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Kate Middleton has been one of the world’s most famous people since she married her husband, Prince William, back in 2011. But lately, she’s been unable to stay out of the news cycle — and not for great reason. Kate disappeared shortly after Christmas, which was attributed to abdominal surgery. However, many didn’t believe the princess’ lengthy recovery time.

Now, there has reportedly been a breach at the hospital, with staff members trying to gain access to Kate’s medical records and learn the real reason she’s been absent for so long. And one former NHS worker said it’s “terrifyingly” easy to gain access to such information.

Kate Middleton
Kate Middleton | Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Former NHS worker explains the ease of the Kate Middleton breach

In mid-March, The London Clinic in the United Kingdom, which is where Kate underwent abdominal surgery in January, reportedly alerted Kensington Palace of an alleged security breach in which at least one hospital staff member attempted to access the princess’ medical records. The Mirror first broke the story, saying senior level hospital bosses have launched an investigation into the alleged breach. But a former NHS worker spoke to Express and revealed that it’s surprisingly easy to access anyone’s medical records.

“it’s pretty much like a Google search to find a patient,” the former employee, who wished to remain unnamed, told the outlet. “Ideally you input the NHS number, but you can search someone’s name — though it is harder to do this without date of birth or NHS number as people have the same name … But basically the bulk of NHS employees have access to everyone’s NHS records and it’s as simple as a good search to bring up the records.”

The worker did say that this can only be done with a special ID card that staff members are given as hospital employees. The anonymous employee also added that it’s a fireable offense and that “no one” ever does it for that reason — but that “it is terrifyingly easy to go through the system.”

Kate Middleton
Kate Middleton | Tim Clayton/Corbis/Getty Images

Will Kate Middleton’s medical records be released?

Ideally, Kate will not have her medical records leaked. Despite her massive fame, everybody does have a right to privacy. The Princess of Wales has remained very quiet about her medical diagnosis, and her absence has led many to question what went wrong with her.

Still, despite speculation, Kate does not owe it to anyone to release her private medical information. Perhaps if there is a situation for which Kate is undergoing treatment, she might eventually come out and explain it with the hope of raising awareness. However, she doesn’t have to if she doesn’t want to.

Right now, there has not been word on a definite return date for the Princess of Wales, though she is supposed to begin making royal appearances again sometime after Easter.