Rumors Swirl About Kate, Princess of Wales, Amid Health Concerns

Rumors Swirl About Kate, Princess of Wales, Amid Health Concerns

On Christmas Day, Catherine, Princess of Wales, attended service at St. Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk, England, wearing head-to-toe royal blue. She walked to church with her husband, Prince William, and their three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, much like she had in years past.

Greeting the gathered crowds and the cameras, “She looked lovely for the occasion,” said Town & Country.

The princess has not been seen in public since.

Three weeks later, on Jan. 17, Kensington Palace announced that Catherine, 42, formerly known as Kate Middleton, had been admitted to the London Clinic to undergo “a planned abdominal surgery.”

The surprise news about Catherine’s health was magnified by the fact that, just an hour later, the palace announced that King Charles III, 75, would receive treatment for an enlarged prostate the next week. Two of the most senior members of Britain’s royal family were now facing health trials.

As news started to return to normal — on Wednesday King Charles was photographed being driven from his home, Clarence House, and he has resumed some official business, including meeting with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak — rumors began to surface again about the Princess of Wales. Although Prince William, 41, also scaled back his royal duties during his wife’s recuperation, this week, he bowed out of a planned appearance at a memorial service at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor for his godfather, King Constantine of the Hellenes, who died in January 2023.

That led a palace source to address the latest twist in the saga, and perhaps try to stop the rumors, in language that did anything but. The princess, the source told People, “continues to be doing well.”

William’s absence at the memorial, and the reason given by the palace — an undisclosed personal matter — only fueled continued speculation around Catherine’s health. Little is known about her medical procedure, leading to plenty of conjecture, concern and conspiracy theories.

That remains a mystery to the public. Abdominal surgery could be anything from an appendectomy to laparoscopy. On Jan. 17, Kensington Palace said the surgery was successful. It did not offer details on Catherine’s diagnosis or prognosis, other than that her condition was “not cancerous.”

The palace added: “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 issued another statement at the end of the month, telling the public that Catherine had been discharged from the London Clinic.

At home, according to a statement. The palace said the princess would recuperate at Adelaide Cottage in Windsor Home Park after she left the hospital.

Her office added that she was “unlikely to return to public duties until after Easter.”

Prince William visited his wife shortly after her surgery and was photographed leaving the hospital. But according to People magazine, Catherine’s three children did not see their mother at the hospital. That follows the London Clinic’s visitor guidelines, which state that “we do not permit any children or babies to visit.” (Special requests must be approved by hospital staff.) Instead, the princess is said to have connected with her children over FaceTime.

The lack of information around Catherine has given rise to wild speculation about her health. A Spanish journalist named Concha Calleja claimed that she spoke with a source within the Royal Family. The source supposedly told Ms. Calleja that Catherine faced serious complications after surgery, requiring “drastic” actions to save her life.

“The decision was to put her in an induced coma,” Ms. Calleja told the Spanish news show Fiesta. “They had to intubate her.”

In its initial statement, Kensington Palace said it would provide updates on the princess only when there was “significant new information to share.” But the palace was moved to address Ms. Calleja’s claims, calling them “total nonsense” and “ludicrous.”

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