Uncertainty surrounds Kate Middleton's return

Princess Kate's first photo since her hospitalization and unconfirmed return to royal duties in June did not settle questions about her health in the United Kingdom on Tuesday.

• Read more: Fresh legal setback for Prince Harry over his security responsibilities in the UK

• Read more: Prince William did not attend the ceremony for 'personal reasons'

The Ministry of Defense announced its presence on June 8 at a “Trooping the Color” parade to celebrate the monarch's official birthday. Kensington Palace, which usually makes public the agenda of the princess and her husband Prince William, has not confirmed.

Last week, Prince William decided at the last minute to attend a ceremony honoring his godfather, King Constantine of Greece, for a “personal reason”. With the 42-year-old princess absent for more than two months, the unusual departure has sparked fanciful accusations and real concerns on social media.

A photo published Monday evening by American media outlets specializing in celebrities, TMZ and Entertainment Tonight, shows the princess in the passenger seat of a car driven by her mother, her face covered by dark glass, near Windsor Castle. Their three children.

The British press, which adores the Princess of Wales and the couple she forms with William, did not publish the photo after Kensington Palace asked Kate to respect their privacy while she recovers.

But “rather than putting an end to the rumours, which doctored the photo (…) already with conspiracy theories, this photo – clearly unauthorized – created even more speculation,” says editor-in-chief AFP Joe Little. — President of Majesty Magazine.

On January 17, the palace announced that the Princess of Wales had undergone “planned” abdominal surgery at a London clinic and would be recovering until at least Easter on March 31.

His last public appearance was at the Royal Family's Christmas Mass at Sandringham.

No details were given about his operation, prompting questions.

“tricky question”

Before Monday's photo, others on TikTok or, more seriously, questioned the authenticity of the princess's absence, going so far as to retrace her last appearance or examine the evolution of her physique.

Last weekend, Kensington Palace tried to calm things down by speaking to the media: “We made it clear at the beginning of January that the Princess of Wales planned to withdraw from her public engagements until Easter and that has not changed”.

The rumors show how difficult it is to keep the royal family's health problems a secret, as it was during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. Joe Little said it was “a thorny issue” because of the “enormous public interest” in the matter.

Kate and William's unfailing prudence appeared again on Tuesday in a photo that left Buckingham Palace with British finance minister Jeremy Hunt not communicating with King Charles III about his cancer.

King first went public in January about his surgery for benign prostatic hypertrophy, and later his cancer diagnosis, which was discovered during the surgery.

“Buckingham Palace is transparent to a certain extent: it is very unusual that they warned the King before he was admitted to hospital (…) but they did not say what kind of cancer affected the King, or at what stage. However, he qualifies as Mr Little.

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