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Prince William Had Kate Middleton on His Mind at Latest Solo Outing — Find Out His Sweet Remark

The Prince of Wales praised his wife, who is recovering from abdominal surgery

Samir Hussein/WireImage Kate Middleton and Prince William attend Commonwealth Day service on March 13, 2023
Samir Hussein/WireImage Kate Middleton and Prince William attend Commonwealth Day service on March 13, 2023

Kate Middleton may be continuing her recovery from abdominal surgery, but Prince William still had her royal work top of mind during a solo event.

The Prince of Wales, 41, made a sweet remark about his wife, 42, on Tuesday as he attended an engagement in Sheffield, which saw him visit the Homewards Sheffield Local Coalition meeting about ending homelessness.

According to the Daily Mail, when Sheffield City Council chief executive Kate Josephs raised the topic of childhood during the meeting, Prince William noted, "That's my wife's area, she needs to be sat here."

The Princess of Wales has made the early years of a child's life a huge focus of her work. Last year, she launched a new campaign for her Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood “highlighting the critical importance the first five years of our lives have on shaping the adults we become.”

<p>Oli Scarff - WPA Pool/Getty Images</p> Prince William in Sheffield on March 19

Oli Scarff - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Prince William in Sheffield on March 19

Related: Kate Middleton Misses Traditional Outing at St. Patrick's Day Parade as She Continues Surgery Recovery

Prince William's outing came just days after he and Princess Kate were captured on video visiting a farm shop in Windsor together over the weekend. Kate was seen smiling and carrying a shopping bag in the footage as she and William left the Windsor Farm Shop, which is just a mile from their Adelaide Cottage home. Princess Kate dressed down for the outing, wearing black leggings, a pair of black sneakers and a zip-up hoodie (with a subtle message to her royal work!).

The sighting on Saturday marked the first time Kate has been seen out in public since Kensington Palace announced that she had undergone “planned abdominal surgery” in a statement shared on Jan. 17.

On Monday, The Sun reported that onlookers said Kate looked “happy, relaxed and healthy” during the visit to the shop.

"Kate was out shopping with William, and she looked happy and she looked well," an onlooker told the outlet.

The couple was not joined by their three children — Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5 — but The Sun reported that they spent Saturday morning watching their kids take part in sports.

<p>Paul Campbell - WPA Pool/Getty</p> Prince William and Kate Middleton visit Scotland in November 2023

Paul Campbell - WPA Pool/Getty

Prince William and Kate Middleton visit Scotland in November 2023

Related: Kate Middleton Could Address Health Issue When She Returns to Public Duty: Report

Prince William was cheered by onlookers as he arrived at the Millennium Gallery in Sheffield, which is approximately 170 miles north of London, on Tuesday.

The royal even stopped for a selfie with Leigh Stinchcombe on his way into the meeting and placed a hand on his shoulder for the snap.

Prince William’s attendance at the meeting was a continuation of his mission to address homelessness in the U.K., inspired by his late mother Princess Diana.

<p>OLI SCARFF/POOL/AFP via Getty Images</p> Prince William snapped a selfie with Leigh Stinchcombe outside the meeting in Sheffield

OLI SCARFF/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Prince William snapped a selfie with Leigh Stinchcombe outside the meeting in Sheffield

Princess Kate has been spotted twice traveling by car in recent weeks: on March 4 with her mother, Carole Middleton, and on March 11 with Prince William, who was believed to be heading to the annual Commonwealth Day Service of Celebration at Westminster Abbey. PEOPLE understands Kate was heading to a private appointment.

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The latter sighting came on the same day that Kate released a statement on social media apologizing for "any confusion" around her Mother's Day photo after multiple photo and news agencies pulled the picture amid suspicions of manipulation.

Mark Borkowski, a London-based public relations and crisis communications expert, told PEOPLE that by sharing a new image of Kate with the public, the palace hasn't calmed concerns — "in fact, it's made it worse."

"Now some people are asking if it is all generated by AI or is it a Photoshop of a photo taken. It’s not something you'd want the royal brand to be aligned with," he said.

However, a palace insider downplayed the PR crisis and told PEOPLE that the situation is a "bump in the road” rather than “an earthquake.”

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