Kate Middleton's Plans To Return To The Royal Spotlight Are More Unclear Than Ever

In the wake of Catherine, Princess of Wales sharing the news that she's been diagnosed with cancer, royal watchers and well-wishers have been speculating about when we may see her get back to her royal duties. But the day we could finally see Kate greeting the public again has now become even more unclear.

Palace sources spoke to People about the potential timeline of Kate's recovery, explaining Kate may not set an official date for when we may see her again. Instead, royal watchers could see her back in the spotlight somewhat unexpectedly whenever she feels ready. Spotting Kate out and about won't necessarily mean she's ready to return to her royal duties, though — that will come down to her doctors.

Those claims come amid some murky information about when fans can expect to see Kate officially out again. On March 22, Kensington Palace shared an update on her health but stopped short of confirming a date for her officially picking up her royal responsibilities. "The princess will return to official duties when she is cleared to do so by her medical team," the official statement read (via Sky News). "She is in good spirits and is focused on making a full recovery."

Kate Middleton had initially planned to return to work after Easter

The latest update comes after it was initially claimed Kate Middleton would be back in action after Easter. A statement issued by Kensington Palace on X, formerly known as Twitter, in January, read in part, "Based on current medical advice, [Kate] is unlikely to return to public duties until after Easter."  With the Church of England's celebration of Easter this year falling on March 31, this seemingly put her return to work at some time in April,

However, that statement came before the Princess of Wales' cancer diagnosis. At the time the public learned of her January abdominal surgery, official reports stated that it was not cancer-related. The royal confirmed in her emotional social media video shared on March 22, that she found out about the presence of cancer after her planned surgery, and it seems that she may not have been diagnosed until February. William, Prince of Wales was notably absent from a memorial service for his godfather, King Constantine of Greece on February 27, and the Daily Mail claimed that Prince William missed the service as Kate began undergoing chemotherapy around that time. 

Kate Middleton may be more 'passionate' when she returns to work

It sounds like whenever Catherine, Princess of Wales, does feel well enough to get back to her royal work, fans may notice a change in her for the better. "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," a former palace aide told People. Kate is clearly focused on her recovery with the help of her family. "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," the ex-palace aide said.

Kate herself spoke about how much she is looking forward to making public appearances once again in the social media video confirming her health troubles. In the touching clip, which a video expert told us was probably done in a hurry, Kate spoke openly about her passion for her royal work. "My work has always brought me a deep sense of joy, and I look forward to being back when I am able," she said. "But for now, I must focus on making a full recovery." And, of course, there's no doubting some time out is what Kate not only needs but deserves as she navigates her difficult health challenges.