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Kate Middleton’s surprise farm shop trip piles more pressure on the Palace to update the nation on her recovery because aides’ silence is just fuelling more conspiracy theories, warn experts

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The Princess of Wales‘ surprise visit to her favourite farm shop on a busy spring Saturday only piles yet more pressure on the Palace to update the public on her health as bonkers conspiracy theories about her rage online, experts said today.  

Kate was spotted looking ‘happy, healthy and relaxed’ as she picked up goods from the independent store just a mile from her Adelaide Cottage home on Saturday.

The future Queen was spotted by customers at the Windsor Farm Shop with Prince William after a morning of apparently watching their three children – George, 10, Charlotte, eight, and Louis, five, play sport.

Biographer Phil Dampier told MailOnline that while many will be happy to hear Kate is out and about, others will ‘now be saying if she is well enough to be seen by members of the public then why can’t we be told what is wrong with her?’

He said: ‘A report over the weekend said Kate will want to reveal her treatment when she is fully fit and back at work. That would probably be the best way but some will be impatient and want answers now’.

Royal expert and investigative journalist Tom Bower has said that Kate’s outing shows there is ‘panic at the Palace’, especially after the farrago of her edited Mother’s Day portrait. 

He said: ‘Her appearance suggests panic at the Palace. Just as last week’s furore has died down, they allowed her to reignite all the questions about her health which should remain private. Her advisors clearly can’t decide what their strategy should be, or agree it with the Wales’s. If they carry on like this – ducking and weaving – it will end badly’.

Kate has now been spotted four times in two weeks when Kensington Palace said  maintained that she would not be seen in public before Easter after abdominal surgery in January. It has been reported that she may return to royal duties by walking to church on Easter Sunday.

Kate and William (pictured in November 2023) were reportedly seen at one of their favourite spots, around a mile from their Adelaide Cottage, in Windsor on Saturday. But experts say that the appearance piles yet more pressure on the Palace to update the public on her health

The Mother's Day portrait was edited by the Princess of Wales to make the perfect family shot. But conspiracy theorists have used it to question everything about Kate's health - and even when it was taken due to a green plant in the background

The Mother’s Day portrait was edited by the Princess of Wales to make the perfect family shot. But conspiracy theorists have used it to question everything about Kate’s health – and even when it was taken due to a green plant in the background

William and Kate were spotted leaving Windsor for Westminster Abbey to attend The Commonwealth Day Service last Monday. She has now been seen four times in a fortnight

William and Kate were spotted leaving Windsor for Westminster Abbey to attend The Commonwealth Day Service last Monday. She has now been seen four times in a fortnight

Kate, who is currently recovering from abdominal surgery, looking 'happy, healthy and relaxed' at The Windsor Farm Shop (pictured)

Kate, who is currently recovering from abdominal surgery, looking ‘happy, healthy and relaxed’ at The Windsor Farm Shop (pictured)

Mr Bower believes her aides are in a state of panic and every public outing only ignites more conspiracy theories and questions about her health, especially as there is no picture of Kate in Windsor yesterday and no update on her condition.

He has accused Kensington Palace of handling the Photoshop scandal ‘appallingly’ and failing to protect the Princess of Wales when she should have her ‘feet up’ at home while she recovers from major surgery. 

‘Yesterday’s unexpected “sighting” of Kate suggests that her Palace advisors have still not learnt their lesson’, he said.

The sighting at The Windsor Farm Shop will also provide a much needed boost to the British public who have been growing more concerned about the Princess’ health in the midst of a tsunami of speculation over her unknown condition.

A witness who saw the couple told The Sun last night: ‘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.

‘The kids weren’t with them but it’s such a good sign she was healthy enough to pop down to the shops.’

While no pictures were taken of the couple – adhering to their request for privacy as Kate recovers – their reported appearance is an encouraging sign that she is taking her first steps towards a return to official royal engagements. 

Phil Dampier said: ‘It’s great that Kate has been seen in public and is obviously on the mend.

‘Lots of people will be relived that she is well enough to go to the farm shop and I expect she will soon be taking her kids to school or out and about during holidays.

‘Like anyone who has been convalescing for a long time after an operation she will be getting bored and would naturally want to resume normal life.

‘But unfortunately for some people on social media and elsewhere nothing will ever be enough and they will now be saying if she is well enough to be seen by members of the public then why can’t we be told what is wrong with her?

‘I remember several years ago Prince William got it into his head that he didn’t want anyone to know the name of their new dog.

‘A few weeks later Kate was visiting a hospital and told a patient the dog’s name was Lupo.

‘She is more open about things and I’m sure this is how she will reveal more about her health when she feels confident and thinks the time is right’.

The Princess, who made her last public engagement at Sandringham on Christmas Day, is expected to return to public duty after April 17, when her children start back at Lambrook School, near Ascot, following the Easter Holidays.

Yet there is suggestion that Kate could now make an earlier return and may even be seen walking into the annual Easter Matins service at St George’s Chapel on the Windsor estate. 

The Princess of Wales has reportedly been spotted out and about for the first time since her abdominal surgery visiting a local farm shop in Windsor with her husband William. Pictured: Kate in May 2023

The Princess of Wales has reportedly been spotted out and about for the first time since her abdominal surgery visiting a local farm shop in Windsor with her husband William. Pictured: Kate in May 2023 

The couple are said to have visited the farm having watched their their three children - George, 10, Charlotte, eight, and Louis, five - take part in sports. Pictured: Kate with Louis and Charlotte in May 2023

The couple are said to have visited the farm having watched their their three children – George, 10, Charlotte, eight, and Louis, five – take part in sports. Pictured: Kate with Louis and Charlotte in May 2023

According to the Telegraph the Princess has not ruled out making a return to the public eye on Easter Sunday and could join her family for the traditional walk about, which would be photographed. 

A palace source told the paper there had been ‘no confirmation either way’ adding that anything else was speculation.

The reports of an early return and her Windsor sighting come just a few days after the Princess was pictured in the back of a car alongside Prince William as they left Windsor Castle last Monday. 

The Prince of Wales was on his way to Westminster Abbey for the annual Commonwealth Day service while MailOnline understands Kate was headed to a ‘private appointment‘.  

In recent weeks wild rumours – fuelled by social media and the foreign press – have speculated over the reason why Kate has not been seen, despite the Kensington Palace’s laying out her recovery timeline.

‘Katespiracies’ online have ranged from claims she was recovering from a ‘Brazilian bum lift’ or in a coma, a theory sparked by a journalist on Spanish television. 

Some joked she was a contestant on The Masked Singer television show – or may have even been bumped from the Royal Family.

Other trolls and conspiracy theorists have used her absence and the lawlessness of social media to spread deeply sinister and highly libellous claims. Even Kim Kardashian has wade in posting selfies captured: ‘On my way to go find Kate.’

While no pictures were taken of the couple, the reported sighting at the shop is an encouraging sign that she is taking her first steps towards a return to official royal engagements

While no pictures were taken of the couple, the reported sighting at the shop is an encouraging sign that she is taking her first steps towards a return to official royal engagements

The couple are said to have visited the farm shop (pictured) having watched their three children - George, 10, Charlotte, eight, and Louis, five - take part in sports

The couple are said to have visited the farm shop (pictured) having watched their three children – George, 10, Charlotte, eight, and Louis, five – take part in sports

The absurd claims only intensified when the Princess took the blame for the family photograph released by Kensington Palace on Mother’s Day, which was ‘killed’ by six of the world’s top picture agencies over concern that it had been ‘manipulated’.

It came after it was pointed out that part of Princess Charlotte‘s sleeve and the misaligned edge of her skirt were missing, with other speculation including the positioning of Kate’s zip. 

In addition to the numerous imperfections in the image, viewers also spotted that Kate appeared to not be wearing her wedding ring, which sparked multiple unfounded theories online about the state of her marriage. 

The furor on social media led the Princess to make a personal apology on X, writing ‘Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing.’ 

It is understood that Kate had only intended to ‘bring a bit of joy’ and release a reassuring image to thank the public for their ongoing support, and that she and William are both ‘shaken and devastated’ at the speculation about their marriage. 

William is said to have taken the picture in a 40-minute window on a £2,900 Canon camera on Friday before the Princess edited it twice in Photoshop to ‘make it the best it can be’. 

Despite calls for the original image to be published, Kensington Palace insisted it would not be reissuing the unedited photograph of Kate and her children. 

One insider said: ‘I worry about all this attention on Catherine. She did not look happy at all in the car on Monday.’

Kate posted the apology on the Prince and Princess of Wales' Instagram account

Kate posted the apology on the Prince and Princess of Wales’ Instagram account 

Prince and Princess of Wales with their three children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis in Norfolk in 2022

Prince and Princess of Wales with their three children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis in Norfolk in 2022

Over the weekend, a source close to the Wales’ said that the couple will disclose more information about Kate’s illness and recovery in due course. 

‘In Kate’s case, there is almost nobody else in the world whose face, body, clothes are more judged than hers,’ the insider told The Sunday Times. 

‘What is happening is exactly what they said would happen — she would spend two weeks in hospital and be back after Easter. So what if they haven’t pushed her out there to wave from the back of a car? She is not a show pony.’  

A friend said the Waleses are fully aware about the circulating rumours but claimed: ‘They’re not like [Prince] Harry, obsessing and scrolling through Twitter, but they know it has broken through. 

‘They follow the news and see the BBC breaking news alerts.’

The insider added that the speculation around the couple’s marriage is ‘just cruel’, especially while William, Kate and their children are ‘going through the hardest time they’ve had to go through as a family‘.

Kate was admitted to the London Clinic – the private hospital where the King underwent treatment for an enlarged prostate – for planned abdominal surgery.

She left the hospital on January 29 – almost two weeks later – and returned to Adelaide Cottage in Windsor.

Speculation grew online as she recuperated in Windsor which was only stoked further when William pulled out of a memorial service for his late godfather, King Constantine of Greece, for an unexplained ‘personal matter’

The Ministry of Defence also came under fire after it suggested that Kate would be attending the Trooping the Colour event in June before her appearance was quickly stripped from the Army’s official website.  

Details of her condition have not been revealed but Kensington Palace previously said it was not cancer-related and that the Princess wished her personal medical information to remain private.

Another friend said: ‘She and William are at their most open when out interacting with the public. I can see a world in which the Princess might discuss her recovery out on engagements.

‘If she was going to do it, that’s how she would do it. They appreciate the public’s love and affection for their children and know there is a public appetite to see them on their birthdays.’

Kensington Palace has maintained that Kate is ‘doing well’ and will only provide significant updates.

King Charles III (wearing his Welsh Guards uniform) watches a flypast from the balcony of Buckingham Palace during Trooping the Colour on June 17, 2023 in London

King Charles III (wearing his Welsh Guards uniform) watches a flypast from the balcony of Buckingham Palace during Trooping the Colour on June 17, 2023 in London

The couple are refusing to publish any details until they feel ready, with a friend adding: ‘They will want to be clear and more open, but they’ll do it when they feel ready. 

‘I would expect that to be her instinct and it will be her call. They are not going to be rushed.’ 

Sources told the Mail that that there is no pressure or hurry on her to do so and her focus remains on ‘what is important’ – her recovery and her three children. 

Despite this tumultuous few weeks for the Royal Family, it is expected that William and Kate will still uphold the tradition of releasing a new photograph to mark their children’s birthdays, the next being Prince Louis on April 23.

‘They appreciate the public’s love and affection for their children and know there is a public appetite to see them on their birthdays,’ an aide told the Times.

While there has been no official confirmation that Kate will be well enough to attend Trooping the Colour in June, the King, who is suffering from cancer, is determined to attend his official birthday celebrations.

The Mail revealed last night that aides are already exploring ways that Charles will be able to part within the constraints of his ongoing cancer treatment. 

This could include watching the military spectacular from a podium, instead on horseback as usual, and being driven to Buckingham Palace, like his late mother did.

A firm decision will be made at the time and will be dependent on medical advice. The event will take place on June 15 and the Mail understands the planning is a source for optimism. 

‘There are a number of key events His Majesty would love to attend coming up in the diary and this is at the top of the list,’ a source said. 

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