According to reports, even senior royal staffers haven't seen or spoken to Princess Kate

The Prince and Princess of Wales on their visit to Belize, Jamaica and the Bahamas
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Princess of Wales has not been seen in public since December, with the royal family announcing in January that the 42-year-old had undergone "planned" abdominal surgery.

Kensington Palace announced the news at the time, confirming that after a 13-day stay at the London Clinic private hospital, she had returned home to Windsor to continue her recovery with her family, and asking the public to respect her privacy.

“The Princess of Wales appreciates the interest this statement will generate," read the statement. "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."

The Prince and Princess of Wales visit Queen Elizabeth Hospital

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Since the Princess of Wales' return to Windsor, she has kept an extremely low profile, recovering in private with her support system of loved ones - her husband Prince William and their three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

It is reported by Us Weekly that even senior royal staffers haven't seen or spoken to the Princess of Wales, who is not expected to return to public duties until after Easter.

"A few of Kate’s senior staffers haven’t been able to see or speak to her, and they didn’t even know about the surgery until it was announced, so it’s caught them off guard," the source reportedly told the publication. "Only a few people know what’s really going on, and they’re tight-lipped.”

But despite the conspiracy theories that have been triggered by Princess Kate's "disappearance" and the secrecy around it, the Prince and Princess of Wales reportedly have no intention to share her medical information.

“Whatever the reason for the operation was, it’s of a personal nature, and Kate wants to keep the details as private as possible," the source told Us Weekly. "Perhaps when she’s feeling up to it, she may reveal more, but she’s not making any promises.”

“Kate’s said she feels she’s entitled to heal and recuperate without all of this frenzied speculation. Neither Kate nor William think her medical records should be for public consumption."

We will continue to update this story.

Jenny Proudfoot
Features Editor

Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.