After Her Photoshop Fail, When Will Kate Middleton Return to Royal Duties?

Kate is typically one of the most visible members of the British royal family. The world is waiting for her return in 2024.

Melissa Willets - Author

Mar. 13 2024, Published 12:07 p.m. ET

Catherine, Princess of Wales and Mia Tindall greet well-wishers after attending the Christmas Morning Service at Sandringham Church on Dec. 25, 2023
Source: Getty Images

So far, 2024 has been a whirlwind of controversy for Kate Middleton.

After the palace announced that the Princess of Wales would undergo "planned abdominal surgery" in January and step back from her royal duties to recover, royal watchers promptly decided she was hiding something.

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Consider that Kate is typically one of the most visible members of the British Royal Family, and since her hospital stay, the wife of the future king of England hasn't been seen out in public, except for a few shrouded images of the mom of three traveling by car to appointments.

And then, there was that dreadful Photoshop fail that saw Kate having to do something quite uncharacteristic — apologize and admit to being a mere mortal and, gasp, capable of mistakes!

So when will Kate Middleton return to the public eye and her royal duties? Here's the latest.

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King Charles, Camilla, and Kate Middleton on Feb. 3, 2022, in London
Source: Getty Images

According to the palace, Kate Middleton was always going to return to royal duties around Easter.

In case you missed it, a photo of Kate and her kids, Prince George, Prince Louis, and Princess Charlotte, went viral for all the wrong reasons. Instead of easing the minds of royal fans that she is OK following her highly secretive surgery, a slew of Photoshop fails got folks speculating that Kate is in hiding and that something is very wrong.

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The photo roused such a stir, that the usually stoic Kate was forced to address the image via social media.

"Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing. I wanted to express my apologies for any confusion the family photograph we shared yesterday caused. I hope everyone celebrating had a very happy Mother’s Day," she tweeted via Kensington Palace's Twitter account. (It was Mother's Day in the U.K.)

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As people wondered whether Kate's health is more dire than the Royal Family has admitted, insiders pointed to an expectation that the palace set early on.

Kate's last public appearance was on Dec. 25, 2023, for those who are counting. According to ABC News, after sharing the news that her Jan. 16, 2024, surgery was a success, the palace said in a statement that Kate wouldn't be returning to her royal duties "until after Easter."

At this time, the palace is sticking by that timeline and has even urged the public to realize that nothing has changed.

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Despite assurances everything is OK, people still feel something is off with Kate Middleton.

Public opinion seems to persist that Kate should have been seen out in public by now, even though it was never promised that she would return to royal duties in mid-March or earlier.

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Social media is swamped with speculation about her real health status and well-being. For her part, Kate hasn't personally addressed a timeline, only choosing to use her voice to speak to her photography skills.

For now, it seems royal fans will have to rest assured that by early April, we are likely to see Kate returning to the spotlight and her royal duties — unless anything changes, that is!

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