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A Timeline of Events Involving Kate Middleton, Her Cancer Diagnosis, and the Royal Family

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Kate Middleton revealed on Friday that she was diagnosed with cancer following a “planned abdominal surgery,” putting rumors about the Princess of Wales’ whereabouts to rest.

“It has been an incredibly tough couple of months for our entire family,” said the 42-year-old royal in a video released by Kensington Palace, before sharing her diagnosis. Kate said that her surgery was successful, but the operation revealed that cancer had been present, causing her to undergo “a course of preventive chemotherapy.”  

A Kensington Palace spokesperson said they will not be sharing any further private medical information. 

Prior to the announcement, photos and videos purporting to show Kate were mired in doubt. Her latest reported appearance came on Monday when British tabloid the Sun published footage of Prince William and Princess Kate out shopping on Saturday, March 16.“Great to see you again, Kate!” The Sun splashed on its Tuesday front page.

Speculation about Kate had intensified on March 10 after the first official photo of the future queen since her January surgery was posted on social media for the U.K.’s Mother’s Day—and then quickly pulled from circulation by news wire agencies because it looked to be manipulated.

The royals’ social media page later released a statement attributed to Kate in which she admitted to editing the photo and apologized “for any confusion” the photograph caused.

Read more: Kate Middleton Admits to Editing Family Photo After Wires Flagged Manipulation Concerns

The controversy around the Mother’s Day photo added fuel to conspiracy theories about the royal family that have swirled since early this year. 

“It has taken me time to recover from major surgery in order to start my treatment. But, most importantly, it has taken us time to explain everything to George, Charlotte and Louis in a way that is appropriate for them, and to reassure them that I am going to be ok,” Kate said in the video released Friday, explaining her absence.

Here is a timeline of the events since Kate’s last official public appearance:

December 25: Christmas Day marks Kate’s last public appearance. She is seen leaving church services at Sandringham, the family’s country residence north of London. 

January 17: Kensington Palace announces that Kate underwent a “planned abdominal surgery” and will be hospitalized for 10 to 14 days. The Palace adds that it is unlikely Kate will participate in any public engagements until after Easter, which falls on March 31. 

January 18: Prince William visits his wife at the hospital. 

January 29: Following a nearly two-week hospital stay, Kensington Palace shares that the Princess of Wales will return home to Windsor Castle to continue her recovery. “She is making good progress,” Kensington Palace said in a statement.

February 29: A spokesperson releases a statement to news outlets including Page Six and NBC News. “Kensington Palace made it clear in January the timelines of the Princess’ recovery and we’d only be providing significant updates,” they said. “That guidance stands.”

March 4: Kate is reportedly photographed in the passenger seat of a car alongside her mother, Carole Middleton, as the two drive near Windsor Castle, according to images published by TMZ. The photo is not released or authorized by Kensington Palace, but it marks the first time the Princess of Wales is seen publicly since December.

No major U.K. outlet publishes the photo. Royals reporter Emily Andrews claims in a post on X that Kensington Palace, “exerted huge pressure on the British media NOT to publish the pic.”

March 5: The British Army posts and then removes its claim that the Princess of Wales will be attending its annual Trooping the Colour event on June 8, leading to further speculation about Kate’s health.

March 10: In honor of Mother’s Day in the U.K., the Prince and Princess of Wales’ social media accounts share a photo of Kate and her children, which the Palace says was taken by Prince William earlier in the week at Kensington Palace.  

By that evening, multiple major news agencies, including the Associated Press and Reuters, pull the image from circulation due to apparent manipulation. “While there was no suggestion the image was fake, AP pulled the photograph from circulation because it did not meet its photo standards,” the AP explained following the retraction. “AP’s editorial standards state that images must be accurate. AP does not use altered or digitally manipulated images.”

March 11: Kate issues an apology for sharing the edited image. In a statement released through social media, she wrote: “Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing. I wanted to express my apologies for any confusion the family photograph we shared yesterday caused.”

Read More: A Forensics Expert on Princess Kate’s Photo—and How Credentialing Tools Can Help Build Trust in a World of Increasing Uncertainty

Hours later, she is reportedly photographed in a car leaving Windsor Castle alongside Prince William, though Kate did not join the Prince of Wales at the annual Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey that he headed to.

March 18: The Sun publishes a video it claimed to have taken of Kate and Prince William on Saturday, March 16. In the video, what appears to be a casually dressed Kate walks and carries shopping bags alongside her husband at a farm shop in Windsor, near the royal couple’s Adelaide Cottage. The Sun also reported that Kate and William watched their children play sports together over the weekend. Neither Kensington Palace nor the shop have commented on the Sun’s report.

March 22: Kate shares she is undergoing chemotherapy in a video released by Kensington Palace. The princess called the news a “huge shock” but shared that she is “well and getting stronger every day." 

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Write to Simmone Shah at simmone.shah@time.com