

“When she goes back to work after Easter, she will likely be ready to talk about it,” the insider shared, noting that Kate may speak out “when she’s doing a royal walkabout and meeting and greeting members of the public.”

Keep scrolling for a timeline of the drama surrounding Kate’s disappearance:

December 2023

December 2023 Every Kate Middleton Sighting Since Speculation Into Her Whereabouts
Samir Hussein/WireImage

Kate made her final public appearance before her operation when she joined members of the royal family for their annual walk to Christmas Day church service in Sandringham. She was photographed alongside Charles, Queen Camilla, William and their kids as they made the trek to St Mary Magdalene Church, which is located near Sandringham House, where the family celebrates the holiday.

January 2024

Kensington Palace revealed that the Princess of Wales underwent a “planned abdominal surgery” and was on the mend.

“The surgery was successful, and it is expected that she will remain in hospital for ten to fourteen days, before returning home to continue her recovery,” the palace wrote via X. “Based on the current medical advice, she is unlikely to return to public duties until after Easter.”

William took a brief break from public duties to help Kate recover but resumed his royal engagements soon after.

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February 2024

Kate’s rep clarified that she was doing “well” after her surgery — despite the online speculation.

“Kensington Palace made it clear in January the timelines of the princess’ recovery and we’d only be providing significant updates,” a spokesperson for Kate told Us in a statement. “That guidance stands.”

March 2024

As rumors continued to swirl, Kate was spotted for the first time since her procedure in photos obtained by TMZ. Kate wore sunglasses while sitting in the passenger’s seat of the vehicle with her mother, Carole Middleton.

She was later photographed in a car leaving Windsor Castle with William, but her face was turned away from the camera. William appeared at the annual Commonwealth Day service, which Kate did not attend.

March 2024

March 2024 Every Kate Middleton Sighting Since Speculation Into Her Whereabouts
Prince of Wales/Kensington Palace / MEGA

While celebrating Mother’s Day in the U.K., Kate shared a photo of herself and her children, writing via Instagram, “Thank you for your kind wishes and continued support over the last two months. Wishing everyone a Happy Mother’s Day. C 📸 The Prince of Wales, 2024.”

Multiple news outlets subsequently received a notice to “kill” the photo and remove it from publication because the portrait appeared to have been “manipulated” by the source. No replacement photo was provided.

Kate addressed the photo editing scandal in a statement, apologizing for “confusion” it may have caused. While the post remains published on Instagram, the platform placed a warning alongside the image about it being altered.

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March 2024

Due to the overwhelming interest in Kate’s whereabouts, some social media users speculated that something else could have led to her public break.

Rumors from 2019 about William’s alleged affair with Rose Hanbury, who is the Marchioness of Cholmondeley, resurfaced online amid the chatter. (Rose attended William and Kate’s 2011 wedding, but she was rumored to have a falling out with Kate in 2019 due to the alleged infidelity. Kensington Palace never commented on the speculation.)

Stephen Colbert even got in on the conversation during an episode of his late-night show.

“Internet sleuths are guessing that Kate’s absence may be related to her husband, and the future King of England, William, having an affair. … I think we all know who the alleged other woman is, say it with me, The Marchioness of Cholmondeley,” Colbert joked about Hanbury. “Now there have been rumors of an affair between William and [Rose] since 2019. According to tabloids, back then, when Kate supposedly confronted him about it, he ‘laughed it off, saying there was nothing to it.’ Aha, always a good response when your wife accuses you of cheating.”

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March 2024

Although Kate was photographed several times following her surgery, not everyone was convinced it was actually her, instead theorizing that the royal family might have been utilizing body doubles in her place.

A source told Us at the time that even Kate’s inner circle wasn’t aware of all the details regarding her break.

“A few of Kate’s senior staffers haven’t been able to see or speak to her, and they didn’t even know about the surgery until it was announced, so it’s caught them off guard,” an insider shared.

That same month, Kate reportedly looked “happy, relaxed and healthy” while out and about with William at the Windsor Farm Shop near their home.

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