White House wishes Princess Kate 'speedy recovery'

White House wishes Princess Kate 'speedy recovery'

The White House wished a swift recovery on Wednesday to Britain's Catherine, Princess of Wales, and said it would respect her privacy after a manipulated royal photo unleashed a torrent of speculation about her wellbeing.

Catherine 'Kate' Middleton
The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate/ Instagram

"I have not spoken to the president about Kate Middleton," White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters traveling with US President Joe Biden on a campaign trip when asked about the controversy.

"We certainly wish her a speedy recovery. She has asked for privacy, her family has asked for privacy and we're certainly going to respect that," Jean-Pierre added aboard Air Force One.

The princess, widely known in the United States by her maiden name of Kate Middleton, is the latest in a long line of British royals to inspire breathless fascination on the other side of the Atlantic.

American media are avidly following the "Kategate" controversy, with late-night talk shows even speculating over the state of her marriage to heir-to-the-throne Prince William.

Kate, 42, has not been seen since undergoing abdominal surgery in January, and her apology this week for editing a palace-issued photograph of herself with her three children merely fueled the speculation over her health and whereabouts.

The altered image was withdrawn by news agencies including AFP.

Jean-Pierre briefly addressed the issue Tuesday in a light-hearted exchange with a reporter who asked if the White House ever digitally altered photos of the president.

"Are you comparing us to... what's going on in the UK? Why does the monarch have to do anything with us?" she said at a briefing.

"No, that is not something that we do here."

In the past, Britain's royals have often been used to add a dab of pageantry and glamor to ties between the White House and Downing Street.

Biden met with Prince William and Princess Catherine in Boston in 2022.

William's estranged brother Harry is meanwhile married to an American, Meghan -- making their eldest son Archie the highest-ranked US citizen in the line of succession to the British throne.

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