When Princess Kate Makes Her Return to Royal Duty, She’ll “Come Back Even More Passionate”

One week after announcing her cancer diagnosis publicly, Kate remains sidelined from royal duty for an undetermined amount of time.

Kate Middleton
(Image credit: Getty Images)

As she puts her health first (and rightfully so) as she undergoes treatment for an undisclosed type and stage of cancer, the Princess of Wales hasn’t definitively confirmed when she will return to royal duty—but when she does, she will be stronger than ever, a Palace aide speaking to People said.

“[The royal family] is vulnerable at the moment, and there will be an even greater appreciation that they are human beings with frailties like the rest of us,” they said. “They are so dedicated to their roles. I think you will find when Kate makes a full recovery, she will come back even more passionate.”

Kate Middleton

Kate, seen here at her last public royal engagement on Christmas Day at Sandringham.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

As she recovers, she has the support of a tight-knit circle around her including her husband Prince William, her parents Michael and Carole Middleton, and her siblings Pippa and James. “She has the inner strength, the support of her husband and her extraordinary family, so she can focus on what’s important, which is her getting back to strength,” said Ailsa Anderson, a former spokesperson for the late Queen Elizabeth.

One week ago, Kate delivered her powerful video message as the world watched, where she announced that, following abdominal surgery in January, cancer was detected post-operation. Sitting in the gardens of Windsor Castle, alone on a bench—very much on purpose, as a sign of her strength—Kate delivered a message she had written herself, and had chosen to share on video rather than in a written statement to let the world see her after being largely absent from the public eye since Christmas Day. 

Kate Middleton and family

The Wales family (plus Mia Tindall, right) on the traditional Christmas Day walk to St. Mary Magdalene Church.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

“She wrote the words herself and delivered it personally—she wanted to decide when the time was right to tell the world,” said her former private secretary Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton. “It is an incredibly important thing that she’s done. I thought, ‘This is our future queen—goodness, what courage!’ She showed remarkable composure given all that has been swirling around.”

Kate Middleton and Prince William

William, as ever, has been a pillar of support for his wife during her health struggle.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Speaking of queens, the current queen, Queen Camilla, made history yesterday: stepping in for her husband, King Charles, as he too receives treatment for an undisclosed type and stage of cancer, Camilla led the annual Royal Maundy Service at Worcester Cathedral, the first consort to lead the ancient tradition, which the royal family traces all the way back to 600 A.D.

Kate Middleton, King Charles, and Queen Camilla

Both King Charles and the Princess of Wales have been battling cancer this year; Queen Camilla, as well as Prince William, have held up the fort in their absence from public life.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

“She is his strength and stay like [Prince Philip] was for the late Queen,” a Palace source told People. “She will be great. She will rally him, she will buoy him. She is amazing. She equips him to do the job he has to do.”

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.