After 70 Days Completely Out of the Public Eye, Princess Kate Is Finally Spotted in Public

Wearing sunglasses and a slight smile, Kate was seen today out with her mother, Carole Middleton.

Kate Middleton on a royal engagement
(Image credit: Getty Images)

At last—the Princess of Wales has been spotted!

For the first time since Christmas Day—when she attended a church service at St. Mary Magdalene Church at Sandringham alongside the rest of the royal family, as per tradition—Kate was seen outside of her home at Adelaide Cottage in Windsor. Us Weekly reports that she was seen today in a car with her mother, Carole Middleton, a moment captured in photos obtained by TMZ. Kate wears sunglasses while sitting in the passenger seat of the vehicle. 

Kate Middleton

After rampant speculation about her condition, Kate was finally seen in public today

(Image credit: Getty)

The sighting comes after rampant rumors have swirled about Kate’s whereabouts in the preceding days. Kate underwent a planned abdominal surgery on January 16, Kensington Palace said in a statement released the next day; she was in recovery at The London Clinic until being discharged nearly two weeks later on January 29. The Palace said that Kate would be away from royal duties until after Easter (which this year falls on March 31), but for whatever reason speculation about her condition reached a fever pitch last week—to the point that the Palace once again released a statement about her condition.

“Kensington Palace made it clear in January the timelines of the princess’ recovery and we’d only be providing significant updates,” a representative for Kate said in a statement from February 29. “That guidance stands.”

Kate Middleton at a royal engagement

Kate underwent abdominal surgery on January 16 and isn't expected to return to public duties until April

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Perhaps adding fuel to last week's fire, according to a video obtained by The Daily Mail, Prince William was asked on Friday “How’s Catherine?” during his arrival at Wrexham AFC stadium. He did not respond to the question and continued walking. William also unexpectedly missed a service of thanksgiving for King Constantine of Greece, his godfather, on Tuesday, citing personal reasons, but not elaborating on what those reasons were.

Also on Friday, William collected a bouquet of flowers at an engagement and said “I’ll pass those on to Catherine, as well,” while expressing his gratitude.   

Prince William and Kate Middleton

William has been Kate's chief caretaker since her return home from The London Clinic in late January

(Image credit: Getty Images)

After returning home to Adelaide Cottage post-surgery, Kate hasn’t been seen as she recovers, though it is reported she did sneak away to the family’s country home, Anmer Hall, at one point. Kensington Palace has confirmed since her surgery that she is “making good progress,” and a source speaking to Us Weekly said that Kate was “eager to get back to work” after she healed.

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.