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Kensington Palace, this is not how you convince the world Kate Middleton is alive and well

Catherine, Princess Of Wales
Catherine 'Kate' Middleton, the Princess of Wales.Ian Vogler/WPA Pool via Getty Images
  • Kensington Palace broke its silence amid speculation on Kate Middleton's whereabouts.

  • But its response prompted more questions than answers.

  • Royal commentators told BI it's unusual for Kate not to share updates, even about her health.

Conspiracy theories are swirling online about where exactly the Princess of Wales might be.

Kensington Palace said in January that Kate Middleton had undergone "planned abdominal surgery" and that she likely wouldn't return to work until around Easter, which falls at the end of March.

Though it's standard for royals to take time off for health reasons, it isn't common for them to disappear from the public eye. Kate hasn't been photographed since Christmas Day.

The palace said it won't provide a 'running commentary'

From rumors about Kate and William's relationship to suggestions that the princess' condition is worse than it seems, countless unfounded theories have surfaced on social media.

Though none of the rumors have been proven, the palace's determination to give as little information as possible has only heightened public speculation.

kate and william baftas
The Prince and Princess of Wales attend the BAFTA Awards in London on Sunday, February 19.Dave Benett/Getty Images

In a statement to multiple news outlets on Thursday, Kensington Palace said they'd been clear on Kate's recovery timeline and wouldn't provide regular updates on her condition.

The statement, obtained by BI, said: "We gave guidance two days ago that The Princess of Wales continues to be doing well."

"As we have been clear since our initial statement in January, we shall not be providing a running commentary or providing daily updates," it continued.

The statement is a contrast to the palace's previous strategy

The statement could have been an opportunity to silence the rumors once and for all. But it only caused more confusion.

Kristen Meinzer, a royal commentator and podcast host, told BI that the mystery surrounding Kate's condition is unusual because she has been transparent about her health in the past.

For example, the public was informed when she dealt with hyperemesis gravidum — a condition that causes severe sickness — during her pregnancies. She also posed for photos outside the hospital after giving birth to all three of her children.

kate william royal baby
Kate Middleton, Prince William and Prince George.Scott Heavey/Getty Images

"The weird thing is, the palace could make it all go away with one single photo of Kate, but they seem to not want to do that," Jack Royston, a royal commentator and podcast host, told BI.

An unnamed friend of Kate and William's told The Daily Beast that the public speculation will only make the couple more determined to maintain their privacy.

"If William has read any of this stuff, it will only make him more determined to stick to his guns and keep his wife out of the limelight while she recovers. The stuff people are writing is toxic," the friend said.

"The principal aim of her being sequestered is to guard her privacy," a former royal staff member told the publication. "I'm sure the press hate it because it is working. There is a really, really small bubble of people who know exactly what is going on."

Kate's last public appearance was in December when she joined the royal family for their traditional Christmas Day service in Sandringham, Norfolk.

The Prince and Princess of Wales walk on Christmas morning 2023 at Sandringham with their children.
The royal family on Christmas 2023.Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty Images

In a brief update, Kensington Palace said on January 17 that she'd undergone "planned abdominal surgery."

Then on January 29, the palace issued a statement saying Kate had returned home to Windsor to continue with her recovery.

"She is making good progress," the statement read.

For the most part, William has performed royal engagements in Kate's absence with the exception of one last-minute cancellation in February. He was supposed to give a reading at a memorial service for the late King Constantine of Greece on Tuesday, but pulled out due to "personal reasons," The Telegraph reported.

Earlier in February, William made a rare solo public statement about the conflict in Gaza. The statement was signed with a "W" seal rather than the crown imagery featured on official statements from the Prince and Princess of Wales' office.

A handful of royals have been outspoken about their health

The royal family has historically been opaque about what goes on behind closed doors.

But in recent years, it's become more common for royals to open up about their health. For instance, King Charles swiftly informed the public when he was diagnosed with cancer and he also made a statement when he contracted Covid twice.

The late Princess Diana said she'd struggled with self-harm and bulimia, calling the eating disorder a "symptom of what was going on in her marriage" to then-Prince Charles.

Read the original article on Business Insider