British Royal Family

Kate Middleton privately returns to royal duties amid surgery recovery

Kate Middleton has been involved in her charity work, a Kensington Palace spokesperson said, months after it was announced the Princess of Wales had undergone abdominal surgery.

Catherine, Princess of Wales arrives at the Shaping Us National Symposium at the Design Museum on November 15, 2023
Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Originally appeared on E! Online

Kate Middleton is back at work.

From home, that is. The Princess of Wales, who stepped back from royal duties after undergoing abdominal surgery in January, has been keeping tabs on a U.K. study commissioned and funded by her Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood that tested the feasibility of new baby behavior observation tool.

A Palace spokesperson said in a statement to the Telegraph newspaper March 21, "The Princess has been kept updated throughout the process."

The 10-month study had ended with "overwhelmingly positive" findings, the Institute of Health Visiting, which conducted the trial, reported March 21. The group had researched the use of the Alarm Distress Baby Scale (ADBB) and the shorter version of the tool, the m-ADBB, to assess infants' social behaviors during routine health visits. The health workers who took part in the study rated both training programs highly and gained "additional knowledge and skills" for explaining their observations, the results showed.

Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis Attend Christmas 2023 Carol Service

Research and philanthropy involving children has long been a passion of Middleton, who shares kids Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8 and Prince Louis, 5, with husband Prince William. She had launched the Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood in 2021, two years after debuting her Early Years charitable initiative.

The Palace, which has maintained since their initial announcement about her surgery in January that the princess was "unlikely to return to public duties until after Easter," provided their brief update amid ongoing discussion about Middleton's recovery and whereabouts. However, since leaving the public eye, she has seemingly stepped out on occasion, with a couple who appeared to be Middleton and William photographed at a farm shop in Windsor March 16. (E! News reached out to verify the authenticity of the video but has not heard back.)

The latest news about Middleton also comes more than a week after major news and photo agencies removed from their databases an official, edited pic of her and the kids, released by Kensington Palace, noting that it did not meet their editorial standards. The outcry prompted her to issue a rare statement on the matter.

"Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing," she said in a statement shared by the Palace." I wanted to express my apologies for any confusion the family photograph we shared yesterday caused."

Getty Images is casting doubts over another image released by Kensington Palace and taken by Kate Middleton.
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