Kate Middleton’s Recovery Period Post-Surgery “Has Been More Difficult Than Expected,” Both Physically and Emotionally

In addition to her body healing, “the reality of the social media storm of the past couple of weeks was not, however, what she ever expected.”

Kate Middleton
(Image credit: Getty Images)

During a solo royal engagement today, Prince William clearly had his wife, Princess Kate, on his mind. William went to Sheffield and visited the Homewards Sheffield Local Coalition meeting about ending homelessness, a pet cause of his. While there, Sheffield City Council chief executive Kate Josephs raised the topic of childhood—perhaps the Princess of Wales’ No. 1 passion project. “Venturing into my wife’s territory here,” William sweetly said in response, per The Daily Mail. “She needs to be sat here to hear this.”

Earlier today, a well-wisher told William he was a huge fan of the royal family and that he had sent Kate a get well soon card. “You really are very kind,” William replied.

Prince William

Prince William today in Sheffield

(Image credit: Getty Images)

In news that will shock approximately no one, 2024 thus far has been challenging for Kate. In addition to being raked over the coals by, you know, the entire world, lest we forget that Kate is physically recovering from major abdominal surgery, while also caring about the welfare and well-being of William and their three young kids, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis. OK reports that Kate’s recovery from abdominal surgery in January “has been more difficult than expected,” and that she “is struggling to eat”—which has been “a cause for major concern behind Palace walls.”

Amid her recovery, Kate ventured out over the weekend to a beloved farmer’s market, the Windsor Farm Shop, where an eyewitness said, “she looked happy, and she looked well.” George, Charlotte, and Louis weren’t with their parents—although William and Kate had watched them play sports earlier in the day at their school, Lambrook—and the eyewitness said, “it’s such a good sign she was healthy enough to pop down to the shops.”

Kate Middleton

Kate's return to royal life is expected next month sometime

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Kate’s surgery and its aftermath have taken a toll not just on Kate, but on William and the kids, too. In addition to her abdominal surgery—where she was away from George, Charlotte, and Louis for nearly two weeks at The London Clinic—the rampant speculation about Kate’s whereabouts and condition, not to mention the fallout from her Mother’s Day photo, have affected Kate, and thereby affected her family, too, including the kids.

Kate Middleton

Kate and her entire family have felt the strain of the past two months

(Image credit: Getty Images)

“Not only did it affect her, but the children,” said royal expert Ingrid Seward, who, in addition to writing numerous royal biographies, is editor-in-chief of Majesty Magazine. “They are protective of their mother—especially as she has been unwell. For the next couple of weeks over the Easter school holidays, Wills and Kate are hunkering down and concentrating on their family life.”

Seward told The Mirror that “Kate is made of strong stuff, as are all the Middleton women. But it doesn’t stop her being hurt. They deserve some final downtime with their kids before it all starts up again.” 

Prince William and Kate Middleton

William and Kate are set to "hunker down" with their kids as they go on Easter break from school

(Image credit: Getty Images)

As to Kate’s return, her team is reportedly working around the clock in preparation for it. Some say she will return after the kids return to school at Lambrook on April 17; some say it could be as soon as the Easter church service, where the royal family traditionally attends services together at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor.

“This year it will all depend on how the princess is feeling,” Seward said. “It would be a good way for her to re-enter the public arena, but perhaps too public a one. Kate knows hundreds of television and camera images scrutinizing every inch of her will be transmitted around the world.”

Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis together

The Wales family on Easter last year

(Image credit: Getty)

She added “The accompanying praise or criticism will not be fun to deal with, but it is what she signed up for when she married William. The reality of the social media storm of the past couple of weeks was not, however, what she ever expected.”

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.