Princess of Wales cancer treatment: When will Kate return to the public eye?

The Princess of Wales has said she is looking forward to returning to official duties but for now must concentrate on her recovery after revealing she is being treated for cancer.

Questions had been mounting over when Kate would return to the public eye following her planned abdominal surgery in January, giving rise to groundless online conspiracy theories and ill-informed, lurid speculation.

A Mother's Day photo released of her and her three children did little to calm the troll rumour mill after it was shown to have been edited.

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But the 42-year-old's shock announcement in an emotional video message that she was undergoing a course of preventative chemotherapy has shaken the nation, coming on top of the King's own cancer diagnosis.

In light of this, there is no set timeline for her return to public life.

She said: "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."

A Kensington Palace spokesman said: "The princess will return to official duties when she is cleared to do so by her medical team.

"She is in good spirits and is focused on making a full recovery."

The Prince of Wales is due to return to public duties after his children return to school following the Easter break, but the family will not appear at Windsor Castle's St George's Chapel for the Easter Sunday service.

Kate has not been seen on official engagements since late December, when she was pictured on a Christmas Day walk with other members of the Royal Family in Sandringham, Norfolk.

She had not been seen in public again until early March when she was photographed by celebrity news site TMZ.

Earlier this week, The Sun published a video of the couple on a visit to a farm shop in Windsor, with an onlooker describing the princess as "super happy" and "relaxed".

A palace spokesman said: "Their royal highnesses understand the interest this update will generate and are grateful for the public support they have received throughout this period.

"Kensington Palace will provide information, when the time is right, and the princess is able to restart work and her duties.

"In the meantime, we would ask that the family's privacy is respected."

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Kensington Palace is not expected to give a running commentary on Kate's health in order to give her the time and space she needs to recover out of the public gaze and away from the demands of official duties.

It is likely the royal household will only provide further updates on Kate's plans to return to public events when the time is judged appropriate.

Her own views on whether she wants to attend events and if she feels well enough to do so, along with medical advice, would form part of any decision.

It is also expected it will be a gradual return and initial attendance at public events will not necessarily signal a return to a regular public schedule.

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Kensington Palace had earlier said Kate had major abdominal surgery in January and that surgery was successful.

At the time of the operation, it was thought that the condition was non-cancerous and no tests had confirmed the presence of cancer.

But post-operative tests found cancer had been present and Kate has now begun a course of treatment to stop any cancer returning.