The Palace is reportedly wary of a second conspiracy theory crisis about Princess Kate

The Prince and Princess of Wales attend the Global Ministerial Mental Health Summit
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Princess of Wales is taking a temporary step back from royal duties amid her ongoing health issues, diagnosed with an undisclosed form of cancer earlier this year.

The 42-year-old royal confirmed the news in an unprecedented televised health message, explaining the need to "focus on [her] recovery" as she undergoes preventative chemotherapy.

"It has been an incredibly tough couple of months for our entire family," Princess Kate announced in the video broadcast on 22 March, appearing on camera to put an end to the conspiracy theory crisis that had escalated around her disappearance from public life.

"I am well and getting stronger every day by focusing on the things that will help me heal; in my mind, body and spirits," the mother of three later continued, asking for "time, space and privacy" while she completes her treatment.

It was initially thought that the Princess of Wales would return to public duties after Easter. But two months after her health statement, with the Princess of Wales still not appearing publicly, it is now reported that she may not return until 2025.

According to insiders, the Palace is aware of the implications that a more prolonged absence could cause, and wary of the potential of a second conspiracy theory crisis around her health.

Avoiding this is reportedly the priority, with the Palace likely to be much more open about the Princess' health updates going forward.

"Lessons should have been learned from what happened earlier," royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams explained to Us Weekly. "I mean, if you're not told at all and months pass, clearly there's speculation and that could happen again. So, I'm sure that it will be handled in a different way."

He continued: "I think the palaces recognise that it is essential from time to time to update the press - and through them, the public, of course, on important issues."

Some sources have even speculated that the Palace could release another video health update from the Princess of Wales.

“I would not rule out another video message updating the country on her health," a royal source has speculated, via Daily Beast. "That proved to be a very effective way of keeping the conspiracy theorists at bay."

It is not known when the Princess of Wales will return to public duties, but the Palace is sure to update the public when there is news of any kind.

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.