Kate Middleton news: Princess of Wales 'surrounded by birth family' and heading to Sandringham - may not be seen for rest of the year

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The Princess of Wales may not appear in public for the rest of the year, it has been reported

The Princess of Wales may not appear in public for the rest of the year, it has been reported.

US website the Daily Beast says that it has spoken to royal sources and friends of Kate and Prince William, who have said that the Princess will be taking a back-seat for a longer period of time than originally planned.

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The Princess was admitted to hospital on January 16. Originally described as “planned abdominal surgery” that would need about a fortnight in hospital and further time to recuperate, she was originally projected to resume royal duties at Easter. However, after a period of speculation which saw a Mother’s Day picture issued, and then seen to have been digitally manipulated, the Princess released a video message on March 22 explaining that results from the surgery later led her to be diagnosed with cancer.

In the message she thanked the public for their support. The only public sightings of Kate since Christmas Day are in her mother’s car, and at a farm shop with William, although both were only captured on grainy picture or video and both have been contested. Kensington Palace has not confirmed the sightings nor commented on them.

Kate Middleton in a personal video message announcing her cancer diagnosisKate Middleton in a personal video message announcing her cancer diagnosis
Kate Middleton in a personal video message announcing her cancer diagnosis | The Prince and Princess of Wales

Last week William - who has resumed some royal duties, including presenting the FA Cup to Manchester United on Saturday, with Prince George - and Kate released a report for The Royal Foundation Business Taskforce for Early Childhood, a charity which she launched in March last year. The media have quoted sources saying she has been keeping involved with the charity and is still “a driving force”, but have not made clear what exactly she is doing, to what extent she is working on it, or what will happen in the future. The report argues that investing in early childhood could generate more than £45.5bn for the national economy each year.

When it was released, Kensington Palace clarified that it did not signify the Princess returning to work, and said she would only do so when doctors gave her the green light to do so.

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The previous week, a video was released about the Duchy of Cornwall's Mental Health Strategy, to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week. Neither royal featured in that video.

Now The Daily Beast has, when describing, recent months, used the phrase that the Princess has been “surrounded by her birth family” - presumably to differentiate between the royal family.

It adds: “Kate and her family are expected to spend next week, which is a school holiday, at her and William’s country home on the Sandringham Estate. Her parents, to whom she is close, are thought likely to visit.”

The website also quoted a source which said: “Lots of people involved in planning need to know what all the principals are doing a long way in advance. I am told that Kate’s diary for this year is empty. There is nothing planned. She may not appear in public for the rest of the year.”

Another source told the Daily Mail last week that Kate’s friends were not expecting to see her back working until the autumn.

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