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Catherine, Princess of Wales apologized March 11, for 'confusion' caused by her editing of a family photo released by the palace.Frank Augstein/The Associated Press

After weeks of online rumours and speculation about her whereabouts, the Princess of Wales has reappeared. Today, Catherine revealed that she is undergoing preventative chemotherapy for cancer found during abdominal surgery.

Catherine, 42, has been out of the public eye since January when she first went into the hospital. Kensington Place has released minimal details about the surgery and officials have only said that she was expected to resume royal duties after Easter. Her extended absence, however, has fuelled a wave of rumours and conspiracy theories.

On the U.K.’s Mother’s Day on March 10, an apparent attempt from Kensington Palace to squash those rumours backfired when her first official photo since her surgery was retracted by some of the world’s largest news services over concerns the photo was doctored. She later acknowledged the manipulation and apologized.

Here is a timeline of key events from Catherine’s abdominal surgery and cancer treatment.

Dec. 25, 2023

Catherine makes her last public appearance

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Catherine, Princess of Wales, Princess Charlotte, Prince George, William, Prince of Wales, Prince Louis and Mia Tindall attend the Christmas day service in Sandringham in Norfolk, England on Dec. 25, 2023.Kin Cheung/The Associated Press

Catherine’s last official public appearance before her surgery was on Christmas Day, when she attended a service at Church of St. Mary Magdalene in Sandringham, Norfolk, England, with other members of the Royal Family.

Catherine, William and their three children – Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5 – participated in the Royal Family’s traditional Christmas walk from Sandringham to the church wearing co-ordinated outfits of blue and green.

Jan. 17, 2024

Kensington Palace announces Catherine underwent surgery

Kensington Palace releases a statement saying that the Princess of Wales had undergone a “planned abdominal surgery” at the London Clinic. The palace statement says the surgery was successful, and that she was expected to remain in hospital for 10 to 14 days before returning home to recover.

Officials do not offer details of the surgery, but say the condition was “non-cancerous.” Kensington Palace also says it would only provide updates on her progress when there was “significant new information to share,” adding that Catherine was unlikely to return to public duties until after Easter.

Many British outlets also report that Prince William cancelled his official engagements during her initial recovery.

Later that day, Buckingham Palace announces that King Charles would also be in the hospital in the coming week for a “corrective procedure” treating an enlarged prostate, but says his condition was benign.

Jan. 18, 2024

William visits Catherine at the hospital

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Prince William drives himself away from the London Clinic in London on Jan. 18, where his wife Catherine, Princess of Wales, underwent surgery.HENRY NICHOLLS/Getty Images

William is photographed driving a car outside the London Clinic after a visit with his wife after her abdominal surgery.

There are no photos of the couple’s three children visiting during her hospitalization. Outlets report that Catherine and William wish to “maintain as much normality” for their children after the surgery.

Jan. 29, 2024

Catherine is released from the hospital

Almost two weeks later, Kensington Palace announces that the Princess of Wales was released from the London Clinic and has returned home to Windsor to continue her recovery. The statement says she is “making good progress.”

“The Prince and Princess wish to say a huge thank you to the entire team at the London Clinic, especially the dedicated nursing staff, for the care they have provided,” the statement said.

Later that day, King Charles is photographed leaving the same hospital with Queen Camilla after undergoing a corrective procedure for an enlarged prostate.

Feb. 5, 2024

King Charles is diagnosed with cancer

Buckingham Palace announces in a special statement that the King has been diagnosed with cancer and has begun treatment, less than 18 months into his reign.

Royal officials say doctors discovered the cancer after the monarch’s treatment for an enlarged prostate, but they added that it was not prostate cancer. “During the King’s recent hospital procedure for benign prostate enlargement, a separate issue of concern was noted. Subsequent diagnostic tests have identified a form of cancer,” reads a statement from Buckingham Palace.

Officials did not provide further details but add the King had “commenced a schedule of regular treatments, during which time he has been advised by doctors to postpone public-facing duties.” The statement also says the King would continue “to undertake state business and official paperwork as usual.”

Feb. 27, 2024

William pulls out of memorial service for his godfather

William pulls out of a memorial service for Constantine II of Greece, the Prince’s godfather who died last year, citing “a personal matter” and doesn’t provide further details.

March 4, 2024

Catherine spotted for first time since surgery

Another wave of intrigue about Catherine’s health arrives when TMZ publishes a grainy paparazzi photo of her riding in the passenger seat of a car driven by her mother, Carole Middleton, near Windsor Castle. It is the first time she had been spotted in public since December, 2023.

March 6, 2024

British army removes claim of Catherine’s appearance at June event

According to a TIME report, the British army removes a claim that Catherine will be attending its annual Trooping the Colour event in June. Tickets for the June 8 event were on sale, but has since been removed because it was not formally confirmed by Kensington Palace.

March 10, 2024

Kensington Palace release Mother’s Day photograph with Catherine and her children

Nearly two months after her abdominal surgery, Kensington Palace releases an official photograph of Catherine, smiling and surrounded by her three children, to mark Mother’s Day in Britain. The photograph, taken by Prince William, is the first official image of Catherine since her hospitalization and after weeks of speculation about her whereabouts.

Within hours of the photo’s release, Associated Press, Reuters, Agence France-Presse and three other global news services recall the picture. “At closer inspection, it appears that the source has manipulated the image,” Associated Press said in a notice to media outlets.

Questions are raised about Charlotte’s sleeve and wrist, which appear to have been altered along with Prince Louis’s fingers. Kate is also not wearing a wedding ring, and a tree in the background appears to have leaves, even though the picture had been taken last week, during Britain’s winter.

March 11, 2024

Catherine apologizes for manipulated family photo

Catherine apologizes in a post on social-media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, for doctoring the family photo with her three children.

“Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing,” the Princess wrote in the X post. “I wanted to express my apologies for any confusion the family photograph we shared yesterday caused. I hope everyone celebrating had a very happy Mother’s Day.”

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A combination of pictures made on March 11, 2024 shows a handout photo released by Kensington Palace on March 10, 2024 of Catherine, Princess of Wales with her children, alongside a version highlighting several inconsistencies in alignments after it came to light that the handout had been manipulated.PRINCE OF WALES/Getty Images

March 22, 2024

Catherine releases video revealing cancer diagnosis

In a video message, Kate says she is undergoing preventative chemotherapy after tests taken following major abdominal surgery in January revealed the presence of cancer.

“My medical team therefore advised that I should undergo a course of preventative chemotherapy and I am now in the early stages of that treatment,” Kate said in the video which was filmed on Wednesday. “This of course came as a huge shock, and William and I have been doing everything we can to process and manage this privately for the sake of our young family.”

Her office, Kensington Palace, said it would give no further details about the type of cancer.

In a video released Friday (March 22) Kate, Britain’s Princess of Wales, announced she is undergoing preventative chemotherapy after tests following major abdominal surgery in January revealed she has cancer.

With reports from Paul Waldie in London and Associated Press.

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