Wednesday, May 29, 2024
World / EuropeWorld News

First official picture of Kate since surgery released

With so few details about her condition released since, the question of “Where is Kate?” has increased on social media, accompanied by increasingly outlandish conspiracy theories.

Enacting their “never complain, never explain” strategy, what started as Facebook and TikTok chatter about her “disappearance” from public life flipped over into the mainstream media amid an information vacuum over her illness, the nature of King Charles’ cancer and then a “personal matter” that kept William away from a memorial for his Greek godfather, the late King Constantine II, last month.

The Princess of Wales, with the Prince of Wales, in Dundee, Scotland in 2015.

The Princess of Wales, with the Prince of Wales, in Dundee, Scotland in 2015.Credit: Getty Images

In the mainstream media in recent days, the BBC has referred to the situation as “a royal dilemma”, the New York Times wrote about the “feverish speculation” over Kate’s condition and the LA Times appeared to go one better with a piece about the frenzy over Kate’s “disappearance”.

In Europe, Spain’s El Pais ran a headline that read: “Scant information on the health of Charles III and Kate Middleton, who was seen in a photograph Monday, raises more questions than answers.” In tabloid magazines in Germany, conjecture ranged from Kate being the victim of a domestic abuse attack to being pregnant with twins.

The palace, meanwhile, reiterated it would provide updates on her recovery when there was significant new information to share.

The Times reported this weekend that the palace had appealed to journalists for calm amid what they have noted is a rising sense of panic about the princess’ condition.

“The guidance hasn’t changed,” a palace source told the paper. “We made it clear that the princess would be unlikely to return before Easter and that’s what’s happening.”

Catherine’s surgery came on the same day that palace officials said Charles, 75, would also be entering hospital for treatment for an enlarged prostate.

During the King’s hospital stay, his medical team discovered he had an unspecified form of cancer. The monarch has had to postpone his public engagements while he undergoes treatment, although he has been pictured carrying out some of his duties as head of state.

Buckingham Palace also marked Mother’s Day, posting a picture of Charles kissing the hand of his late mother Queen Elizabeth, who died aged 96 in September 2022.

“Wishing all mothers, and those who are missing their mums today, a peaceful Mothering Sunday,” the accompanying message said.

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