Several of Princess Kate’s Senior Staffers Haven’t Seen or Spoken to Her Since Her Abdominal Surgery Two Months Ago, Reports Say

“Only a few people know what’s really going on, and they’re tight-lipped.”

Kate Middleton
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The entire world collectively feels in the dark about the Princess of Wales’ whereabouts, health condition, you name it—but we’re not alone. Apparently, even some of Kate’s own staffers, and senior staffers, at that, haven’t seen or spoken to her since her abdominal surgery on January 16, which has been clouded in secrecy since.

Several senior staffers haven’t been in contact with their boss in the past two months, Us Weekly reports. (Marie Claire previously reported that several of those close to Kate didn’t find out about her surgery until the rest of the world did, likely for fears of privacy concerns.) “A few of Kate’s senior staffers haven’t been able to see or speak to her, and they didn’t even know about the surgery until it was announced, so it’s caught them off guard,” a source told Us Weekly. “Only a few people know what’s really going on, and they’re tight-lipped.” 

Kate Middleton at her Christmas carol concert

Apparently some of Kate's senior staffers haven't even spoken to her since her surgery in mid-January, two months ago tomorrow

(Image credit: Getty Images)

They add that, when it comes to Kate, there has been a “shroud of secrecy” surrounding her, which has reportedly caused further concern and confusion. These feelings were certainly present from January 17 forward—the day Kensington Palace announced Kate’s surgery the day prior and that she would be off public duty until April—but have only ramped up in the aftermath of what is now colloquially called “Photogate.” After Kate’s Mother’s Day photo and its Photoshop controversy has dominated headlines, more details are emerging about the decision to release the photo at all, which a source speaking to Us Weekly called a “collective decision.”

“[The idea was that] Kate could thank members of the public for all the support and, at the same time, put some of those ridiculous conspiracy theories to rest,” they said.

Kate Middleton at an engagement

Kate's decision to release her now-infamous Mother's Day photo was made with the best of intentions, to quell public speculation as to her condition

(Image credit: Getty Images)

That decision-making, as well as Kensington Palace’s refusal to release the original image after Kate apologized for having slightly altered it, is further fanning the flames. “Kate’s extremely keen to get back to work,” they said. “This has been one of the most challenging months for Kate as a royal, and she’s praying the fuss dies down as soon as possible.”

Kate’s return to royal duty is still, as of now, expected to be around Easter, which this year falls on March 31. As to whether we’ll ever know what really happened with her health this year or with Photogate, “Perhaps when she’s feeling up to it, she may reveal more, but she’s not making any promises,” they said. 

Kate Middleton at a royal engagement

Kate's return to work is expected around Easter

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Of Kate’s health, “Whatever the reason for the operation was, it’s of a personal nature, and Kate wants to keep the details as private as possible,” they said, adding that some members of Kate’s own family are still in the dark. The “shroud of secrecy” is “confusing and causing some concern,” they said, and, while Kate understands the curiosity around her condition, she’s adamant about maintaining some sense of privacy. Kate has had few visitors to her home, Adelaide Cottage, which she shares with husband Prince William and kids Prince George, Princess, Charlotte, and Prince Louis—but King Charles and Queen Camilla have stopped by, even as the King is receiving treatment for cancer, which Buckingham Palace announced on February 5. Kate’s mother, Carole Middleton, “has been a huge help,” they said, adding that Carole has acted as Kate’s “personal chauffer and brought books and magazines for her to read during her convalescence.”

Kate is “trying her best to focus on her recovery, resting, and getting fresh air when she can,” Us Weekly reports.

According to the outlet’s sources, William and Kate are certainly aware of public scrutiny. “Kate’s said she feels she’s entitled to heal and recuperate without all of this frenzied speculation,” they said. “Neither Kate nor William thinks her medical records should be for public consumption.”

Prince William and Kate Middleton

It has not been an easy season for William and Kate, who will celebrate their 13th wedding anniversary next month

(Image credit: Getty)

It’s been a rough two months for the couple, Us Weekly reports. “She’s trying not to pay attention to all the rumors and gossip, and William is doing his best to shield her, but it’s distressing,” they said. William is apparently “at his wit’s end over the constant questions about his wife as he continues to fill in for his ailing dad and help out with the kids at home,” Us Weekly reports.

“There’s an unsettling feeling that things are crumbling within the monarchy,” the source speaking to the publication said. “William is under tremendous pressure to keep things afloat.” But, they predicted, they will make it through this challenging season: “This has been a stressful time for William and Kate, but they’re made of tough stuff and are weathering through,” they said.

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.