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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Kate Middleton’s first sighting after surgery sparks internet frenzy

Kate, 42, spent two weeks in hospital in January after having what her office said was successful, planned surgery for a non-cancerous but unspecified condition.

Kate, Britain’s Princess of Wales, has been shown looking fit and healthy in the first video taken of her since she underwent surgery two months ago in footage published by the Sun newspaper on its website on Monday. Kate, 42, spent two weeks in hospital in January after having what her office said was successful, planned surgery for a non-cancerous but unspecified condition.

Other than a couple of blurry pictures, she has not been seen in public since appearing with the other members of the royal family on Christmas Day, and in recent weeks social media has been awash with speculation about her health, generating global headlines and rumours.

Read more: Kate, UK’s Princess of Wales, apologises for ‘any confusion’ photo edit

In the video, which the Sun said was filmed on Saturday, a smiling Kate is seen, casually dressed, walking and carrying shopping bags alongside her husband, heir to the throne Prince William, at a farm shop in Windsor, near their home.

“I didn’t feel like they were hiding who they were. But they didn’t quite know how people would react because there has been this build-up about their whereabouts and I got the sense they just wanted to be swift in there,” Nelson Silva, 40, who took the video told the Sun. “Kate looked happy and relaxed. They look happy just to be able to go to a shop and mingle. Kate looked relieved like it was a success going to a shop. It felt natural.”

The couple’s office Kensington Palace had no comment on the video. Her spokesperson has said Kate was recovering well but was not expected to return to official duties until after Easter which falls on March 31. Her office has also previously asked the media to respect the princess’ privacy, and said it would only provide information when there were significant updates. Royal aides do not usually comment on what would be regarded as private time.

Read more: Kate, UK’s Princess of Wales undergoes abdominal surgery

However, the video is yet to quell the speculation on internet. Taking to the microblogging platform X, formerly Twitter, one social media user joked, “The royal family: please leave Princess Kate alone, she is recovering from a very serious abdominal surgery. Kate outside the farm shop:” alongside a humourous video of a woman skipping downstairs in a bid to run away.

Another post remarked on the frenzy surrounding Kate’s appearance, stating, “White women with brown hair all over London on their way to audition for the role of blurry Kate Middleton of the week,” accompanied by a video of thousands of women breaking queue to make it to the supposed audition.

Some took a more cynical approach. One user sarcastically referenced headlines claiming Kate had “broken cover,” sharing a picture of a poorly concealed mannequin sitting in a car, poking fun at the media’s portrayal of the event.

Most relatable were posts articulating the bizarre ordeal of ‘Kate-Gate’ with a netizen chiming in, “Calling in sick for the rest of the year, I simply cannot fit all this in along with a 9-5, it’s too much.”