Prince William's recent royal appearance was a move to protect Princess Kate

The Prince and Princess of Wale during their 2019 visit to Dundee
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Princess of Wales has kept a low profile in 2024, taking a temporary step back from royal duties as she undergoes treatment for an undisclosed form of cancer.

Confirming her diagnosis in a video message earlier this year, Kate Middleton asked for "some time, space and privacy" while she completes her treatment of preventative chemotherapy, telling those around the world who have been affected by the disease that they are "not alone".

As the Princess of Wales focuses on her recovery in private, she is reportedly surrounded by a solid support network of loved ones. And among these is of course her husband Prince William, who the Princess of Wales credited in her video message as "a great source of comfort and reassurance".

This month, the Prince of Wales made a television cameo, in which he appeared to protect his wife's privacy as she recovers.

The appearance in question took place at the 2024 BAFTA TV Awards, with Prince William (Patron of BAFTA) airing a surprise video message to honour 74-year-old Baroness Floella Benjamin with the BAFTA Fellowship.

But eagle-eyed viewers were quick to notice his filming location, with the Prince of Wales opting to film the message from his father King Charles' home, Windsor Castle, rather than his own home, Adelaide Cottage, where Princess Kate is recovering. 

This, according to sources, appears to be a clear move to protect his wife and ensure her privacy at this difficult time.

It is not known when the Princess of Wales will return to royal duties, with it reported that King Charles is insistent that it be on her own terms, and only when she is ready.

"My work has always brought me a deep sense of joy," read Kate's statement in March. "And I look forward to being back when I am able, but for now I must focus on making a full recovery."

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.