Princess of Wales ‘happy and healthy’ on visit to farm shop with William in first public sighting since surgery

18 March 2024, 06:15 | Updated: 18 March 2024, 13:10

The Princess of Wales was said to be "happy, relaxed and healthy” on a visit to a farm shop in Windsor
The Princess of Wales was said to be "happy, relaxed and healthy” on a visit to a farm shop in Windsor. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

The Princess of Wales has been spotted looking “happy, healthy and relaxed” on a visit to a local farm shop.

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It is the first time Kate has been seen out and about since her planned abdominal surgery, with her absence from the public eye sparking wild speculation and conspiracy theories over her health.

Kate was seen with William at one of the couple’s favourite places in Windsor, around a mile from their Adelaide Cottage.

They went to The Windsor Farm shop after watching their children, George, 10, Charlotte, eight, and Louis, five - take part in sports.

A witness who spotted the couple told The Sun: “After all the rumours that had been going round I was stunned to see them there. Kate was out shopping with William and she looked happy and she looked well.”

Prince Louis, the Princess of Wales and Princess Charlotte on a visit to the Scouts last May
Prince Louis, the Princess of Wales and Princess Charlotte on a visit to the Scouts last May. Picture: Alamy

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No pictures were taken of the couple, due to a request for privacy as she recovers from her operation. She is expected to return to public duty at some time after April 17, when her children start back at Lambrook School near Ascot after the Easter holidays.

Her last public engagement was at Sandringham on Christmas Day.

The Telegraph reports that Kate has not ruled out making a return to the public eye on Easter Sunday for the traditional Royal walk about.

A Palace source told the paper there had been ‘no confirmation either way’.

Her last public engagement was at Sandringham on Christmas Day
Her last public engagement was at Sandringham on Christmas Day. Picture: Alamy

Last Monday the princess was seen in the back of a car next to William as they left Windsor Castle. He was on his way to Westminster Abbey for the annual Commonwealth Day service while Kate had a ‘private appointment’.

In recent weeks speculation has mounted over her absence from the public eye with wild conspiracy theories circulating about her health and the royal family.

The absurd claims escalated when the Princess was forced to take the blame for a family photo released by Kensington Palace on Mother’s Day which she admitted ‘editing’. The picture was later ‘killed’ by several of the world’s leading photo agencies over concern that it had been ‘manipulated’.

Last week Kate admitted that she personally edited a family photo released by Kensington Palace and issued an apology.

The picture sparked an explosion of conspiracy theories, with people trying to establish to what extent the picture had been edited.

Six of the world's leading picture agencies including the Press Association pulled the photo from their wires and libraries amid concern that the 'source has manipulated the image'.

One royal source told American celebrity news site Page Six “It’s an awful lot to be under all of this public scrutiny when you are recovering from major surgery.”

“Kate is recovering well and she will be back by Easter. She just needs to be left in peace.”

Kensington Palace has insisted it will not be reissuing the unedited photograph of Kate and her children.

Kate said she wanted to try and make the photo "the best it could be" before its release last Sunday.

It is understood she edited the picture twice and is "very sad" that the picture has sparked a worldwide furore.

Kate's Mother's Day family picture
Kate's Mother's Day family picture. Picture: social media

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Royal author Omid Scobie, who is close to Meghan and Harry, said: “It’s becoming increasingly difficult for the public to believe a word (and now photo) they share”.

Last week it emerged William took the picture of his smiling family on a £2,900 Canon camera before Kate made the edits ahead of Sunday's public release.

Aides had spent weeks planning the Instagram release for Mother's Day in a bid to put a stop to the vicious social media speculation about the Princesses health. Comments that have been posted since her surgery in January have deeply upset and angered the couple.

But the plan backfired after six of the world's top picture agencies including the Press Association and Reuters pulled the photo from their wires and libraries amid concern that the "source has manipulated the image".

This prompted Kate to take to X -formerly Twitter - to admit she "edited" the image and apologise for "any confusion" the image caused.

Kate is said to have felt that honesty was "the best policy" and wanted to "own up" to the Photoshop blunder.

Harry and Meghan Markle in Vancouver last month
Harry and Meghan Markle in Vancouver last month. Picture: Alamy

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Insiders told The Times that the Princess felt "awful" about the picture and had been trying to make it the "best it could be", adding that she was "thinking of her own children when editing the picture, hoping that they looked good for their own sakes".

The row overshadowed yesterday's Coronation Day service at Westminster Abbey, which was being led by Queen Camilla for the first time, accompanied by Prince William, in the King's absence as he undergoes cancer treatment.

His Majesty recorded a video message for the first time instead.

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