Kate Middleton is Expected to Stay Away From "Public Duties for Some Time"

The Princess of Wales will be able to attend events "when she feels able to," reports say.

Catherine, Princess of Wales attends the Christmas Morning Service at Sandringham Church on December 25, 2023 in Sandringham, Norfolk.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Kate Middleton is reportedly not going to be returning to public duties anytime soon as she continues to undergo preventative cancer treatments for an undisclosed type of cancer.

On Friday, May 3, the Times of London reported that the Princess of Wales is "expected to be away from public duties for some time," adding that Middleton could—down the road—be "keen" to attend public-facing events "when she feels able to."

After Kensington Palace announced that the Princess of Wales had undergone a reportedly planned abdominal surgery and brief hospitalization in January, Middleton wasn't expected to return to her royal duties until sometime after Easter, 2024.

That return date was later postponed indefinitely, when Middleton made the shocking announcement that she had been diagnosed with cancer.

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“My medical team therefore advised that I should undergo a course of preventative chemotherapy, and I’m now in the early stages of that treatment,” Kate said at the time, via a video released by the Palace on March 22. “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.”

In the same video, Middleton said that she would eventually return to public-facing duties when her doctors cleared her to do so. A spokesperson for Kensington Palace went on to explain that "any initial public events" the Princess of Wales attends "will not necessarily signal a return to a regular public schedule," the Tatler reported.

In her announcement, Middleton said she is "well and getting stronger every day by focusing on the things that will help me heal in my mind, body and spirit."

During a recent public appearance, Prince William gave a brief update on his wife and children.

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While the Prince of Wales was in Newcastle, England during a charity visit, a member of the public wrapped in a Union Jack flag asked the prince if he could "ask how your wife and children are."

"All doing well, thank you," Prince William replied. "Yes, all doing well."

As his wife continues to focus on her health and ongoing treatments, Prince William was reportedly feeling "immense pressure" in the days leading up to his return to royal, public-facing events.

“It’s been stressful,” a source told Us Weekly, referring to the Prince of Wales navigating not only his wife's cancer diagnosis, but his father, King Charles', own cancer diagnosis and treatment.

“William feels a profound sense of duty to uphold the monarchy’s stability and inspire confidence in the public that everything will be okay," the source continued. "It’s an immense responsibility.” 

Danielle Campoamor is an award-winning freelance writer covering mental health, reproductive justice, abortion access, maternal mental health, politics, celebrity, and feminist issues. She has been published in The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, NBC, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, InStyle, Playboy, Teen Vogue, Glamour, The Daily Beast, and more.