Where is Kate Middleton? Exactly where she should be (and here's why I think we should pay attention to that)

The mum-of-three hasn't been seen since Christmas and people are getting tetchy

Kate in the wind looking into distance
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Where is Kate Middleton? Right where she should be... resting out of the public eye. And, in her silent non-actions, Kate is advocating for mums everywhere to stop when they need to and put their health first.

Since it was announced that the Princess of Wales underwent pretty major surgery and is taking time to rest, the world has not been happy. The Palace announced on January 17th that Kate had undergone "planned abdominal surgery" and would be in the hospital for 10-14 days, therefore taking a step back from royal duties. 

The Princess returned to Windsor after 13 days in hospital, she then reportedly went to Anmer Hall to spend the half-term break with Prince William and Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis. And, hopefully, since we know Princess Charlotte planned the most thoughtful treat for her mum, letting them look after her while she recovers from surgery.

Where is Kate Middleton?

It's been a while since we last saw Kate (Christmas Day was the last official photo) and because of this, the question ‘Where is Kate Middleton?’ has monopolised search engines, and people have bombarded social platforms to share conspiracy theories on why she hasn't been seen. 

It’s worth noting here that in their statement, the Palace explicitly stated that Kate would be out of the public eye until after Easter, based on medical advice. But the internet has been spiralling, asking where is she on a loop, especially in light of Prince William pulling out of his godfather's memorial for "personal reasons". 

Kate MIddleton on newspaper front covers

(Image credit: Getty Images)

And, I have to say… this whole ‘but she should be here’ rhetoric I keep seeing across social media (looking at you, Instagram) smacks of unrealistic societal expectations of parents. Sick parents still have to parent and show up and soldier on, regardless of the fever they’re running, or the sheer exhaustion they’re ignoring. And we know we’re not the only ones. New research from family wellness brand Zarbee’s has found that two-thirds of British parents feel constantly unwell but have 'no choice but to power through’ illnesses due to the demands of day-to-day family life. 

Of course, Kate is in a very privileged position to be able to down tools and lean on the extensive help available to her, but the fact she is leaning on it and resting speaks volumes. She may be a mum with a mammoth village around her, but she’s still a mum who has guilt, rage, off days, doubt, and regrets. She’s still a mum. 

And, this old BS narrative of ‘we carry on working while ill so you should too’ is just a race to the bottom, and it puts business needs above human needs. 

Kate is holding her nerve and breaking cycles - as always - when it comes to royal traditions and ‘working royals’. Remember when, just hours after giving birth, she stood on the hospital steps for photocalls with her perfectly normal postpartum natural lumps on bumps not hidden away? This was an incredibly important visual. Mums like me felt seen and I truly think it helped to change the narrative on post-baby bodies and 'bouncing back' (yes, I know she was up and working straight after birth but baby steps, literally - she can only break one cycle at a time).

Kate and William on steps holding baby

(Image credit: Getty Images)

It's because of small breakthroughs like this that celebrities routinely now share more real and relatable images of new motherhood where once it was all hidden from sight. Yes, she looked impossibly glamorous but that was always in her job description - and she has the staff to achieve that. Now, by ignoring the clamour for some sort of 'proof of life' image to satisfy the demands of a society that can't handle the idea of a mum taking time off to prioritise her health and her family, she is once again sending a valuable and (deliberate, dare I say) message.

I've discussed this at length and as my friend and colleague (she's deputy ed here at GoodToKnow) Heidi Scrimgeour put it: "The palace statement said she was unlikely to return to public duties until after Easter... so the fact that she is simply abiding by medical advice - as was her intention clearly stated from the outset - and yet the internet is acting as if she's been abducted by aliens reveals just how much we expect mums to do, and how little we listen to mothers in general. Even when they're bold enough to state their needs.

"Kate isn't AWOL, she's on planned sick leave, and the fact that we can't believe she's just going to rest shows, as if we needed more evidence, just how absurd the expectations that we place on motherhood are." The world is demanding they see her and she is standing firm - there is no ‘Kate continues to work while she recuperates’ photo ops, nor is there oversharing of more information. In her silent non-actions, Kate is advocating for women to put their health first. 

It seems - from both her parenting style and the fact that Kate Middleton has always supported Early Years - that she understands the importance of role-modelling to children. (Let’s face it they pay more attention to what we do than what we say at times.) Just look at the sweet trait Prince William and Kate Middleton have passed onto their children through modelling. And she’s doing it again now, for mums everywhere… modelling that you need to put your health first. You are important too. 

Now please, in the words of Jill Murphy's classic story, just give the woman five minutes' peace (available at Amazon, £8.99)

If you're missing Kate, get your fix here with our 11 surprising facts about Kate Middleton or the cute matching hairstyles Kate and Charlotte rocked, and don't miss Kate's simple trick to keeping her kids calm in public(it's a good one!).

Stephanie Lowe
Family Editor

Stephanie Lowe is Family Editor at GoodToKnow covering all things parenting, pregnancy and more. She has over 13 years' experience as a digital journalist with a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to all things family and lifestyle. Stephanie lives in Kent with her husband and son, Ted. Just keeping on top of school emails/fund raisers/non-uniform days/packed lunches is her second full time job.