Amid all the rumors, Kate Middleton spotted for the first time post-surgery

Kate Middleton has not vanished. In fact, she was publicly spotted for the first time in months.

The Princess of Wales, who had major planned abdominal surgery in January was photographed in a car with her mom, Carole Middleton on Monday, People Magazine reported. Middleton’s last public engagement was in December and hadn’t been seen in public since then . . . until now. 

This alleged sighting of the Princess of Wales couldn’t have come at a better time. Her absence from public engagements until Easter, Prince William’s last-minute cancellation of his relative’s funeral due to “a personal matter,” her two-week-long hospitalization and quiet recovery at Windsor have sparked rumors and conspiracy theories online that something worse had happened to Middleton. The speculation ranged from Middleton being in a coma to the implosion of her marriage to William.

However, in a rare moment, Kensington Palace issued a statement defending Middleton’s privacy and recovery: “We were very clear from the outset that the Princess of Wales was out until after Easter and Kensington Palace would only be providing updates when something was significant.” The spokesperson reiterated the princess is “doing well.” 

While the photo of Middleton shows that the princess is in recovery still — it has not done enough to assuage the public concern and confusion about her health. Some online have even alleged that the photos are staged and the person in them is a stunt double.

Last month, in the palace’s statement, Middleton said she hoped that the public understood her wish “that her personal medical information remains private.”