Catherine, Princess of Wales, continues behind-the-scenes work as public return delayed

 May 23, 2024

The last year has been one of extraordinary drama and alarm for the British Royal Family, given the emergence of serious health diagnoses for two of its most senior members, including King Charles himself.

Though many royal watchers were looking forward this spring to the public return of the Princess of Wales, also known as Kate Middleton, in the wake of cancer treatment, it now appears that she will likely remain out of the limelight for a bit longer, despite news of major developments regarding one of her signature initiatives, as Vanity Fair reports.

Health battle revealed

As NBC News reported at the time, it was back in March that, after an extended absence from public events, the princess made the startling revelation that she had been diagnosed with cancer and had been undergoing what she described as “a course of preventative chemotherapy.”

The royal had undergone abdominal surgery in January, and though her condition was initially believed to be non-malignant, it was later discovered that cancer had indeed been present.

Though it has not been revealed precisely what sort of cancer was found or at what stage, the princess stated that she was “in the early stages of treatment” and that she hoped the public would grant her the “time, space and privacy” needed for recovery.

Working all the while

Despite having withdrawn from public view for the time being -- a situation that Vanity Fair revealed would continue until doctors greenlight her return -- Catherine has reportedly remained the “driving force” behind a new report released by the Royal Foundation Business Taskforce for Early Childhood.

Established by the princess last year, the task force just put out a report articulating the business case for making the early childhood years a societal and governmental priority, as Tatler explains.

The group has also announced a number of key initiatives that include leadership programs, early years apprenticeship programs, increased support and awareness of baby banks, and more.

Insiders suggest that the task force is the embodiment of what the princess views as her “life's work,” and it is said that she has had an influence “across every aspect of the report, despite her illness.”

Explaining that the mother of three has been fully briefed and involved in the report's creation and release, sources said, “This is a clear commitment she has made that throughout her life of public service that this will be the focus.”

Taking time to heal

Despite reports of her significant, ongoing involvement in the task force's work, a Kensington Palace spokesperson made it clear to the BBC that “The princess is not expected to return to work until it's cleared by her medical team.”

Few details of the royal's current condition or treatment plan have been released to date, though her husband, Prince William, recently remarked that she is doing “well.”

William's statement will come as music to the ears of fans and supporters of the royal couple who have expressed outrage over online conspiracy theories about the princess' whereabouts and true health status, some of which suggested that a far more nefarious scenario than cancer treatment was afoot.

Hopefully, Catherine's admirers and critics alike will respect her request and afford sufficient leeway to navigate what would be a challenging situation for any young family, let alone one of the most highly scrutinized in the entire world.

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