Kate Middleton at the "Royal Carols: Together At Christmas 2023
Kate Middleton (centre) attended the "Royal Carols: Together At Christmas" concert at Westminster Abbey on Dec. 8, 2023 before her abdominal surgery. Photo: The Prince and Princess of Wales/X The Prince and Princess of Wales/X

Kate Middleton had planned to have abdominal surgery but those close to her and the royal family reportedly had no idea about it.

The news that she had undergone a successful surgery came as a surprise to those closest to the Princess of Wales, according to People. Kensington Palace announced last week Tuesday, Jan 16, that she was treated at the private London Clinic and has been advised to stay there for 14 days.

The 42-year-old also has to recuperate for three more months at her home in Windsor. She is expected to resume her royal duties after Easter in March. But according to the magazine, in the weeks earlier there had been no hint that she was unwell or suffering from any medical issue.

According to the magazine: "Within their broader circle of family friends, there had been no indication that anything was wrong, and the carefully guarded news about Kate's situation came as a surprise even to those who work closely with the royal family."

The last time the Princess of Wales was spotted in public was during the annual Christmas Walk to and from St. Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham. She joined other working members of the royal family attend the church service, after which, they greeted the well-wishers who had gathered outside to see them.

She was in a festive mood as she smiled, chatted, and accepted flowers along with her husband, Prince William, and their children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis.

The publication likewise added that she seemed fine when she celebrated her birthday on Jan. 9 privately with her family at their home in Adelaide Cottage, on the grounds of Windsor.

Then news about her surgery shocked the public, with many sharing their fears that it could be gravely serious given her lengthy recovery period. Kensington Palace has remained mum on why she had to have abdominal surgery. But the palace assured that updates about her health will arrive if there is significant progress to share.

An unnamed source close to the royal household likewise told the magazine that Kate Middleton "is in great hands and will have lots of care and support at home". The insider noted that her parents, Michael and Carole Middleton, "will be a reassuring presence when she goes back to Windsor to recuperate".

A former patient at The London Clinic likewise said: "The physical therapists are amazing, helping you recover and get back on your feet. After abdominal surgery, you need a lot of patience, and it's a bit scary at first."

As for her recovery period, the palace insider called it "sensible to take the time" and noted that Kate Middleton's abdominal surgery is a great reminder for others to take care of their health first over their work. The source said: "This is a great example to the rest of us, as you're often told to get back to work as soon as possible, which can be damaging."