Palace source hopes Kate farm shop video will end conspiracy theories - as aides plan her official return

The Princess of Wales pictured on a visit to the Natural History Museum in London in 2022 (PA)
The Princess of Wales pictured on a visit to the Natural History Museum in London in 2022 (PA)

Royal insiders reportedly hope footage showing Catherine, the Princess of Wales shopping in Windsor with Prince William will at last put an end to conspiracy theories about her welfare and whereabouts.

The video showed a casually dressed Kate dressed looking “happy and well” on Saturday as she and William walked through the car park at Windsor Farm Shop, near their home.

Wearing trainers and a casual zip-up jacket, she smiled as she chatted with William, with both carrying bags of shopping.

The video - which marks the first time the princess has been pictured out and about since undergoing abdominal surgery in January - has sparked headlines around the world, including a front page story from The Sun.

The media frenzy has led to sneering responses from some, with one X user quipping: “Woman goes shopping. Wow!”

Another wrote: “Woman has operation. Woman gets better. Woman goes shopping. Oh my goodness what a massive mystery.”

 (Jonathan Brady/PA)
(Jonathan Brady/PA)

Speaking to The Telegraph, a royal source expressed hopes the sighting will see an end to recent wild speculation about the princess’ health, saying: “Finally, everyone can calm down.”

Meanwhile a source told The Mirror on Tuesday that two former royal aides with experience in public relations have been consulted on how best to orchestrate Kate’s return to public life.

“The teams are working round the clock to devise the Princess of Wales’s back-to-work plan after weeks of immense pressure,” the source told The Mirror. “They all know that the world will be watching after weeks of heightened speculation and often outlandish commentary on social media.”

Kate was admitted to private hospital The London Clinic for “planned abdominal surgery” on January 16. She remained there for almost two weeks before being discharged to her home Adelaide Cottage in Windsor on January 29.

Details of her condition have not been revealed by Kensington Palace. It said only that it was not cancer-related, and that she was “doing well”.


The Palace was clear when Kate was admitted to hospital that she would be stepping back from royal duties until Easter, while she recovered at home with her family, out of the public eye.

But a lack of photos and sightings of the nation’s favourite royal led to a swell of wild conspiracy theories as to her whereabouts and health status.

In late February, further fuel was added to the fire when the Prince of Wales pulled out of attending the memorial service for his godfather, the late King Constantine of Greece, at the last minute.

He had been due to give a reading at the service at St George’s Chapel in Windsor, but did not attend due to a personal matter, Kensington Palace said.

Apparently aware the incident would lead to speculation about the Princess of Wales’ health, the palace said Kate was still doing well following her surgery. But rumours about her welfare only increased online.

They were further stoked when the Prince and Princess of Wales released a photo of Kate to mark Mother’s Day, which later turned out to have been digitally edited by Kate.

The photo, which showed her smiling and looking well, surrounded by her children, initially assuaged public fears about her health.

 (Kensington Palace)
(Kensington Palace)

But global picture agencies, and the UK’s PA press agency, withdrew the photo over suspicions it had been manipulated, prompting mass speculation as to how and why.

Kate later admitted editing the photograph, saying in an apology posted on X: “Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing.

“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”.Despite calls for the original to be published, Kensington Palace said it would not be reissuing the unedited photograph.

Palace insiders insisted the mistake was an “entirely innocent” attempt to make the family portrait the best it could be, but the Palace has faced growing pressure over the debacle with the controversy branded damaging to the public’s trust in the Royal Family.

Getty Images has now said it believes a photo of the Queen surrounded by her grandchildren and great-grandchildren - which was reportedly taken by Kate at Balmoral in 2022 - was also digitally enhanced.