Fact Check

Kate Middleton's Royal Comeback 'Many Years' Away?

Rumors about the Princess of Wales' health circulated social media after she announced her cancer diagnosis in March 2024.

Published May 11, 2024

The Princess of Wales visited a children's unit at London's St Thomas' Hospital on December 5, 2023. ( Getty Images)
The Princess of Wales visited a children's unit at London's St Thomas' Hospital on December 5, 2023. (Image courtesy of Getty Images)
Claim:
Kate Middleton's return to royal duties will take "many years," rather than a few months, and some of her friends have admitted they have lost contact with her.

In early May 2024, a Facebook user posted a screenshot of an X post disputing reports the Princess of Wales would make a royal comeback, claiming her return to public duties could take "many years." The text in the screengrab also said Kate Middleton's close friends had mentioned they were no longer in contact with her.

The text in the post read: "BREAKING!! Despite numerous reports of Kate returning to royal duties within the next few months, sources close to her say that her come back could take 'many years'. Close friends of Kate admit they have 'lost contact' with her. #WhereIsKate #WhereIsKateMiddleton #KateMiddleton"

Reacting to the X post, the Facebook user wrote: "What in the world!!!!"

Similar posts also appeared elsewhere on X?and in numerous iterations on elsewhere on Facebook, where one user wrote: "#NotSorry but if there is truth in this and #TimeWillTell as it always does, then something with this whole thing is WAY OFF from being normal!!!!!!"

Together, the posts had amassed more than 985,000 interactions at the time of this writing.

However, Snopes found no examples of any reputable news outlets reporting the same claims, which appeared to originate from the X user, and no relevant announcements from the Royal Family, which is why we have rated this claim "Unfounded."

Searching?the Royal Family's website?and Google, we found no evidence of anyone revealing Kate's return would take "many years." There was also no proof?she had "lost contact" with friends. No reputable news publications substantiated the claims — which, if true, would be eminently newsworthy.

Snopes contacted the X user and Buckingham Palace for comment on the rumor and will update this article if, or when, we receive responses.

On Jan. 17, 2024, Buckingham Palace announced?the princess was?admitted to a hospital the day before for planned abdominal surgery, and that she was "unlikely to return to public duties until after Easter." However, on March 22, Kensington Palace released a video of Kate announcing she was being treated for cancer.

After releasing the footage, multiple British media outlets,?including Sky News, ITV?and The Independent, reported a statement from Kensington Palace, which read:

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.

Snopes also asked Buckingham Palace whether this was the latest update on Kate's health and will update this article if, or when, we receive a response.

Similar unsubstantiated rumors appeared on social media about King Charles III in?March and May, where rumors spread that the British monarch had been given two years to live and,?respectively, his funeral plans had been updated, as he was "very unwell."

Sources

'A statement from Kensington Palace'.?Royal.UK, 17 Jan. 2024.?https://www.royal.uk/news-and-activity/2024-01-17/a-statement-from-kensington-palace. Accessed 8 May 2024.

Instagram. https://www.instagram.com/p/C402JKPtLVB/?hl=en. Accessed 8 May 2024.

Kate Middleton Catherine OR Princess OR of OR Wales OR Return OR Comeback 'Many Years' - Google Search. https://www.google.com/search?as_q=+kate+middleton&as_epq=%22many+years%22&as_oq=catherine+princess+of+wales+return+comeback&as_eq=&as_nlo=&as_nhi=&lr=&cr=&as_qdr=all&as_sitesearch=&as_occt=any&as_filetype=&tbs=&gws_rd=ssl. Accessed 8 May 2024.

Kate Middleton Friends Catherine OR Princess OR of OR Wales 'Lost Contact' - Google Search. https://www.google.com/search?as_q=+kate+middleton+friends&as_epq=%22lost+contact%22&as_oq=catherine+princess+of+wales&as_eq=&as_nlo=&as_nhi=&lr=&cr=&as_qdr=all&as_sitesearch=&as_occt=any&as_filetype=&tbs=&gws_rd=ssl. Accessed 8 May 2024.

'Princess of Wales Cancer Treatment: When Will Kate Return to the Public Eye?' Sky News, https://news.sky.com/story/princess-of-wales-cancer-treatment-when-will-kate-return-to-the-public-eye-13100363. Accessed 8 May 2024.

Royal.UK.?https://www.royal.uk/news. Accessed 8 May 2024.

'When will we see the Princess of Wales in public again?'?ITV.com, 23 Mar. 2024.?https://www.itv.com/news/2024-03-23/when-will-we-see-the-princess-of-wales-in-public-again. Accessed 8 May 2024.

William, Helen. 'When Will We See Kate in Public Again?' The Independent, 22 Mar. 2024. www.independent.co.uk, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/prince-of-wales-kensington-palace-prince-wales-princess-of-wales-b2517284.html.

Nick Hardinges is a London-based reporter who previously worked as a fact-checker at Reuters.