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Inside Kate Middleton’s Recovery: She ‘May Never Come Back’ in Royal Role We Remember, Source Says (Exclusive)

Prince William has been putting his best foot forward during public appearances since his wife, Princess Kate Middleton, announced her cancer diagnosis in mid-March, and his visit to St. Mary’s Community Hospital on May 10 was no exception.

The future king met with staffers and posed for photos at the facility, located in the Isles of Scilly off the southwest tip of England, and even briefly updated them on Kate’s health, telling a hospital administrator that Kate, 42, was “doing 
well” before adding that their three children — Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 9, and Prince Louis, 6 — were jealous he was traveling to one 
of their favorite family destinations without them.

By all accounts, Kate appears to be on the road to recovery. In her emotional March announcement, the princess revealed that she was in the “early stages” of preventative chemotherapy treatments.

During recent weeks, she’s been spotted running errands with family members and by herself. “Kate’s feeling strong enough to be very involved with the kids,” an insider exclusively shares in the latest issue of Us Weekly. “She’s been an active parent.”

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Adds a second source: “Kate’s recovery is going well. She’s not able to see many people because she is susceptible to getting sick and they don’t want her compromised, but she’s up and about.”

Still, questions about her return to royal duty remain in the air, with the latest reports claiming she won’t resume work until the fall or even next year.

Inside Kate Middleton’s Recovery: She ‘May Never Come Back’ in Royal Role We Remember
DAN DOPERALSKI/GETTY; PRESS POOL/GETTY; ADRIAN MONROY/GETTY; AXELLE/FILMMAGIC; DON ARNOLD/WIREIMAGE

While a royal aide revealed in mid-May that Kate had been briefed on a new report published by her early years foundation, the Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood, a Kensington Palace spokesman was quick to clarify that it did not signify that she’s back to work. (It’s also been confirmed she will not attend rehearsals for the annual Trooping the Colour ceremony, scheduled for June 15.)

“We have been really clear that [Kate] needs the space and the privacy to recover right now,” said the Palace, adding, “She will return to work when she has had the green light from doctors.”

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According to the second source, Kate’s team is “reevaluating what she’s going to be able to take on when she comes back,” noting, “She may never come back in the role that people saw her in before.”

In late May, Kate and William, 41, caught a lucky break when King Charles III and wife Queen Camilla announced that the royal family would be postponing certain engagements after U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called for a surprise general election in July. (Buckingham Palace said royals would cancel events that “may appear to divert attention or distract from the election campaign.”)

Inside Kate Middleton’s Recovery: She ‘May Never Come Back’ in Royal Role We Remember
Kate Middleton. Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

The reprieve is a welcome one for the couple. “The announcement that the royals won’t be able to work as much has been unexpected, but it will allow Kate and William to spend more time together,” says the second source. “They’ve been reconnecting and are closer than ever.”

The family of five have been mainly stationed at their Norfolk summer home, Anmer Hall. The 10-bedroom country house — located on Sandringham Estate — has a swimming pool and tennis court and tons of space for the kids to run and play.

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“They’re spending a lot of time as a family there,” the second source says. In 2020, Kate revealed her happiest moments are when she’s with William and the children “outside in the countryside, and we’re all filthy dirty.”

George, Charlotte and Louis will soon be off school for half term, “and they have lots of fun things” in the works, says the first source.

When she’s not on mom duty, Kate’s been keeping busy cooking and baking. Adds the second source: “It’s one of her [favorite] activities.”

Their inner circle is small and tight. Kate’s mom, Carole Middleton, and her sister, Pippa, “are a constant presence,” says the second source. (Kate was spotted driving with her mother in early March.)

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“The Middletons have always been very close,” adds royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams. “The royal family has to be terribly careful about [who they let in], but Kate knows who to trust.”

Kate has some time to reflect on her royal role before she eventually gets back to business. Fitzwilliams believes that the public will likely be updated on her return date if she remains sidelined into the fall.

“I hope [by then we] would have heard when it is appropriate from Kensington Palace because lessons should’ve been learned from what happened earlier,” he explains of the conspiracy theories that arose in the lead-up to Kate’s video message. “If you’re not told at all, and months pass, there’s clearly speculation, and that could happen again. So I’m sure that it will be handled differently.”

When Kate is able to go back, “it will be [based] on medical advice, and it will be very carefully balanced,” says Fitzwilliams, adding that her health battle is “obviously tremendously draining.”

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It’s no secret that life as a public servant can take a toll, and one factor for Kate to consider is how much she wants to take on once she’s fully recovered. “Her role may look very different,” says the second source. “She’s looking at what it will shape into.”

For more on Kate’s recovery, watch the exclusive video above and pick up the latest issue of Us Weekly — on newsstands now.

With reporting by Christina Garibaldi & Andrea Simpson

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