When will we see the Princess of Wales in public again?

File photo dated 21/11/23 of the Prince and Princess of Wales during the ceremonial welcome for the President of South Korea, Yoon Suk Yeol, and his wife, Kim Keon Hee, at Horse Guards Parade, central London, on day one of the state visit to the UK. The Princess of Wales has revealed she is undergoing chemotherapy treatment for cancer. She announced the news in a pre-recorded message that was broadcast on Friday evening. Issue date: Friday March 22, 2024.
Kensington Palace has said Kate will return to official duties when 'cleared to do so by her medical team'. Credit: PA

The Waleses will not join other royals for the traditional Easter service in Windsor as the young family seek time and space to come to terms with Kate’s cancer treatment.

Kate, 42, had been out of the public eye for most of the year, having undergone abdominal surgery in January, leading to widespread speculation about her health and wellbeing.

In a video message yesterday, she revealed she has been undergoing preventative chemotherapy, after tests after her operation found that cancer had been present.

“The statement was a great shock to so many people because the feeling was that the Princess of Wales was over the worst and on the road to recovery," said Joe Little, editor of Majesty magazine.

“I don’t think anybody expected her to tell us in such a direct personal way that she has cancer. It’s a remarkable situation and a significant moment for the monarchy and the institution so early in the King’s reign that two senior figures should be out of action.”

William and Kate have been focused on their children during the princess’s cancer scare. Credit: PA

The royal expert said it was “inevitable” that the number of royal engagements would have to be reduced, adding “the royal diaries will have been revised anyway because of these health considerations”.

In her statement, Kate said her work has always brought her a "deep sense of joy", adding: "I look forward to being back when I am able, but for now I must focus on making a full recovery."

A Kensington Palace spokesman said: “The Princess will return to official duties when she is cleared to do so by her medical team. She is in good spirits and is focused on making a full recovery.” The Prince of Wales is due to return to public duties after his children return to school following the Easter break, but the family will not appear at Windsor Castle’s St George’s Chapel for the Easter Sunday service. Kate was seen in public with her family on Christmas Day 2023, before undergoing surgery weeks later. A Palace spokesman said: “Their Royal Highnesses understand the interest this update will generate and are grateful for the public support they have received throughout this period. “Kensington Palace will provide information, when the time is right, and the princess is able to restart work and her duties. In the meantime, we would ask that the family’s privacy is respected.”

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A running commentary on Kate’s health is not expected as she will need the time, space and privacy to fully recover. It would be likely that Kensington Palace will only provide further updates on Kate’s plans to return to public events when the time is deemed appropriate. Kate’s own views on whether she wants to attend events and if she feels able to, along with medical advice, would form part of the decision-making process.

It should also be expected that any initial public events will not necessarily signal a return to a regular public schedule. Kensington Palace has said that Kate had major abdominal surgery in January and that surgery was successful. At the time of surgery, it was thought that the condition was non-cancerous and no tests had confirmed the presence of cancer. Post-operative tests found that cancer had been present and Kate has now begun a course of preventative chemotherapy.

This is the Royal Rota - our weekly podcast about the royal family, with ITV News Royal Editor Chris Ship and Producer Lizzie Robinson.