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Kate Middleton Is Easing Back Into Her Royal Duties With Childcare Project

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Kate Middleton has been quietly working in the run-up to returning to her royal duties.

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According to The Telegraph, the Princess of Wales has been working from home on an early childhood project that is set to improve the lives of babies.

In a statement to the outlet on Thursday, Kensington Palace confirmed “overwhelmingly positive” results of the study that was inspired by Kate’s work with her Center for Early Childhood patronage, and that the princess has been kept “up to date” with the progress. 

In December, prior to undergoing her abdominal surgery, Kate’s final round of engagements were in support of the Shaping Us campaign, that highlighted the importance of early childhood care. Ahead of the Together at Christmas Carol service, Kate released a messagefocused on the importance of the early years and the role played by people who are shaping future generations. 

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Kate, who is the mother of three children — Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5 — also participated in the organization’s social media campaign, sharing a throwback picture of herself from childhood.

December marked the last time Kate was seen in public before her announced extended break from royal duties amid her recovery. In the months that have followed, the internet has gone wild with conspiracy theories surrounding her absence — which were amplified after the palace released a photo of Kate and the kids in honor of U.K. Mother’s Day, which Kate admitted she altered. 

Over the weekend, TMZ obtained video footage of Kate and her husband, Prince William, a mile from their Windsor home at the Windsor Farm Shop. In the days that followed, police also looked into a possible breach of Kate’s health records, a U.K. health minister announced, after the U.K. tabloid The Mirror reported that The London Clinic — where Kate was treated in January for a “planned abdominal surgery” — has launched an investigation over claims that staff tried to access her private medical records. 

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ET spoke with royal expert Katie Nicholl about William and Kate’s reaction to all of the chatter, speculation and misinformation surrounding her absence.

“Well, I know from the sources that I’ve spoken to that both William and Kate have been pretty shocked and genuinely surprised by the wild rumors that are circulating on the internet,” Nicholl told ET. “I think there’s a sense of frustration, possibly even anger, certainly on William’s part.”

Nicholl continued, “I think the suggestions that [Kate’s] had, well, anything as crazy as a bad haircut that she’s needed to grow out to cosmetic surgery that’s gone wrong or people speculating that possibly she’s in a coma, I think that has made the Prince of Wales frustrated, upset and pretty angry as well. It’s been difficult for them. I think they’re trying to ignore as much as they can. But, of course, this is a couple who have had to embrace social media. They’ve got an Instagram handle, they’ve got hundreds of thousands of followers. They certainly don’t have their heads in the sand. They are aware of what is being written and what is being said. And I think there’s a sense of frustration that they can’t bring an end to it.”

Catch up with all of the Kate Middleton coverage below.

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