Princess Kate Just Dropped a Key Signal That She’s Doing Her Best to Return to Work As Soon As Possible, Royal Expert Says

“She will soon be back in control, better than ever.”

Kate Middleton at the memorial service for Queen Elizabeth's one year anniversary
(Image credit: Getty Images)

As the Princess of Wales continues to recover from surgery in January, royal expert Ingrid Seward claimed there is a key sign that Kate is “doing her best to return to work” as soon as possible.

Princess of Wales at the Chelsea Flower Show

Kate is reportedly ready to return to royal engagements following surgery in January

(Image credit: Getty)

Seward, editor-in-chief of Majesty Magazine, told The Sun that Kate is thinking ahead to her return through the hire at the end of last month of a new private secretary, Lieutenant Colonel Tom White. (Not to wade us too deeply into the shallow end, but, um, White is very attractive.)

“The Princess is obviously doing her best behind the scenes to get fit and healthy so she is ready to face the publicity which will surround her return to public engagements after Easter,” Seward said. “She has hired a new private secretary in the shape of dashing former equerry to the late Queen, Lieutenant Colonel Tom White. He will be helping move forward her pet project to get big business to help support the early childhood [work] she considers so important.”

Lieutenant Colonel Tom White

White, seen here with Queen Elizabeth

(Image credit: Getty Images)

A private secretary is essentially a royal family member’s chief of staff. “It’s their role to ensure the royal’s day runs smoothly,” The Sun writes. “Duties can include anything from coordinating royal engagements to briefing on meetings. You can often see private secretaries when royals do a public walkaway, as they are usually standing a few feet away—often to carry photos or gifts given by well-wishe[r]s.”

Kate’s private secretary role has been vacant for over a year after her last private secretary, Hannah Cockburn-Logie, left her role in 2022, citing personal reasons.

Though just appointed at the end of February, White might have been in consideration for the role as far back as November, when he was seen at Kate’s inaugural Shaping Us National Symposium in London. White has a longstanding history with the royal family, previously serving as an equerry to Queen Elizabeth beginning in 2020, The Telegraph reports. Prior to joining the Palace staff, White served with the Royal Marines; while serving in Afghanistan in 2009, White, then 22, helped stop a school bombing by the Taliban. 

Lieutenant Colonel Tom White

White has served the Palace since 2020, and was in the Royal Marines prior to that

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Telegraph described Kate’s decision to appoint White as her private secretary as “something of a return to tradition for the household, reflecting the royal family’s close ties to the military and a link with her late grandmother-in-law.”

Back in January, when news of Kate’s surgery broke, a statement from Kensington Palace said, “She looks forward to reinstating as many [engagements] as possible, as soon as possible.” Kate had not been seen publicly since Christmas Day until Monday, when she was seen on the school run with her mother, Carole Middleton, riding in the passenger seat of Middleton’s Audi, wearing sunglasses and what appeared to be a slight smile. 

Kate Middleton in Cumbria

Okay, so her smile wasn't this pronounced, but she did appear to be grinning

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Of Kate, Seward said she is “no slouch” and, although she is taking time off to recover, work will likely have remained on her mind. “She had no intention of allowing her dreams of helping young children to suffer just because she was in recovery after her abdominal operation,” Seward said. “Kate is distraught she has had to cancel so many things since her operation and is determined she will soon be back in control, better than ever.”

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.