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Princess of Wales is seen for the first time since her abdominal surgery: Photos of Kate being driven home from the school run by mother Carole are published in US – in new sign her recovery is progressing


The Princess of Wales has been pictured for the first time since she had abdominal surgery in January – after an American website published photos of her being driven by her mother near Windsor.

Until today, Kate had not been seen in public since attending the Sandringham church service on Christmas Day with William and their children George, Charlotte and Louis.

Kensington Palace insisted last week that she was still ‘doing well’ but she is unlikely to return to official royal engagements until after Easter

US website TMZ has published photos of Kate wearing sunglasses in the passenger seat of a 4×4 Audi, which her mother Carole Middleton was driving near Windsor Castle.

The photos were taken shortly before 9am, suggesting the mother and daughter were returning from the school run. 

It comes after it was claimed last night that Kate’s ‘black sheep’ uncle Gary Goldsmith, Carole’s brother, was scolded by the Princess of Wales’s parents after reportedly signing up to Celebrity Big Brother amid fears he could spill secrets about the Royal Family.

Kate left hospital on January 29 and returned to Adelaide Cottage in Windsor to be reunited with her children almost two weeks after having the surgery.

The Princess of Wales has not been pictured since she attended the Christmas Day church service at Sandringham

The Princess of Wales has not been pictured since she attended the Christmas Day church service at Sandringham 

Princess Kate attended the service with Prince William and their children George, Charlotte and Louis

Princess Kate attended the service with Prince William and their children George, Charlotte and Louis

She had been admitted to the London Clinic – the same private hospital where King Charles was treated for an enlarged prostate – for a planned operation on January 16.

William temporarily stepped back from his royal role to juggle caring for her and their children, but carried out engagements in Wrexham and at a synagogue in London last week. 

While in Wrexham, the Prince of Wales was asked ‘William, how’s Catherine?’

William did not respond to the question while walking into Wrexham AFC’s Racecourse Ground during a trip to mark St David’s Day last Friday. 

As he made his way into the stadium, the heir to the throne was asked by another fan ‘Can I get a selfie please?’ – but said: ‘Can I say hello to the team? I’ll come back.’

He also thanked Welsh schoolchildren for giving him a bouquet of flowers for Kate. 

Last Tuesday, William pulled out of a memorial service for the late King Constantine of Greece at Windsor Castle due to an unspecified ‘personal matter’.

In the latest statement on Kate, a royal spokesman said last week: ‘Kensington Palace made it clear in January the timelines of the princess’ recovery and we’d only be providing significant updates. That guidance stands.’

Last night, sources told The Sun that Kate’s uncle was ‘read the riot act’ by Carole over his rumoured appearance on Big Brother tonight.

William also thanked Welsh schoolchildren for giving him a bouquet of flowers for Kate last week

William also thanked Welsh schoolchildren for giving him a bouquet of flowers for Kate last week

Kate left hospital on January 29 and returned to Adelaide Cottage in Windsor to be reunited with her children almost two weeks after having the surgery. Pictured: Kate and William in September 2022

Kate left hospital on January 29 and returned to Adelaide Cottage in Windsor to be reunited with her children almost two weeks after having the surgery. Pictured: Kate and William in September 2022 

Officials have said  that the Princess of Wales (pictured on December 5) continues to do 'well'. Kate plans to return to royal engagements after Easter

Officials have said  that the Princess of Wales (pictured on December 5) continues to do ‘well’. Kate plans to return to royal engagements after Easter

An insider said: ‘Gary said he’s been read the riot act by Kate’s mum Carole and her dad Michael.

‘They aren’t happy he’s going into Celebrity Big Brother. It is infuriating to them. Kate doesn’t need this stress.’

Last month William thanked the public for their ‘kind messages of support’ as he spoke at an event in London about Kate and the King’s cancer diagnosis.

William’s words of praise, delivered during a fundraising dinner, recognised those who wished Kate well. He told the guests: ‘It means a great deal to us all.’

It is understood that Kate’s return to official duties will depend on medical advice nearer the time.

The exact details of the Princess’s condition have not been revealed but the Palace said previously it was not cancer-related and that Kate wished her personal medical information to remain private.

News of the Princess’s surgery was announced by Kensington Palace on January 17, with Buckingham Palace triggering a double royal health scare 90 minutes later when it revealed the King was to be treated in hospital for an enlarged prostate.

Kate is currently under the careful watch of royal doctors and is benefiting from the London Clinic’s aftercare, with dedicated physiotherapists on hand with a personalised plan and a video check-up at home with a nurse specialist on offer.

NHS advice about recovering from abdominal surgery says that, after a major operation with a large incision, it takes two to three months to be able to move around comfortably.

William at the Baftas in London on February 18 before suddenly pulling out of the memorial for his late godfather King Constantine of Greece for an unspecified 'personal reason'

William at the Baftas in London on February 18 before suddenly pulling out of the memorial for his late godfather King Constantine of Greece for an unspecified ‘personal reason’

The King has been seen at Sandringham going to church each Sunday but public duties have been paused

The King has been seen at Sandringham going to church each Sunday but public duties have been paused

The family live at Adelaide Cottage in Windsor’s Home Park and are being supported by their staff, including loyal, long-standing nanny Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo.

Kate’s parents, Carole and Michael Middleton, and siblings, Pippa Matthews and James Middleton, are also thought to be hands-on at the moment in helping the Waleses navigate this period as the princess recovers.

Aides previously insisted that Kate would be out of sight until after Easter, but she is likely to be working behind the scenes on her early years projects.

In Charles’s absence from public duties, Camilla has become the most senior royal performing engagements – and led the Royal Family at the service for King Constantine last week.

This year has seen a sudden shortage of frontline royals after Charles and Kate both went into hospital around the same time.

And the family’s health woes have left William shouldering more of the burden of public duties while at the same time supporting Kate and helping care for their children.

Charles was admitted for surgery for a benign prostate condition, but subsequently diagnosed with an unrelated cancer. The monarch has withdrawn from public-facing duties while he undergoes treatment.



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