Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Kate in hospital after undergoing abdominal surgery

The Princess of Wales is expected to stay in The London Clinic for up to two weeks and is not expected to return to royal duties until after Easter.

Laura Elston
Wednesday 17 January 2024 15:46 GMT
Princess of Wales seen attending Christmas service at Sandringham

The Princess of Wales is being treated in hospital after undergoing successful abdominal surgery, Kensington Palace has announced.

Kate, 42, was admitted to The London Clinic on Tuesday for the planned procedure.

The future Queen is expected to remain in hospital for 10 to 14 days before returning home to continue her recovery.

The princess is likely to spend between two and three months recuperating and is not expected to return to public duties until after Easter based on current medical advice, the Palace said.

The Prince of Wales will not undertake official duties while his wife is in hospital and during the immediate period following her return home.

Heir to the throne William will combine being at Kate’s side with caring for their children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Princes Louis, and he has postponed a number of engagements.

The Palace refused to confirm what Kate was being treated for but confirmed the condition was non-cancerous.

Kate is close to her family, and her parents Carole and Michael Middleton and sibling Pippa Matthews and James Middleton are set to rally round and help support her recovery at the Waleses’ home in Windsor.

A spokesperson said: “The Princess of Wales appreciates the interest this statement will generate.

“She hopes that the public will understand her desire to maintain as much normality for her children as possible; and her wish that her personal medical information remains private.

“Kensington Palace will, therefore, only provide updates on Her Royal Highness’ progress when there is significant new information to share.

“The Princess of Wales wishes to apologise to all those concerned for the fact that she has to postpone her upcoming engagements.

“She looks forward to reinstating as many as possible, as soon as possible.”

There will now be no international travel for the prince and princess in the coming months.

The princess marked her birthday just over a week ago, with the monarchy’s official social media accounts sharing a new behind-the-scenes photo of the princess at the King’s coronation.

Kate usually enjoys good health but was previously admitted to hospital while pregnant after suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum – severe morning sickness.

Like the rest of the royal family, she has had a busy, turbulent past couple of years, with the Platinum Jubilee and the late Queen’s death in 2022, and the coronation in 2023, as well as adjusting to her new role as the Princess of Wales.

The Waleses also faced the ongoing rift between William and his brother the Duke of Sussex, with Harry making controversial claims about Charles, Camilla, William and Kate in his Netflix documentary and memoir Spare.

William’s former university flatmate has carefully carved out her charity work since marrying the prince in 2011 and becoming an HRH, focusing on mental health and early childhood.

Seen as the monarchy’s safe pair of hands and as having a “keep calm and carry on” approach, Kate has been heralded as channelling the same characteristics of charm, politeness and toughness as the late Queen Mother, who was once described as “a marshmallow made on a welding machine”.

Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, who was private secretary to the Cambridges and the Duke of Sussex, and used to work for the Queen Mother, told The Times: “She takes time to talk to people. She is tough.

“She has got that Queen Mother feel in her, so that when things need doing, she is there to do them.”

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in