Kate Middleton's health: Buckingham Palace grapples with conspiracy theories amid extended absence

There’s one question on the minds of many royal watchers: Where is Kate Middleton? Kensington Palace announced on Jan. 17 that the Princess of Wales would remain at a London hospital for up to two weeks after undergoing planned abdominal surgery. The 42-year-old has been recuperating at the family’s Adelaide Cottage in Windsor. As the princess continues to recover, a flurry of conspiracy theories has emerged on sites like X, formerly known as Twitter, and TikTok, with users speculating about the royal’s whereabouts and health condition. KATE MIDDLETON 'WORRIED' AFTER KING CHARLES' CANCER FORCES PRINCE WILLIAM BACK TO WORK: AUTHOR Kinsey Schofield, host of the "To Di For Daily" podcast, told Fox News Digital that when it comes to the mother of three’s health, it’s no one’s business. "She’s Catherine, the Princess of Wales," Schofield argued. "We were clearly instructed that she will not be made available to the public until Easter, just one month away. Anyone creating trouble on X … is just trying to stir the pot. They increase the risk of jeopardizing the princess’ safety when they start these stupid campaigns. Someone might be inspired to do something asinine for social media notoriety. Get a life. We’ll see her after Easter." "If I were in Catherine’s position and had any excuse to disappear for a few weeks, I would absolutely take advantage of it," Schofield shared. "I would relish every second. I would not wish the kind of scrutiny the Princess of Wales faces daily on my worst enemy … all this woman did was marry for love." "When it comes to health, death and grief … these individuals do not owe us anything, just let them be," Schofield added. Schofield also pointed out that Middleton’s sister, Pippa, had been spotted in the Caribbean soaking up the sun with her husband and their three children. Schofield noted this implies that the royal’s recovery has been going as expected. "Common sense says that Pippa Matthews would not be frolicking along a beach in her bathing suit if her sister was in dire straits," said Schofield. CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR THE ENTERTAINMENT NEWSLETTER It is unclear why the princess needed abdominal surgery . While it is somewhat unusual for members of the royal family to release details about their health, the initial announcement was likely made to avoid speculation about whether events featuring the princess had to be postponed or canceled over the coming weeks. The palace noted the royal "is making good progress." But that hasn’t stopped the rumors. Following Middleton’s surgery, journalist Concha Calleja alleged on the popular Spanish news program "Fiesta" that the princess was in a coma due to health complications, the U.K. Sunday Times reported. "The doctors had to make drastic decisions at that moment because of the complications that arose," Calleja said, as reported by the outlet. "The decision was to put her in an induced coma. They had to intubate her. There were serious complications that they didn’t expect because the operation went well, but the postoperative period didn’t go so well." The outlet noted that Calleja alleged that Middleton was at one point in "great danger" and "practically an entire hospital" was set up at her home. Other Spanish outlets reported Calleja's claims. Soon after, a palace source vehemently denied the report, calling it "total nonsense." "No attempt was made by that journalist to fact-check anything that she said with anyone in the household," the source told the outlet. "It’s fundamentally, totally made-up, and I’ll use polite English here: It’s absolutely not the case." A spokesperson for Kensington Palace and Calleja did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s requests for comment. Christopher Andersen, author of "The King," told Fox News Digital that the palace would have benefited from being more transparent about Middleton’s surgery. "Any thinking person has to wonder what the hell is up in the House of Windsor," said Andersen. "William’s decision not to attend the memorial service for King Constantine of Greece – his godfather and someone who was always very close to England’s royal family – just adds more fuel to the fire. It’s very alarming frankly." "It’s difficult to imagine that something more serious isn’t going on," Andersen shared. "It feels that way to me, at any rate, and I’ve been covering the royal family for 50 years." LIKE WHAT YOU’RE READING? CLICK HERE FOR MORE ENTERTAINMENT NEWS "The palace is notoriously tone-deaf," he continued. "Their strategy of telling only part of the story has backfired – and badly. … What is the vague phrase ‘recovering from abdominal surgery’ supposed to mean? It certainly raises more questions than it answers." The U.K. and foreign media have been focused on the health of Britain’s senior royals in recent years, first as the late Queen Elizabeth II faded from public view during the last months of her 70-year reign, then when King Charles III ascended the throne at an age when most of his contemporaries were long retired. Middleton is married to Prince William, who is heir to the British throne. Since the surgery was planned, it’s implied that it wasn’t an emergency. However, there have been no photos of Middleton leaving the hospital. Royal photographer and broadcaster Helena Chard told Fox News Digital that the royal family deserves privacy as the princess recovers behind palace doors. "Why should the palace provide more details regarding Catherine, Princess of Wales?" said Chard. "We have been updated about Catherine's major abdominal surgery and that she is recuperating and will be seen after the Easter holidays. We have been updated with the fact that Catherine is doing well, so why should the public be pushing for more information?" THOMAS KINGSTON, PIPPA MIDDLETON'S EX, MOURNED BY ROYAL FAMILY AFTER DEATH AT 45 "We have never been privy to every intricate detail regarding our royal family and now that they are offering more information about their lives, the public wants to know more and more," Chard shared. "I think we should give them a break. It makes me wonder if we should revert to the less is more stance and enjoy the mysticism of the royal family." Schofield previously claimed to Fox News Digital that Middleton’s recuperation has been going smoothly. "I have heard that the Princess of Wales has been responding to emails, but everything has been structured so that she is not overwhelmed or disturbed by incoming dialogue," said Schofield. "Kate is not a rule breaker," Schofield shared. "She is going to follow the doctor’s orders but engage when she can, so she doesn’t feel behind. I don’t expect to see her in an official capacity until Easter, but I believe she is engaged behind the scenes."

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