Kate Middleton Returns to Social Media for the First Time Since Her Abdominal Surgery

Kate Middleton, who's been out of the spotlight as she recovers from abdominal surgery, returned to social media March 10 to send a message to royal supporters.

By Jess Cohen Mar 10, 2024 12:24 PMTags
Watch: Kate Middleton’s First Photo Since Abdominal Surgery Retracted Amid Manipulation Concerns

UPDATE: The photo of Kate Middleton and her kids has been removed from this story after it was retracted by Reuters and the Associated Press.

"The Associated Press initially published the photo, which was issued by Kensington Palace," AP said in a statement to NBC News March 10. "The AP later retracted the image because at closer inspection, it appears that the source had manipulated the image in a way that did not meet AP's photo standards. The photo shows an inconsistency in the alignment of Princess Charlotte's left hand."

E! News has reached out to Kensington Palace for comment and has not heard back.


Kate Middleton has returned to social media.

The Princess of Wales, who underwent abdominal surgery in January, shared a photo of herself smiling alongside kids Prince George, 10, Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5, in honor of U.K.'s Mother's Day.

"Thank you for your kind wishes and continued support over the last two months," Kate wrote in a message posted to Instagram and X, formerly known as Twitter, March 10. "Wishing everyone a Happy Mother's Day. C."

The photo, which shows the 42-year-old seated in a chair surrounded by her kids, was taken this week by Prince William.

This is the first time Kate has formally been seen since the royal family's Christmas walk in late December, just a few weeks before she was admitted to the hospital.

"The surgery was successful and it is expected that she will remain in hospital for 10 to 14 days, before returning home to continue her recovery," Kensington Palace shared in a Jan. 17 statement. "Based on the current medical advice, she is unlikely to return to public duties until after Easter."

Kate Middleton & Prince William's Best Moments

At the time, the Palace noted that while Kate "appreciates the interest this statement will generate," she also "hopes that the public will understand her desire to maintain as much normality" for her and William's children as possible.

The statement also specified that updates on Kate would only be shared with the public when "there is significant new information."

Stringer/Anadolu via Getty Images

"The Princess of Wales wishes to apologize to all those concerned for the fact that she has to postpone her upcoming engagements," the Palace concluded. "She looks forward to reinstating as many as possible, as soon as possible."

Despite this statement, speculation began to surface about Kate's time out of the public eye. And when William canceled an appearance at godfather King Constantine II of Greece's memorial service in late February due to a "personal matter," it sparked a social media frenzy.

Karwai Tang/WireImage

Though the Palace assured royal fans she was on the mend. "Princess of Wales, who is recovering from abdominal surgery," the Palace said in a Feb. 27 statement, "continues to be doing well."

And after a photograph of Kate riding in a car alongside her mom Carole Middleton was taken in early March, William's team addressed the online speculation.

"His focus is on his work," his rep told People March 6, "and not on social media."

To learn more about the latest royal family news, including King Charles III's cancer diagnosis, keep reading...

Kate Middleton Focusing on Health

Nearly two months after the Princess of Wales went public with her cancer diagnosis, a spokesperson for Kensington Palace said the royal has no immidiate plans to return to her public-facing duties.

"The princess is not expected to return to work," the rep said in a May 21 statement to BBC, "until it's cleared by her medical team."

New Role for Prince William

On May 13, King Charles III bestowed the title of Colonel-in-Chief of the Army Air Corps to his oldest son, sparking controversy as many royal watchers believed the title would be more suited for Prince Harry, who trained and served in the military branch.

Kin Charles III Returns to Public Duties

On April 26, nearly three months after sharing his cancer diagnosis, Buckingham Palace announced that Charles will return to public-facing duties

Queen Camilla Attends Royal Maundy Service

The queen consort attended the Royal Maundy Service on March 28 in place of King Charles III, making her the first spouse of the Monarch to continue the ancient tradition.

Kate Middleton Shares Cancer Diagnosis

In a March 22 video message, the Princess of Wales shared that she'd been diagnosed with cancer after undergoing abdominal surgery in January.

"It was thought that my condition was non-cancerous. The surgery was successful," she said before noting that tests after the operation found cancer had been present. "My medical team therefore advised that I should undergo a course of preventative chemotherapy and I am now in the early stages of that treatment."

Kate Middleton Apologizes for Edited Family Photo Controversy

After photo agencies pulled the picture Kensington Palace shared of Kate since having her abdominal surgery on March 10, the Princess of Wales addressed claims the photo was doctored. 

"Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing," she tweeted on March 11. "I wanted to express my apologies for any confusion the family photograph we shared yesterday caused. I hope everyone celebrating had a very happy Mother's Day. C."

Lady Kitty Spencer Privately Welcomes Baby

Princess Diana's niece celebrated Mother's Day in the U.K. by sharing she and her husband Michael Lewis privately welcomed their first baby.

“It’s the joy of my life to be your mummy, little one. I love you unconditionally," she captioned her March 10 Instagram post. "Happy Mother’s Day to those who celebrate today."

Queen Camilla Takes a Break

After keeping up her full slate of engagements in the wake of her husband's cancer diagnosis, the palace cleared Camilla's schedule.

The Times pointed out March 2 that the 76-year-old didn't have any engagements on her calendar until March 11, when she'd be due at Westminster Abbey to observe Commonwealth Day.

Thomas Kensington Dies at 45

The husband of Lady Gabriella Windsor and ex-boyfriend of Pippa Middleton, was found dead Feb. 25. Days later, a coroner's inquest found that he died by suicide.

King Charles Diagnosed With Cancer

While King Charles III was in the hospital for his benign prostate enlargement procedure, the royal family member was diagnosed with cancer.

"His Majesty has today commenced a schedule of regular treatments, during which time he has been advised by doctors to postpone public-facing duties," Buckingham Palace said Feb. 5. "Throughout this period, His Majesty will continue to undertake State business and official paperwork as usual.The King is grateful to his medical team for their swift intervention, which was made possible thanks to his recent hospital procedure. He remains wholly positive about his treatment and looks forward to returning to full public duty as soon as possible."

Sarah Ferguson Is Diagnosed With a Second Type of Cancer

The Duchess of York's rep said in a statement on Jan. 21 that Sarah was recently diagnosed with malignant melanoma, an aggressive form of skin cancer. Several months prior, she underwent a single mastectomy to treat breast cancer.

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark Abdicates the Throne

On Jan. 14, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark made history as she officially abdicated the throne, handing the crown over to her son, now known as King Frederik the 10th

Kate Middleton Is Hospitalized

Kensington Palace announced on Jan. 17 that Kate Middleton underwent planned abdominal surgery and was set to remain in the hospital for 10 to 14 days.

"Based on the current medical advice," the Palace said, "she is unlikely to return to public duties until after Easter."

Prince William Adjusting His Schedule

Amid Kate's recovery, Prince William postponed a number of engagements as he supported his family, including the couple's three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

King Charles III Undergoing Treatment

Shortly after Kate's hospitalization was made public, Buckingham Palace shared that Charles "has sought treatment for an enlarged prostate."

"His Majesty's condition is benign and he will attend hospital next week for a corrective procedure," the statement added. "The King’s public engagements will be postponed for a short period of recuperation."

Luxembourg Welcomes a New Baby

Princess Claire and Prince Felix of Luxembourg welcomed son Balthazar Felix Karl on Jan. 7, the first royal baby of the New Year!

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