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Where are the Prince and Princess of Wales?

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It was supposed to be a very personal and emotional day for the Prince of Wales.

The memorial service for his godfather, King Constantine of Greece, was to be held at St George's Chapel in Windsor.

But with less than an hour to go before the start of the service, Prince William pulled out of the engagement for unknown "personal" reasons.

Along with the announcement came an update on the Princess of Wales, who we are assured is "doing well" at home.

This was an unprecedented no-show, and one that will do more to fuel the rumour mill rather than quell it.

What is the mysterious reason that caused Prince William to miss his own godfather's memorial service? Perhaps an emergency related to one of his children or a health issue himself.

Only a few hours later, Buckingham Palace announced the death of Thomas Kingston, the husband of Lady Gabriella Kingston, daughter of Prince and Princess Michael of Kent.

However, sources have said that his death was not linked to the absence of Prince William from the memorial service. We haven't seen the Prince of Wales in public since his visit to the Red Cross headquarters in London on Feb. 20.

Meanwhile, the Princess of Wales remains conspicuously absent. She was last seen on Dec. 25, alongside the rest of the Royal Family, at St Mary Magdalene Church near Sandringham where she greeted well-wishers.

It's been 40 days since her abdominal surgery and royal watchers the world over have been waiting for a picture, or even a whisper, that indicates her recovery is going well.

Last week, she took some time to go to Norfolk, England, with the rest of her family over the school holidays, but the updates have been few and verging on non-existent.

Compare this to the King, who after his cancer diagnosis has been seen travelling to London for treatment, attending church near Sandringham, meeting with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, and pictured enjoying get well soon cards and gifts sent to him by members of the public.

Kate, the Princess of Wales, and William, the Prince of Wales, arrive behind King Charles III and Queen Camilla to attend the Christmas Day service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham in Norfolk, England, Dec. 25, 2023. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

There's no doubt that the fact that we haven't seen the Princess of Wales for the better part of two months is strange to say the least, but how sinister you think this is depends on how prone you are to believing conspiracy theories.

Take a trip down the "Where is Kate Middleton?" rabbit hole on X, formerly known as Twitter, and you will emerge believing that she has, in fact, been abducted by aliens and will have you demanding a proof of life photo op quicker than you can say, "She's actually known as the Princess of Wales now."

There are boundless anecdotes of serious surgeries that X users have had that got them up and about in no time – so what could possibly be keeping the Princess of Wales off work for three months or more?

Team that with the school of thought that if the Princess of Wales could pose for pictures in front of the world's photographers on the steps of the Lindo Wing, only hours after giving birth, why couldn't she walk out of hospital with a wee wave for the press?

Let's not forget the European press who have been having a field day with this story.

The Spanish tabloids have been identified as one of the main culprits in spreading false information. A few weeks back, an article written by journalist Concha Calleja claimed that the princess was in a coma, a statement that was refuted by the palace. However, Calleja continues to stand by her story.

Adding to the complexity of the situation is the popular conspiracy theory that European tabloids have access to information that the British press does not, due to a secret agreement with the palace.

So, could Prince William's absence today be linked to a relapse in the Princess of Wales' health? Kensington Palace certainly doesn't want us to think so, hence why they were quick to qualify the statement of Prince William's absence with the fact that his wife continues to recover well at home.

But the palace, which is usually a leaky tap at the best of times, is remaining ultra-tight lipped on the Princess of Wales and her health.

The privacy that she requested at the time of her surgery is certainly being adhered to, in a fashion we are not used to with royal communications. The limited information we were given in January about the Princess of Wales' health isn't aging well – the people want more.

So, when can we expect to see the Princess of Wales out and about on royal manoeuvres?

Well, we were told in the initial statement released by Kensington Palace at the time of her hospitalization that she wouldn't be back in public until after Easter, so we can't expect to see her until March 31 at the very earliest.

The thing is, until we see her, and have that "proof of life" picture, the speculation isn't going anywhere. The rumour mill is working overtime, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. 

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