Where Is Kate Middleton?: A Timeline Of The Royal Drama [UPDATED]

By: Christopher Turner

If you have been on the internet in recent weeks you are probably already aware that Kate Middleton, the Princess of Wales, has been at the centre of public controversy for her absence from the public spotlight. The 42-year-old wife of Prince William and mother of their three children, has faced intense tabloid and online speculation about her health and well-being since the beginning of January, when she was hospitalized for nearly two weeks following a planned abdominal surgery. Kate’s absence from the public eye, coupled with a lack of details about her surgery and her recovery, peaked public interest and ultimately caused speculation to grow.

Two weeks ago interest in the growing mystery of Kate’s whereabouts really started to increase… 29Secrets even wrote a light-hearted piece on Kate’s whereabouts and the internet falling down the royal family rumour rabbit hole.

And, then matters only got worse for the royal family.

If you’ve been on social media in the last few days, especially on X (formerly known as Twitter) or TikTok, you are well aware of the global firestorm of speculation and complex conspiracy theories that have taken over… most of it is without any factual basis: Kate has run away, she has changed her appearance, she has a love rival, she is anorexic, she was beaten, she is in a wheelchair, she is involved in a murder, she is filing for a divorce, she is dead. No matter what is really going on it is clear that the royals have totally lost control of the narrative.

The memes and rumours were so numerous that William’s office issued a snarky comment recently: “His focus is on his work and not on social media.” But, that wasn’t enough to quiet the masses. So, on Sunday March 10, the palace released a simple family photograph that was intended to show the world that Kate was OK. Instead the image, an intended fire blanket, instead acted as gasoline and now every corner of the internet seems to be playing a guessing game, which is ranging from measured analysis to outright conspiratorial conjecture.

“Royal press management isn’t easy. No palace job is,” Catherine Mayer, author of Charles: The Heart of a King, said in a post on X. “But this doesn’t explain serial mistakes in royal comms.”

Here is a look at the timeline of events and drama—inducing conspiracy theories since Kate’s last public appearance.

Where Is Kate Middleton- A Timeline Of The Royal Drama - December 25 - leaving Sandringham

December 25, 2023: Kate’s last public appearance
Christmas Day marks Kate’s last verified public appearance. Kate, following royal tradition, joined members of the royal family as they attended Christmas morning church services at Sandringham, the family’s country residence north of London. After the service Kate, dressed in blue, was seen smiling and talking to onlookers as she and William walked hand in hand at the royal family’s estate in Norfolk, England with Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5.

December 28: An unexplained ambulance
An ambulance with police escort is seen at Sandringham, where the royal family was spending Christmas. There is no comment from the royal family or police.

January 16, 2024: Kate is admitted to hospital
Kate was admitted to the London Clinic on Tuesday, January 16, according to a statement issued by Kensington Palace the next day.

January 17, 2024: Kensington Palace announces Kate’s “planned abdominal surgery”
Kensington Palace announces on Twitter that Kate underwent a “planned abdominal surgery” and will be hospitalized for 10 to 14 days.

“The Princess of Wales appreciates the interest this statement will generate,” the palace said in the statement. “She hopes that the public will understand her desire to maintain as much normality for her children as possible; and her wish that her personal medical information remains private.”

The Palace adds that it is unlikely Kate will participate in any public engagements until after Easter, which this year falls on Sunday March 31.

January 17, 2024: Buckingham Palace announcement
Buckingham Palace announced on Wednesday, January 17 that King Charles would head to the hospital the following week for a “corrective procedure” to treat a benign condition.

“In common with thousands of men each year, The King 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 said. “The King’s public engagements will be postponed for a short period of recuperation.”

Where Is Kate Middleton- A Timeline Of The Royal Drama - January 18 - William visits Kate at the hospital

January 18, 2024: William visits Kate at the hospital
British tabloids run a series of photographs of William driving himself away from the London Clinic, presumably after a private visit with Kate. It is the first and last time that William is seen entering the hospital. The couple’s three children were not believed to have visited Kate in the hospital during her stay.

January 21, 2024: Sarah Ferguson skin cancer announcement
In other royal health news: Sarah Ferguson (who was once married to Prince Andrew) is diagnosed with skin cancer, just months after she battled breast cancer.

January 24, 2024: Inner circle shocked
The U.K. papers report that the William and Kate’s inner circle was shocked to hear that Kate had surgery and that they were not aware of any health concerns or scheduled procedures.

January 26, 2024: King Charles undergoes a procedure in the same facility where Kate is recovering
King Charles visits Kate at the London hospital in Marylebone Central where she is recovering and then undergoes a procedure to treat an enlarged prostate in the same facility.

“The King was this morning admitted to a London hospital for scheduled treatment,” Buckingham Palace confirmed in a statement Friday. “His Majesty would like to thank all those who have sent their good wishes over the past week and is delighted to learn that his diagnosis is having a positive impact on public health awareness.”

January 28, 2024: Concha Calleja claims Kate is in a coma
As days go by without any updates on Kate or any disclosure of her medical diagnosis, speculation and conspiracy theories about her health, marriage and whereabouts being to spread online and in the media. Finally, Spanish journalist Concha Calleja claimed Kate faced complications after surgery and needed to be placed in a coma.

“The doctors had to take drastic decisions at that moment because of the complications that arose,” Calleja penned, per the Times. “The decision was to put her in an induced coma. They had to intubate her. There were serious complications that they didn’t expect because the operation went well, but the postoperative period didn’t go so well.”

According to the report, Kate’s life was allegedly “in great danger” after her operation. Calleja had also apparently spoken with an aide from the royal household in a “completely confidential manner.”

Where Is Kate Middleton- A Timeline Of The Royal Drama - January 29 - return home to Windsor Castle to continue her recovery

January 29, 2024: There is an update on Kate
Following a nearly two-week hospital stay, Kensington Palace shares a statement on Instagram that Kate will return home to Windsor Castle to continue her recovery.

“The Princess of Wales has returned home to Windsor to continue her recovery from surgery. She is making good progress,” the palace said. “The Prince and Princess wish to say a huge thank you to the entire team at The London Clinic, especially the dedicated nursing staff, for the care they have provided.”

At this point Kate has not been seen in 35 days and there are no pictures or footage of her exiting the hospital.

January 29, 2024: King Charles is discharged from the hospital
Just hours after Kensington Palace announces that his daughter-in-law will return home following a 13-day stay in hospital, King Charles is discharged from the London Clinic in Marylebone Central after spending three nights following a procedure for an enlarged prostate.

February 1, 2024: A response to the Concha Calleja story
On Thursday, February 1, a palace source denies Calleja’s story that Kate was place in a medically induced coma.

“It’s total nonsense,” the insider affirmed to the Times. “No attempt was made by that journalist to fact-check anything that she said with anyone in the household. It’s fundamentally, totally made-up, and I’ll use polite English here: it’s absolutely not the case.”

February 5, 2024: King Charles has cancer
It’s been less than 18 months since King Charles took the throne, and on Tuesday, February 5 it is announced that he has now been diagnosed with cancer. Buckingham Palace says that the King has already started treatment. However, they did not disclose what form of cancer the 75-year-old has or how bad the situation is.

February 5, 2024: King Charles has cancer
Shortly after King Charles cancer diagnosis is revealed U.K. Magazine publishes an article that says that Kate’s recovery could take up to nine months, not three months as originally announced.

February 7, 2024: Prince Harry returns…briefly
Two days after King Charles cancer diagnosis is revealed Prince Harry returns to the U.K. to visit his father in hospital. The visit reportedly lasts under an hour after which Harry flies back to the states.

February 7, 2024: William resumes royal engagements
William returned to his public duties for the first time following Kate’s surgery and made his first public comments about his wife and father on Wednesday, February 7. That evening he attends a fundraising gala alongside Tom Cruise for London’s Air Ambulance Charity, where he briefly speaks about both King Charles and Kate.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to say thank you, also, for the kind messages of support for Catherine and for my father, especially, in recent days,” he said. “It means a great deal to us all.”

Following up with a joke, he added, “It’s fair to say the past few weeks have had a rather ‘medical’ focus. So, I thought I’d come to an air ambulance function to get away from it all.”

February 18, 2024: William attends the BAFTA Awards
Just over a week after resuming his public duties, William arrived solo at the 2024 BAFTA Awards, one of the most high-profile events in the U.K. Kate’s absence is felt as she has has traditionally attended with her husband each year.

Where Is Kate Middleton- A Timeline Of The Royal Drama - February 20 - William's solo statement

February 20, 2024: William’s solo statement
William releases a statement on the couple’s join social media account talking about the conflict in the Middle East. The statement raises red flags when there is no mention of Kate and William uses his solo monogram to accompany the statement.

February 27, 2024: William misses royal engagement due to “personal matter”
On Tuesday, February 27, William missed the service of Thanksgiving for his godfather, King Constantine of Greece, at St. George’s Chapel due to what the palace said was a “personal matter.”

“Unfortunately, The Prince of Wales is no longer able to attend the King Constantine Memorial Service this morning due to a personal matter,” the palace said in a statement at the time, declining to share further details.

The lack of detail sparks online speculation about both Kate and King Charles’ well-being.

February 27, 2024: Thomas Kingston
The same day Lady Gabriella Windsor’s husband Thomas Kingston is found dead at his family’s country mansion in Cotswold.

February 29, 2024: Palace shares update on Kate
Amid a growing amount of online speculation about Kate’s health a palace spokesperson releases a statement to American news outlets including Page Six, ABC News and NBC News saying that Kate was “doing well” as she continued to recover.

“Kensington Palace made it clear in January the timelines of the Princess’ recovery and we’d only be providing significant updates,” they said. “That guidance stands.”

The comment on Kate was the first official one shared by the palace since late January, when Kate was discharged from the hospital.

March 1, 2024: Thomas Kingston inquest
It is released that Thomas Kingston died from a “traumatic head wound” and a gun was found near his body in an outbuilding of his parents’ Cotswolds home, according to an inquest.

Where Is Kate Middleton- A Timeline Of The Royal Drama - March 4 - TMZ car photo

March 4, 2024: Kate is photographed in a car with her mom
Kate is photographed wearing sunglasses and sitting in the passenger seat of a car alongside her mother, Carole Middleton, as the two drive near Windsor Castle, according to images published by TMZ. The photo is not released or authorized by Kensington Palace, but marks the first time the Princess of Wales had been seen publicly since December.

The photos stir extreme speculation online when no major U.K. outlet publishes the photo.

Royals reporter Emily Andrews claims in a post on X that Kensington Palace, “exerted huge pressure on the British media NOT to publish the pic.”

March 5, 2024: The British Army gets involved
The British Army posts and then removes its claim that the Princess of Wales will be attending their annual Trooping the Colour event on Saturday, June 8, leading to further confusion and speculation about Kate’s health.

March 6, 2024: Palace issues William’s response to online speculation about Kate
Amid the speculation around Kate’s well-being, a palace spokesperson issued a brief statement to People magazine. The spokesperson said of William, “His focus is on his work and not on social media.”

Where Is Kate Middleton- A Timeline Of The Royal Drama - March 10 - Mother's Day photo

March 10, 2024: Kate shares photo and message on Mother’s Day
In honour of Mother’s Day in the U.K., Kensington Palace shares a photo on Instagram of Kate and her three children — Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis — which the Palace says was taken by her husband earlier in the week at Kensington Palace.

“Thank you for your kind wishes and continued support over the last two months. Wishing everyone a Happy Mother’s Day,” Kate wrote in the caption, signing off with a ‘C’ at the end – for Catherine.

Social media sleuths kick things off by immediately pointing out apparent discrepancies with the picture. By Sunday evening, four of the world’s largest news agencies — The Associated Press, Reuters, Getty Images and Agence France-Presse — pull the image from circulation due to apparent manipulation and all issue what are known as “kill notices,” an advisory for broadcasters and newspapers not to use the image.

“While there was no suggestion the image was fake, AP pulled the photograph from circulation because it did not meet its photo standards,” the Associated Press explained following the retraction. “AP’s editorial standards state that images must be accurate. AP does not use altered or digitally manipulated images.”

Where Is Kate Middleton- A Timeline Of The Royal Drama - March 11 - The Daily Mail calls out 16 photoshop issues

March 11: The Daily Mail calls out 16 ‘photoshop issues’ with Kate’s Mother’s Day portrait
The Daily Mail claims that there are 16 different ‘photoshop issues’ with the photo from Princess Charlotte’s hand to Kate’s zip and Prince Louis’s jumper to Prince George’s arm.

Other issues relate to Charlotte’s skirt and knee, Louis’s jumper and hand, Kate’s hair and George’s sleeve – as well as the ledge and step in the background.

Countless newspapers and websites follow suit with their own analysis of the Mother’s Day photo.

March 11: Kate issues public apology over photo
Kate issues an apology for sharing the edited image around 10:30am local time on Monday, March 11. In a statement released through Kensington Palace, she wrote: “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.” She signed it ‘C’ – for Catherine.

Kensington Palace said it would not be reissuing the original unedited photograph of Kate and her children that was taken by William.

Where Is Kate Middleton- A Timeline Of The Royal Drama - March 11 - leaving Windsor Castle

March 11: Kate is photographed sitting next to William in a car
Hours after Kate issued her apology for digitally editing the Mother’s Day family portrait, she is photographed leaving Windsor Castle in a chauffeured car alongside Prince William, apparently heading for a “private appointment.” The snap showed the couple sitting in the backseat of a car, where Prince William, glanced down and Princess Kate, looked out the window.

Prince William made his way to the annual Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey without her and does not comment on Kate or the photo controversy. Queen Camilla accompanies the Prince of Wales at the event at the Abbey.

March 14: Photographer insists car photo is legitimate
Since the Commonwealth Day car photo of William and Kate was published on March 11, conspiracy theories have surfaced that the photo is not real. The royals were photographed driving from Windsor Castle to a private appointment, and Kate’s head was turned away. The rumours were so rampant that both the photographer, Jim Bennett, and photo syndication service, Goff Photos, deny the rumours on March 16, insisting the photo has not been altered. The agency said that the photos “have been cropped and lightened” but “nothing has been doctored.”

Bennett echoed the idea in his own statement. “We don’t change our photos in Photoshop other than adjusting the light levels if necessary.”

March 16: Kate reportedly seen out and about… but there are no pictures
On Saturday March 16 Kate and William paid a visit to the Windsor Farm Shop, which is a mile from her Adelaide Cottage home, according to U.K. newspaper The Sun. The publication reported that onlookers said Kate looked “happy, relaxed and healthy” during the outing. Kensington Palace and the Windsor Farm Shop both told news outlets that they had no comment.

March 17: Kate may speak out
According to a new report over the weekend, Kate may speak out about her surgery and recovery when she returns to public duty. The Sunday Times cited insiders close to Kate, 42, and Prince William, 41, indicating that they anticipate the couple will share details about the royal’s surgery and recovery, but they will do so on their timeline and terms.

“They are at their most open when out interacting with members of the public and I can see a world in which the princess might discuss her recovery out on engagements,” a royal source told The Sunday Times, “If she was going to do it, that’s how she would do it.”

March 17: BBC allegedly asked to be on standby
#RoyalAnnouncement begins to trend on X after social media users become convinced that the BBC was asked to be on standby for a mysterious announcement from the royal family, which is set to come sometime early this week, before Wednesday, March 20. It’s also been reported that some outlets — British and otherwise — often receive a heads up regarding any big royal news. The announcement will allegedly be regarding Kate or King Charles and their well-being. The BBC (as well as other networks) have yet to confirm any major news in the pipeline.

March 18: Buckingham Palace confirms King Charles is alive
Buckingham Palace is forced to release a statement confirming that King Charles III is indeed alive after Russian media reports his death.

“We are happy to confirm that The King is continuing with official and private business,” the palace shared in a statement to the Russian state-run TASS news agency on Monday.

The Russian media outlet’s original report replicated correspondence from the palace, even including the monarch’s official seal. “The following announcement is made by royal communications. The King passed away unexpectedly yesterday afternoon,” the fake statement read.

March 18: There’s pictures and video from the farm!
On March 18 TMZ published video footage of Kate and William visiting the Windsor Farm Shop. The Sun had previously reported on Saturday that the couple visited the far about a mile from their home in Windsor…though there were only eyewitnesses but no photographic evidence.

According to TMZ, onlookers felt she looked “happy, relaxed and healthy” as she strolled in the store — a supermarket of sorts — and the couple didn’t seem to have a care in the world.

March 19, 2024: An investigation is launched
An investigation is launched at The London Clinic where the Princess of Wales underwent abdominal surgery in January after a member of staff allegedly accessed her private medical records.

Where Is Kate Middleton?- A Timeline Of The Royal Drama - March 22, 2024- Kate Middleton releases a statement confirming she has cancer

March 22, 2024: Kate releases a statement confirming she has cancer
In a video released on Friday March 22, Kate confirms that she was diagnosed with cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy, two months after she underwent “major” abdominal surgery. The type of cancer has not been disclosed. According to Kensington Palace, Kate started a course of preventative chemotherapy in late February.

The full text of Kate’s statement reads:

I wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you, personally, for all the wonderful messages of support and for your understanding whilst I have been recovering from surgery.

It has been an incredibly tough couple of months for our entire family, but I’ve had a fantastic medical team who have taken great care of me, for which I am so grateful.

In January, I underwent major abdominal surgery in London and at the time, it was thought that my condition was non-cancerous. The surgery was successful. However, 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.

This of course came as a huge shock, and William and I have been doing everything we can to process and manage this privately for the sake of our young family.

As you can imagine, this has taken time. It has taken me time to recover from major surgery in order to start my treatment. But, most importantly, it has taken us time to explain everything to George, Charlotte and Louis in a way that is appropriate for them, and to reassure them that I am going to be OK.

As I have said to them; I am well and getting stronger every day by focusing on the things that will help me heal; in my mind, body and spirits.

Having William by my side is a great source of comfort and reassurance too. As is the love, support and kindness that has been shown by so many of you. It means so much to us both.

We hope that you will understand that, as a family, we now need some time, space and privacy while I complete my treatment. My work has always brought me a deep sense of joy and I look forward to being back when I am able, but for now I must focus on making a full recovery.

At this time, I am also thinking of all those whose lives have been affected by cancer. For everyone facing this disease, in whatever form, please do not lose faith or hope. You are not alone.

March 22, 2024: Prince Harry, Meghan wish Kate ‘health and healing’
In a brief statement released to Vanity Fair, Harry and Meghan said they hoped Kate and her family could heal “privately and in peace”. The couple, who resigned from their roles as working royals in 2020, now live in California.

“We wish health and healing for Kate and the family, and hope they are able to do so privately and in peace,” the Sussexes said.

March 22, 2024: King Charles’ statement
King Charles has paid tribute to Catherine, who he refers to as his ‘beloved daughter-in-law. A Buckingham Palace statement said: “His Majesty is ‘so proud of Catherine for her courage in speaking as she did.
“Following their time in hospital together, HM has ‘remained in the closest contact with his beloved daughter-in-law throughout the past weeks.’ Both Their Majesties ‘will continue to offer their love and support to the whole family through this difficult time.'”

NOTE: This post was originally published on March 13, 2024 and has been updated several times since to include new information relevant to the where is Kate Middleton timeline.

Tags: Kate Middleton, Royals, The Royal Family, top story, topstory

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