Where is Kate Middleton? The internet has theories

Catherine, Princess of Wales attends The "Together At Christmas" Carol Service at Westminster Abbey on December 8, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)

The royal family has been making headlines in recent weeks as multiple members are not in the best of health. 

King Charles III had surgery recently and has cancer, and Kate Middleton has been recovering from abdominal surgery for weeks. 

While both have canceled their public engagements to focus on their health, the public has seen the king – but, notably, still not Kate. 

Here is a timeline of what’s been announced about their health, and how the lack of information has the internet convinced Kate has "disappeared."

Kate Middleton’s health

The princess’ health first made headlines on Jan. 17, when Kensington Palace announced she had been hospitalized after undergoing a planned abdominal surgery and would remain at the hospital for up to two weeks. 

The palace didn’t provide further details, but said her condition wasn’t cancerous and that her public engagements were canceled until after Easter, which is March 31.  

Moments later, Buckingham Palace announced that King Charles III would undergo a "corrective procedure" the following week for an enlarged prostate. The palace said that the king’s condition was benign.

Nearly two weeks later, on Jan. 29, both Kate and Charles were said to have left the hospital.

And those familiar with the royal family and its customs were quick to notice one thing: the king had been seen leaving, but Kate had not.

The king was seen leaving the hospital after his three-night stay with his wife, Queen Camilla, and stopped to smile and wave to well-wishers. The princess’ office said she had returned home to recuperate but did not release details about when she left.

She still has not been seen publicly or in photographs, and reportedly has not been seen since Christmas. 

King Charles cancer

Adding to the Royal Family’s health news, less than a week after his surgery, King Charles III announced on Feb. 5 that he had been diagnosed with cancer and had begun treatment. He didn’t disclose what form of cancer he has, but said it wasn’t related to his recent prostate treatment. 

Meanwhile, he also canceled all his public engagements. 

But the 75-year-old has still been seen publicly, such as earlier this month when leaving his offices at Clarence House after a brief reunion with his younger son, Prince Harry.

The palace also released photos of him on Feb. 23 receiving cards from well-wishers. 


In this photo released on Feb. 23, King Charles III reads cards and messages, sent by well-wishers following his cancer diagnosis, in the 18th Century Room of the Belgian Suite at Buckingham Palace on Feb. 21, 2024 in London, England. Photo by Jonath

RELATED: Cancer diagnoses in the British royal family over the years: 'The great equalizer'

Kate Middleton Reddit

As to be expected, the internet has theories about Kate’s "disappearance," stemming from the fact that she hasn’t been seen publicly in over two months. 

One post in particular on X, formerly Twitter, summed up the curiosity: 

"You’re telling me that Kate Middleton - the same woman who posed outside the hospital like a freaking supermodel mere hours after giving birth - suddenly requires months of recovery before showing her face? And the British press now magically respects privacy? This feels… sinister." The post has been seen by millions and has tens of thousands of likes. 

Search terms like "Kate Middleton’s health" and "Where is Kate Middleton?" were trending this week, with many looking to Reddit sleuths to explain her whereabouts. 

One theory dates back to early February, when a Spanish tabloid published that Kate is actually in a coma after having "serious health complications" following her surgery. A palace source called that "total nonsense," People Magazine reported

Others are speculating something has happened with her marriage to Prince William, as the two had been doing more solo events before Christmas and since William was not seen publicly at the hospital like Queen Camilla was. 

On a much less serious side of things, the internet – particularly X users – was memeing where she might be:

  • Growing out her bangs
  • Working at, or lost in the Glasgow Willy Wonka experience
  • At the 97-year-old NYC diner that serves its Coke the old-fashioned way
  • Filming "Celebrity Big Brother"
  • Sacrificed in some way to bolster King Charles’ health
  • Recovering from some sort of face- or body-altering surgery (with "BBL" getting the most attention, as "BBL recovery time" even began to rise in Google searches alongside her name)
  • Or, living out her true identity - Banksy. Because we haven’t seen any new Banksy art since she’s been missing, right? (searches for Banksy’s identity were also rising)

Many also made jokes about calling in these reinforcements to help find her: 

  • Mariska Hargitay from "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit"
  • Super Nanny
  • The Taylor Swift Easter-egg hunters

Others argued that the royal family’s health and surrounding gossip was surely enough to entice writers back for another season of "The Crown." 

RELATED: Willy Wonka event ends with parents calling police: 'No chocolate'

King Constantine of Greece

Those dialed into the timeline of Kate’s "disappearance" are seeing this name enter the mix now too. 

Constantine II of Greece, Prince William’s godfather, passed away in January 2023 at the age of 82. The Greek royal family was holding a memorial service for him Tuesday, Feb. 27, in St. George’s Chapel in Windsor.

Prince William was set to attend but pulled out last minute because of a personal matter. His sudden absence kicked off another round of speculation as to what’s going on with the family right now. 

According to The Associated Press, the palace declined to elaborate but did mention that Kate continued to do well. 

King Charles III also was not in attendance at the memorial service. 

Thomas Kingston

And yet one more name has been added to the conversation as well. 

Thomas Kingston was the husband of Lady Gabriella Windsor, the late Queen Elizabeth II’s first cousin. 

Kingston died suddenly at age 45 on Feb. 25, according to Britain's Press Association. 

He also previously dated Pippa Middleton, the younger sister of Kate.

This story was reported from Detroit. The Associated Press contributed.