Kate Middleton at the "Royal Carols: Together At Christmas 2023
Kate Middleton (centre) pictured her at her last royal engagement at the "Royal Carols: Together At Christmas" concert on Dec. 8, 2023 before undergoing abdominal surgery on Jan. 16, 2024. Photo: The Prince and Princess of Wales/X The Prince and Princess of Wales/X

Kate Middleton has been advised to stay in the hospital for an extended period following an abdominal surgery at The London Clinic on Tuesday. While Kensington Palace remains mum on the exact nature of her illness, some fear that it is something very serious as it requires months of recuperation.

Kensington Palace announced that the procedure was successful but that the Princess of Wales has to remain in the hospital for 10 to 14 days. Doctors have also advised her to recuperate at home for two to three months and is not expected to return to her public duties until after Easter.

Prince William is understood to be cutting back on his royal engagements as well, according to the Mirror, so he can tend to his wife during her recovery in the hospital and during the early days of her recuperation at their home in Windsor. The palace refused to share what Kate Middleton was being treated for but said that it is not cancer-related.

Despite the assurance that it is not cancer, over at X, royal watchers still shared some troubling theories and expressed their concerns given her lengthy recovery period. Some suggested that she likely had a hysterectomy and another claimed the procedure was necessary to remove a cancerous tumor. This would allegedly explain the months of recuperation afterward.

"Most likely a hysterectomy as others have indicated. It's possible that she has a lot of scar tissue, thus they would be able to perform it via laparoscopy," one wrote to which another responded: "Sounds like a hysterectomy to me. And I assume it was not completed via laparoscopic."

"I was thinking the same. 10-14 days in hospital is long. After my abdominal surgery I was out in a day. Rest and recuperation was done at home," one more shared.

Another commented: "My feeling is it's a hysterectomy, long stay and long recuperation. She's only 42 but I had one at 39, best thing I ever did! My womb had done it's job but it was causing me many problems, I was glad to be rid of it. Once you get the HRT sorted it's liberating!"

Meanwhile, another X user said that the sketchy assurance from the palace only further fuelled the speculations on the princess' illness writing: "I hate to say it, but I suspect that the words abdominal surgery and 10 to 14 days in hospital will lead to some Google searching and intense speculation as everyone plays 'Doctor House' and tries to figure out what might be wrong with her. It might have been better to just spell it out."

Another agreed: "Why they can't be transparent is beyond me. 2 weeks is a long time for any surgery nowadays. If they don't want rumours flying around just be honest. I'm sure they have all had vaccines and boosters so I hope it's not cancer. Cancer is on the rise since covid."

A third shared: "Agree with you. If they had just stated for what, they could control the narrative. Two weeks in hospital and 2-3 months recoup? This could be a teachable moment for woman's health. Now, it's all rumours."

Regardless, there were also those who prayed for a speedy recovery for the Princess of Wales. One royal watcher shared: "Can't people just be grateful that the princess came through the surgery well and asked for privacy about her medical condition!!?? Please just respect her wishes. Sending Best Wishes to the Princess and her family at this time while she recovers."

Kensington Palace has refused to comment on the speculations. In a statement, a representative for Kate Middleton said the princess "hopes that the public will understand her desire to maintain as much normality for her children as possible; and her wish that her personal medical information remains private". The spokesperson said the palace will "only provide updates on Her Royal Highness' progress when there is significant new information to share".