Cancer battle: Why Kate’s public absence could be longer than first thought

It’s been five months since Princess Catherine was last seen in public and it will likely be many months more — perhaps even the end of the year — before she resumes any official duties, according to reports.

While she has maintained a tight circle of trust since her diagnosis with an undisclosed form of cancer, friends and insiders have revealed there is nothing in her royal duties diary for the rest of the year.

“Lots of people involved in planning need to know what all the principals are doing a long way in advance. I am told that Kate’s diary for this year is empty. There is nothing planned. She may not appear in public for the rest of the year,” an unnamed source told Daily Beast.

Last week a source told the Daily Mail’s Richard Eden that we may only see the princess in autumn at the earliest, and only then if she has recovered fully.

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Kate, 42, has been undergoing preventive treatment after abdominal surgery in January uncovered cancer. She revealed her diagnosis to the public in a pre-recorded video message in March.

In the video, the princess admitted it had been an “incredibly tough couple of months for our entire family” and pleaded for “some time, space and privacy while I complete my treatment”.

“My work has always brought me a deep sense of joy and I look forward to being back when I am able, but for now I must focus on making a full recovery.”

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Catherine, Princess of Wales, announced she has been diagnosed with cancer and is undergoing preventative chemotherapy. Credit: The Prince and Princess of Wales

The princess has not been seen at her children’s school for events that she normally would have attended but has, it is believed, been there to conduct the occasional school run.

Kate’s photoshop controversy earlier this year stirred a firestorm of conspiracy theories and the longer she’s away from the public eye the more likely that speculation about where she is and her health status will take off.

A source told Daily Beast: “I would not rule out another video message updating the country on her health. That proved to be a very effective way of keeping the conspiracy theorists at bay.”

Kate and William are due to take their three children to Sandringham this week for the start of the school holidays, where Kate’s family is expected to visit.

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