See Kate Middleton for the First Time Since Hospitalization for Abdominal Surgery: PIC

The 42-year-old Princess of Wales was seen riding in a SUV driven by her mother.

Kate Middleton is on the mend. The Princess of Wales was seen out and about for the first time since she was hospitalized for abdominal surgery in January. 

In a photo taken on Monday, Middleton can be seen wearing sunglasses as she rides in the front seat of a black SUV driven by her mother, Carole Middleton. 

An eyewitness told ET that Princess Kate and her mother were spotted in their vehicle around 9 a.m. just outside London. "The Princess was low-key, looking out the window as her mother paid attention to the road," the eyewitness said. 

The 42-year-old royal was admitted to the London Clinic on Jan. 16 for the treatment of an undisclosed, non-cancerous condition. She was last seen publicly on Dec. 25 when she attended the Christmas morning service with her husband, Prince William, and their three children -- Prince George, Prince Louis and Princess Charlotte -- at Sandringham Church in Sandringham, Norfolk.

"The surgery was successful and it is expected that she will remain in the hospital for 10 to 14 days, before returning home to continue her recovery," a statement from Kensington Palace read at the time of her procedure. "Based on the current medical advice, she is unlikely to return to public duties until after Easter."

The Palace went on to share that Kate "appreciates the interest" that the news would bring, but added, "She hopes that the public will understand her desire to maintain as much normality for her children as possible; and her wish that her personal medical information remains private."


William recently did not attend the memorial service of his late godfather, King Constantine II, due to "a personal matter," which spurred more speculation about Middleton's health and whereabouts. 

Catherine, Princess of Wales, Princess Charlotte of Wales, Prince George of Wales, Prince William, Prince of Wales, Prince Louis of Wales attend the Christmas Morning Service at Sandringham Church on December 25, 2023 in Sandringham, Norfolk. - Samir Hussein/WireImage

The Palace told ET last week that Kate continues to be "doing well." But with public conjecture only intensifying, the Palace released a follow-up statement to ET days later.  

"We gave guidance two days ago that the Princess of Wales continues to be doing well," the statement read. "As we have been clear since our initial statement in January, we shall not be providing a running commentary or providing daily updates."

In this photo released on February 23, King Charles III reads cards and messages, sent by well-wishers following his cancer diagnosis, in the 18th Century Room of the Belgian Suite at Buckingham Palace on February 21, 2024 in London, England. Following the announcement of the King's cancer diagnosis, the Correspondence Team at Buckingham Palace have received more than 7,000 letters and cards form across the world. The King has been sent a selection in his daily red box of paperwork. - Jonathan Brady - Pool/Getty Images

Meanwhile, King Charles III announced in early February that he has been diagnosed with cancer, though he has not shared further specific details. The 75-year-old monarch is currently undergoing treatment and has been advised by his doctors to postpone public duties

At the time of William's absence from the royal event last week, a source told ET that there is no connection between Prince Williams' personal matter and King Charles' health.

Since the revelation of his diagnosis last month, Charles has been seen attending church and meeting with British Prime Minister Rishu Sunak at Buckingham Palace. 

In an official statement, the king said he was touched by the influx of well wishes he has received. 

"As all those who have been affected by cancer will know, such kind thoughts are the greatest comfort and encouragement," the statement began. "It is equally heartening to hear how sharing my own diagnosis has helped promote public understanding and shine a light on the work of all those organizations which support cancer patients and their families across the UK and wider world."