A Complete Timeline of Kate Middleton's Abdominal Surgery and Cancer Diagnosis

Kate Middleton underwent a 'planned abdominal surgery' in January, and in March revealed that she was being treated for cancer

<p>Tristan Fewings/Getty Images</p> Kate Middleton

Tristan Fewings/Getty Images

Kate Middleton

Kate Middleton has broken her silence about her health crisis.

On March 22, Kate revealed in a personal video message that she has cancer and is undergoing treatment. The type of cancer was not revealed.

A Kensington Palace spokesperson says, "We will not be sharing any further private medical information. The Princess has a right to medical privacy, as we all do."

The health news comes after Kensington Palace announced in January that the royal underwent a "planned abdominal surgery" at The London Clinic, which was understood to be non-cancerous at the time.

Though they didn’t provide any more details about her surgery at the time, they did confirm that she “will remain in hospital for 10 to 14 days, before returning home to continue her recovery.” They added that they will continue to provide updates on Kate’s progress “when there is significant new information to share."

In the March announcement, a palace spokesperson says Kate started the course of preventative chemotherapy in late February. "It has taken me time to recover from major surgery in order to start my treatment," the royal said in the video.

Regarding her return to public duties, the spokesperson says, "The Princess will return to official duties when she is cleared to do so by her medical team. She is in good spirits and is focused on making a full recovery."

As more information is shared about Kate’s recovery, here’s everything to know.

Related: Kate Middleton Reveals She Has Cancer and Is Getting Chemo, Says It Has 'Taken Time' to Tell Her Kids

December 25, 2023: Kate Middleton makes her last public appearance before her surgery

<p>Getty Images</p>

Getty Images

Christmas Day marked Kate’s last public appearance before her surgery, when she joined her husband Prince William and children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, for their annual family walk to church in Sandringham.

Kate had a full schedule in December, visiting Evelina London Children's Hospital, where she opened the Children’s Day Surgery Unit, and attending the Diplomatic Reception at Buckingham Palace. She also hosted her third annual Together At Christmas concert at Westminster Abbey, which highlighted her “Shaping Us” early childhood campaign in its first year.

<p>Tristan Fewings/Getty Images</p> Kate Middleton

Tristan Fewings/Getty Images

Kate Middleton

December 28, 2023: Details about Prince William and Kate Middleton’s 2024 schedule is revealed

As 2023 came to a close, new details were reported about the royal couple’s upcoming appearances, including a reported trip to Rome, Italy. PEOPLE also reported that Kate would have more emphasis on her "Shaping Us" initiative in the new year after launching it in early 2023.

“She was studious and really took her time to understand the topic and really think about how she can take early years and awareness of the early years to the next level across all of society,” a source told PEOPLE about the initiative.

“That will take her on through 2024 and continue to bang that drum,” the source added. “She is unequivocal about that continuing way, way into the future.”

January 9, 2024: Kate Middleton celebrates her 42nd birthday

<p>Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty </p>

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty

On Jan. 9, Kate rang in her 42nd birthday. Kate's birthday is usually a private and low-key affair, which in the past has included tea parties, family time and relaxing at their country home in Norfolk, Anmer Hall.

On Kate’s birthday, she received well-wishes from the royal family, including  King Charles and Queen Camilla who shared a never-before-seen photo from their May 6 coronation day.

January 11, 2024: Prince William steps out solo for his first royal appearance of 2024

Marking his first royal appearance of the new year, the Prince of Wales visited Headlingley Stadium in Leeds solo to meet a pair of friends who have teamed up to raise more than $19 million to fight Motor Neurone Disease, which one of them has.

January 17, 2024: Kensington Palace announces that Kate Middleton underwent a 'planned abdominal surgery'

<p>Samir Hussein/WireImage</p> Kate Middleton

Samir Hussein/WireImage

Kate Middleton

On Jan. 17, Kensington Palace announced that the Princess of Wales underwent a "planned abdominal surgery" at The London Clinic on the previous day.

"The surgery was successful, and it is expected that she will remain in hospital for 10 to 14 days, before returning home to continue her recovery," the statement said. "Based on the current medical advice, she is unlikely to return to public duties until after Easter."

The statement also asked for privacy as she tried to maintain normalcy, with her children in mind: "The Princess of Wales appreciates the interest this statement will generate. She hopes that the public will understand her desire to maintain as much normality for her children as possible; and her wish that her personal medical information remains private."

January 17, 2024: Prince William postpones official royal duties following Kate Middleton’s surgery

<p>Chris Jackson/Getty</p>

Chris Jackson/Getty

That same day, PEOPLE reported that William was expected to postpone some engagements to be by Kate’s side and support their family. It's understood that two upcoming planned international trips have been postponed.

January 18, 2024: Palace sources tell PEOPLE that Kate Middleton is ‘doing well’ after surgery

The day after Kate’s surgery was announced, palace sources told PEOPLE that the royal was “doing well” as she recovered from her surgery.

January 18, 2024: Prince William visits Kate Middleton at the hospital

<p>Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images</p>

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

On Jan. 18, William paid a visit to his wife in the hospital as she recovered. The Prince of Wales was photographed leaving the private London Clinic at around 12:35 p.m. local time. He drove himself to the hospital, according to U.K. newspaper The Telegraph.

Related: King Charles Reveals Treatment for Enlarged Prostate After Kate Middleton's Hospitalization News

January 29, 2024: Kate Middleton is discharged from the hospital

13 days after her surgery, Kate was discharged from the hospital on Jan. 29, the palace said. “The Princess of Wales has returned home to Windsor to continue her recovery from surgery. She is making good progress," Kensington Palace said in a statement. “The Prince and Princess wish to say a huge thank you to the entire team at The London Clinic, especially the dedicated nursing staff, for the care they have provided.

“The Wales family continues to be grateful for the well wishes they have received from around the world," the statement continued.

February 27, 2024: A palace source tells PEOPLE Kate Middleton is 'doing well' in recovery

Almost a month after Kate was discharged from the hospital, a palace source gave PEOPLE an update on the Princess of Wales, noting that she "continues to be doing well." The update came shortly after her husband William made a last-minute decision to pull out of an appearance.

On Feb. 27, William was forced to pull out of attending a memorial service honoring his godfather King Constantine of Greece due to a personal matter. However, Kensington Palace didn't indicate whether William's absence was due to Kate's recovery.

February 29, 2024: The palace addresses rumors and conspiracy theories about Kate Middleton's health

As Kate became the subject of online speculation, the palace shared a rare statement about her health. A spokesperson for Princess Kate said, "We were very clear from the outset that the Princess of Wales was out until after Easter and Kensington Palace would only be providing updates when something was significant." The spokesperson reiterated the princess is "doing well."

Late February 2024: Kate Middleton appoints a new private secretary

<p>Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty</p>

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty

At the end of February, Kate brought on Lt. Col. Tom White to lead her staff as private secretary. Although White is new to Princess Kate's team, he is no stranger to the royal family, most recently serving as the late Queen Elizabeth’s equerry. According to The Telegraph, White joined the Buckingham Palace team in 2020 after serving with the Royal Marines.

The Princess of Wales previously had Hannah Cockburn-Logie as her private secretary from 2020 to 2022, before she reportedly departed for personal reasons. 

March 4, 2024: Kate Middleton is spotted for the first time since her surgery

In photos obtained by Backgrid, Kate was seen in a car with her mom, Carole Middleton on March 4. It marked the first time the royal has been publicly spotted since undergoing planned abdominal surgery in January.

March 6, 2024: A palace insider tells PEOPLE Kate Middleton's condition is shrouded in 'radio silence'

In PEOPLE's cover story, various sources give insight into the lack of transparency in the royal family, with one palace insider telling PEOPLE that there has been "radio silence" regarding Kate's condition.

As royal biographer Sally Bedell Smith points out, "She's so central to the monarchy and the future." And with little information regarding both Kate and King Charles' health amid his cancer treatments, Bedell Smith adds, "Everybody feels unsettled by uncertainty, and there is too much uncertainty that is surrounding the monarchy right now."

March 22, 2024: Kate Middleton reveals she has cancer and is getting chemotherapy

Kate shared in a personal video message on March 22 that she has cancer and is undergoing treatment. In her emotional video, the royal started by thanking well-wishers for their "wonderful messages of support" amid her recovery during what has been "an incredibly tough couple of months for our entire family."

"In January, I underwent major abdominal surgery in London, and at the time, it was thought that my condition was non-cancerous," she said. "The surgery was successful. However, tests after the operation found cancer had been present. My medical team therefore advised that I should undergo a course of preventative chemotherapy, and I am now in the early stages of that treatment."

Kate called the news a "huge shock" and said that she and Prince William "have been doing everything we can to process and manage this privately for the sake of our young family. As you can imagine, this has taken time. It has taken me time to recover from major surgery in order to start my treatment."

She added that "it's taken us time to explain everything" to her kids George, Charlotte and Louis "in a way that is appropriate for them, and to reassure them that I am going to be okay."

March 25, 2024: Sarah Ferguson speaks out about Kate Middleton's cancer diagnosis

The Duchess of York shared her well wishes for Kate in a statement she posted on Instagram. News of Kate's diagnosis comes just after Fergie shared her own skin cancer diagnosis in January after battling breast cancer last year.

"All my thoughts and prayers are with the Princess of Wales as she starts her treatment. I know she will be surrounded by the love of her family and everyone is praying for the best outcome." she wrote. "As someone who has faced their own battles with cancer in recent months, I am full of admiration for the way she has spoken publicly about her diagnosis and know it will do a tremendous amount of good to raise awareness. I hope she will now be given the time, space and privacy to heal.”

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