Kate Middleton photo released in Mother’s Day post draws more speculation

A photo of the Princess of Wales, formerly Kate Middleton, was posted Sunday on the official Instagram account she shares with her husband, William, Prince of Wales. 

The 42-year-old is seated outdoors, smiling and surrounded by their three children. Sunday, March 10, is Mother’s Day in the United Kingdom. 

"Thank you for your kind wishes and continued support over the last two months. Wishing everyone a Happy Mother’s Day. C," the post wrote, referring to the first initial of her full name, Catherine. 

The photo is the first one released publicly of Kate since she had abdominal surgery in January

Kate’s public engagements have been canceled until after Easter, which is March 31, for her recovery, and royal watchers have begun to notice she hasn’t been seen publicly or in photographs during this time. 

In the same timeline, King Charles III announced he was undergoing treatment for cancer and has still been seen out and about, and in official royal photographs. 

The internet has begun to speculate about Kate’s "disappearance," stemming from the fact that she hasn’t been seen publicly since Christmas Day. 


Britains Catherine, Princess of Wales meets with guests during a reception for members of the Diplomatic Corps at Buckingham Palace, in London, on December 5, 2023. (Photo by Jonathan Brady/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

One post in particular on X, formerly Twitter, summed up the curiosity: 

"You’re telling me that Kate Middleton - the same woman who posed outside the hospital like a freaking supermodel mere hours after giving birth - suddenly requires months of recovery before showing her face? And the British press now magically respects privacy? This feels… sinister." The post has been seen by millions and has tens of thousands of likes. 

Search terms like "Kate Middleton’s health" and "Where is Kate Middleton?" have spiked. 

READ MORE: Where is Kate Middleton? The internet has theories

The comments on the Mother’s Day post and elsewhere on social media suggest people still don't believe all is well with her. 

Some were concerned that she was sitting and not standing, questioned where her wedding ring was, and even said the image had been Photoshopped or manipulated, suggesting that she's not well or that something else is keeping her from being photographed. 

The Associated Press even initially published the photo, which was issued by Kensington Palace. But AP later retracted the image because they said upon further inspection it appeared the source had manipulated the image in a way that did not meet their photo standards. The AP said the photo shows an inconsistency in the alignment of Princess Charlotte’s left hand.

Getty Images, Reuters, and AFP also reportedly removed the photo from their libraries. 

CNN reported that Kensington Palace told them the photo was taken earlier this week in Windsor. 

This story was reported from Detroit.