Kate Middleton seen for the first time since Christmas amid wild rumours

Royal fans have been left wondering why she has been in 'hiding' for so long.

Kate Middleton has finally been seen for the first time in 10 weeks, with the Princess of Wales last being seen in public on Christmas Day. In January, the senior royal underwent abdominal surgery, however, it's unclear why Kate needed the surgery with the Palace simply requesting privacy as she recovers.

Rumours about why Kate has been missing for so long reached new heights last week, with several outlandish theories about why she has been hiding for so long. Some of these included getting a Brazilian butt lift, growing out a bad haircut and working at the chaotic Willy's Chocolate Experience in Glasgow, Scotland.

Kate Middleton
Kate Middleton has been seen for the first time since Christmas, with rumours about her whereabouts taking the Internet by storm. Photo: Getty

Now, Kate has been papped being driven by her mother Carole Middleton near Windsor Castle. The snaps were taken before 9am, suggesting they were doing the school run, with Kate wearing dark sunglasses for the outing.

The operation in January was successful but resulted in a two-week hospital stay, followed by a lengthy rest period, with the Palace sharing that Kate would be unlikely to be back at work until after Easter.

While the Palace has insisted the surgery was "planned", People reported that it "came as a surprise" to those close to Kate.

Royal author Rachel Hawkins took to Twitter to share her thoughts on the matter, saying that while she does "not want to speculate about a woman’s health online", she has "spent years eyeball deep in Weird Royal Research for the Royals books, and everything that is happening with Kate M is indeed very, very weird. Unprecedented, even.

"We’re at 2 months since anyone has seen her. We’re not even getting milquetoast, ‘I appreciate the well wishes,’ statements from her (note that we HAVE gotten solo statements from William under his personal standard. Anything about her has been under the joint PoW banner.)."

It comes as King Charles was diagnosed with cancer around the same time, however His Majesty has issued several messages to the public, thanking them for the support following the news.

Buckingham Palace hits out 'madness' surrounding wild Kate rumours

Kate Middleton with her family on Christmas Day
Kate's last public appearance with her family was on Christmas Day. Photo: Getty

Following countless rumours on social media, Buckingham Palace was forced to hit out, reiterating that they would not offer any updates on Kate unless they were "significant".

"We were really clear from the start we weren’t going to provide a running commentary on the Princess of Wales’s health and only provide significant updates," the Palace said in a statement.

"Obviously, we’ve seen the madness of social media and that is not going to change our strategy. There has been much on social media but the Princess has a right to privacy and asks the public to respect that.

"We remind you of the statement in January where it was the Princess of Wales’s wish her medical information would remain private."

Prince William sent tongues wagging last week when he unexpectedly dropped out of an event in tribute to his late godfather, Greece's late King Constantine, which was taking place at Windsor Castle on Tuesday, very close to his family's home, Adelaide Cottage, where Kate is recuperating.

Kensington Palace stated at the time that the Prince of Wales ditched the event due to a "personal matter", with many believing it was due to his wife Kate's health.

They reiterated that the Princess is "doing well".

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