Kate Middleton has been working from home on an early years project hailed as her ‘life’s work’ while recovering from abdominal surgery.

The Princess of Wales, 42, launched the Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood’s (RFCEC) Shaping Us project in January last year, aiming to highlight the importance of early years development in children.

Kensington Palace has confirmed Kate is continuing to work on the project as she recovers at home; the Centre has funded a trial of a baby observation tool for health visitors to monitor social and emotional development in youngsters.

The Princess personally suggested the tool could be used in Britain after seeing a similar system during a royal visit to Denmark, according to reports – meaning she is very invested in the trial and its results, due to be published today.

The news she is being kept informed suggests she could be preparing to return to work as planned; Kensington Palace has maintained since January she is ‘unlikely to return to public duties until after Easter‘.

Catherine, Princess of Wales, attending a Shaping Us event with the Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood in November last year. The project is said to be her 'life's work'

Catherine, Princess of Wales, attending a Shaping Us event with the Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood in November last year. The project is said to be her ‘life’s work’

The Princess was last seen on Royal duties in December as she attended the Christmas morning service at Sandringham Church alongside the rest of the Royal Family

The Princess was last seen on Royal duties in December as she attended the Christmas morning service at Sandringham Church alongside the rest of the Royal Family

William and Kate at the launch of the Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood's Shaping Us campaign in January 2023

William and Kate at the launch of the Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood’s Shaping Us campaign in January 2023

The project was launched with a claymation film (above) that highlighted the importance of early years development in young children

The project was launched with a claymation film (above) that highlighted the importance of early years development in young children

William made reference to Kate's passion for early years development during a visit to Sheffield on Tuesday (above), noting that she should be 'sat here' for the discussions

William made reference to Kate’s passion for early years development during a visit to Sheffield on Tuesday (above), noting that she should be ‘sat here’ for the discussions

‘The Princess has been kept updated throughout the process,’ a spokesperson for Kensington Palace told the Telegraph of the Royal Foundation project. 

The comment is the first the palace has made on Kate’s early years work since she underwent planned abdominal surgery at the start of 2024.

Today, the RFCEC is expected to publish the results of a study conducted in two NHS trusts that have piloted the early years development tool.

It had asked health visitors to use a type of monitoring aid known as the Alarm Distress Baby Scale, which logs indicators such as eye contact, facial expressions and activity levels to help experts understand how babies express themselves.

Those who have used it have reportedly expressed enthusiasm and support for the way in which it helps them to understand babies’ behaviour and development. 

According to the the Princess’s Foundation, the vast majority of Denmark’s municipalities are trained in using the Alarm Distress Baby Scale – at least 82 out of 98 – so any signs of development issues can be identified early and acted on.

Launching the campaign in January 2023, Kate said: ‘The campaign is fundamentally about shining a spotlight on the critical importance of early childhood and how it shapes the adults we become.

‘During this time we lay the foundations and building blocks for life. And it is when we learn to understand ourselves, understand others and understand the world in which we live.

‘This is why it is essential to not only understand the unique importance of our earliest years, but to know what we can all do to help raise future generations of happy, healthy adults.’

Its glittery inaugural event was attended by an army of celebrity supporters including Rochelle Humes, Professor Green, Fearne Cotton and England women’s captain Leah Williamson.

William made a sweet reference to his wife’s passion project as he visited a housing project in Sheffield on Tuesday – noting that she should be ‘sat here’ for the discussions as they turned to childcare.

Holding his palms out and smiling, he said: ‘Venturing into my wife’s territory here. She needs to be sat here to hear this.’ 

William continued carrying out frontline Royal duties yesterday as he visited the Welsh Guards’ barracks in Windsor to hear about rehabilitation projects for soldiers who have returned from active service.

The Queen represented the monarch during a public engagement to the Isle of Man on Wednesday, and the King was pictured leaving his London residence days after Russian media reported a fake statement claiming he had died.

Kate made several visits to childcare projects around the country last year - pictured here at the Windsor Family Hub in June last year

Kate made several visits to childcare projects around the country last year – pictured here at the Windsor Family Hub in June last year

The Princess at Sebby's Corner, a family poverty charity in north London, last November; the charity is a beneficiary of the Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood

The Princess at Sebby’s Corner, a family poverty charity in north London, last November; the charity is a beneficiary of the Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood

The Prince of Wales continued carrying out Royal duties with a visit to the Welsh Guards' barracks in Windsor on Wednesday

The Prince of Wales continued carrying out Royal duties with a visit to the Welsh Guards’ barracks in Windsor on Wednesday 

The Queen represented the monarch on a visit to the Isle of Man, where she presented letters conferring city status on the Borough of Douglas on the island

The Queen represented the monarch on a visit to the Isle of Man, where she presented letters conferring city status on the Borough of Douglas on the island

King Charles was pictured leaving Clarence House on Wednesday - days after Russian media reported a fake statement claiming he had died

King Charles was pictured leaving Clarence House on Wednesday – days after Russian media reported a fake statement claiming he had died

The news that Kate continues to be updated on her project comes after she took a step back from public-facing duties, including those relating to the Foundation, after undergoing planned surgery for a non-cancerous condition in January.

The Princess has spent most of the year to date out of the public eye after her last engagement attending the Christmas Day service at Sandringham Church with the rest of the Royal Family.

She has only recently been seen in public – save for a handful of paparazzi photographs – at the Windsor Farm shop as of last weekend, walking cheerily alongside William through the car park.

Neighbours say the couple have been there often in recent weeks as Kate’s recovery continues – but her absence from public life, coupled with the recent scandal over her manipulated Mother’s Day photo, have fuelled cruel conspiracy theories. 

And confirmation that she continues to carry out work behind the scenes comes as an investigation is launched into claims Kate’s medical records were accessed by staff at the London Clinic, where she underwent surgery in January.

Three staff have reportedly been suspended in connection with the alleged attempt to gain unauthorised access to the Princess’ private information. 

Yesterday, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s official spokesperson urged the British public to ‘get behind’ her as she continues to recuperate. 

Post source: Daily mail

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