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An announcement was made in January 2024 that the Princess of Wales (formerly known as Kate Middleton) underwent abdominal surgery and remained in the hospital for nearly two weeks. It was then reported that following her hospital stay, Prince William‘s wife would need a lengthy recovery at home as all her engagements were canceled through March.

Speculation and wild rumors have spread online about why needs so much time out of the public eye, but the Palace has insisted they are done commenting on her health. While the royals may be refraining from commenting more, one of the princess’s family members has not. Kate’s uncle Gary Goldsmith, who’s her mother Carole Middleton’s younger brother, did so during his appearance as a contestant on the U.K.’s Celebrity Big Brother.

Now, someone who used to work in the royal household believes that Goldsmith’s appearance had put the royal family on edge with nerves since they weren’t sure what he’d say next. The ex-royal employee also opined that what Kate’s uncle has already said ruffled some royal feathers and this is not what the Princess of Wales needs now as she continues to recover.

What Kate’s uncle said about his niece’s health on ‘CBB’

Goldsmith wasted no time discussing the royals and his niece’s health with others when he joined the reality show.

Hosts AJ Odudu and Will Best asked if the princess would be watching CBB to which Goldsmith replied: “If she is, it will be from behind the couch.” 

And when asked by Love Island winner Ekin-Su Culculoglu “Where’s Kate?” the royal’s uncle responded: “I spoke to her mum, my sister, she’s getting the best care in the world. And all the family’s done is put the wagons round and look after family first before anything else. They put a statement out and just said, ‘She’s taking some time to (recuperate) and will see you in Easter.’”

 The Mirror noted that Goldsmith also told his housemates Kate needs “space” to recover.

“I think they should leave her alone right now because there’s a reason why they’re [family] not talking about it. They are giving her a little bit of space,” he said. “I just think it’s fundamentally wrong, and if it were happening to anybody else, they would think to give them some space. But because Kate’s Kate, she does such an amazing job, there’s always interest in her.”

Kate Middleton arrives to embark on a boat trip on Lake Windermere with child Holocaust survivors
Kate Middleton arrives to embark on a boat trip on Lake Windermere with child Holocaust survivors | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Former Palace staffer explains this isn’t what Kate needs during her recovery

Grant Harrold was King Charles’ butler for seven years. During his time working for the monarch, he also looked after Prince William and Kate whenever they stayed at Highgrove House. Harrold was asked what he thinks Kate and the rest of the royal family will make of Goldsmith’s appearance and comments.

Speaking on behalf of Slingo Harrold explained: “It’s a concern for them … It’s fine if it’s a member of the family and it’s been approved. But Gary isn’t close to Kate anymore and obviously can say what he wants. The palace has no control. When Mike Tindall went into the jungle for I’m a Celeb, there was a degree of control and he was given advice over what to do and what not to do.

“Kate is known for her privacy and will not be happy with Gary’s appearance at all. She is so private and I remember that well from my time working with her.” 

Prince William, Kate Middleton, and their three children during the 'Together At Christmas' service at Westminster Abbey
Prince William looking toward Kate as they stand with their three children during the ‘Together At Christmas’ service at Westminster Abbey | Aaron Chown – WPA Pool/Getty Images

The former royal butler was also asked if he thought the royals watched the show.

“The royals watch all sorts of television so it wouldn’t surprise me if they flicked onto the channel by accident,” he said. “Wouldn’t you tune in if it was a member of your family?

“If you’re close to the family, people are usually quite guarded. When Mike Tindall [was] on TV he might tell a few stories that have been approved but this is a different scenario. The royal family wouldn’t have had to approve of Gary’s appearance.”