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Kate Middleton Receives Good News About Her Passion Project amid Surgery Recovery

The Princess of Wales is staying looped on the latest updates about her royal work

<p>Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty</p> Kate Middleton attends a SportsAid mental fitness workshop at Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre to mark World Mental Health Day on October 12, 2023.

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty

Kate Middleton attends a SportsAid mental fitness workshop at Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre to mark World Mental Health Day on October 12, 2023.

Kate Middleton is keeping up with a project close to her heart amid her private recovery following abdominal surgery.

The Princess of Wales, 42, is staying up to date with the latest work from The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood. On Thursday, the center unveiled the "overwhelmingly positive" results of a study it funded on a new observation tool to better interpret baby behavior and support parent-child interactions.

The tool, known internationally as the Alarm Distress Baby Scale (ADBB), focuses on a baby’s social behaviors such as eye contact, facial expression, vocalization and activity levels to help practitioners and families better understand how babies express their feelings. Princess Kate previously saw the ADBB at work when she visited Denmark in 2022 and came home wanting to explore whether it could be introduced in the U.K.

"The Princess has been kept updated throughout the process," a spokesperson for Kensington Palace said.

While Princess Kate is looped on the latest from the Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood, which she launched in June 2021 to raise awareness around the importance of the first five years of life and advance outcomes for a brighter society, she has not officially returned to work. The Princess of Wales continues her recovery following "planned abdominal surgery" on Jan. 16, and Kensington Palace said in the surgery announcement that she is "unlikely to return to public duties until after Easter."

<p>PHIL NOBLE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images</p> Kate Middleton meets with health visitors at the Riversley Park Children's health centre in Nuneaton, on June 15, 2023.

PHIL NOBLE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Kate Middleton meets with health visitors at the Riversley Park Children's health centre in Nuneaton, on June 15, 2023.

Related: Kate Middleton Conspiracies Swirl: PEOPLE's Royals Expert of 27 Years Shares What He Knows

On Jan. 31, the Centre for Early Childhood shared an upbeat video on Instagram to celebrate the first anniversary of Shaping Us, the campaign that the Princess of Wales launched in January 2023 to further highlight the importance of the early years of a child's life.

"What a year it’s been since the launch of #ShapingUs!" began the caption of the clip, which was full of footage from Princess Kate's many early childhood-related engagements last year.

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<p>Princess Kate stars on a PEOPLE special edition cover, available now</p>

Princess Kate stars on a PEOPLE special edition cover, available now

Princess Kate was caught on video in public for the first time since her procedure during a visit to the Windsor Farm Shop with Prince William on Saturday. The farm store is about a mile from their home at Adelaide Cottage in Windsor, where she has spent most of her time recovering after a stay at The London Clinic.

According to The Sun, onlookers described Princess Kate as looking "happy, relaxed and healthy" at the local shop, where she festively sported a sweatshirt for the England men's national rugby union team (for which she supports as the patron) on a game day. TMZ later published footage of the Prince and Princess of Wales’ trip to the Windsor Farm Shop, where they walked through a parking lot carrying shopping bags.

"This is a video clearly showing her and William. I saw them with my own eyes. It was a completely relaxed situation," Nelson Silva, who filmed the moment, told The Sun.

<p>Jane Barlow - WPA Pool/Getty Images</p> Prince William and Kate Middleton visit Outfit Moray in Moray, Scotland on November 2, 2023.

Jane Barlow - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Prince William and Kate Middleton visit Outfit Moray in Moray, Scotland on November 2, 2023.

Related: Will Kate Middleton and Prince William Share a Birthday Photo for Prince Louis Following Controversy?

Silva said he was shopping on Saturday when he spotted Princess Kate and Prince William, 41, "standing near the bread" and wound up behind the royals in the meat section, where the couple chatted with the staff.

"I couldn’t hear what they were saying, but the staff seemed overwhelmed in a nice way. When I went to pay for my produce, the girl at the counter was so shocked she was hardly breathing," he told The Sun.

The engineer, who lives in the area with his family, added that there was a "really nice atmosphere" to the couple’s visit, inspiring him to capture video to show his family in Portugal.

"I started to record as they walked towards the car park. They just looked very happy and relaxed together. William was obviously protective of Kate, and I quickly stopped recording because I didn’t want to make them uncomfortable," Silva said.

<p>Jane Barlow - WPA Pool/Getty Images</p> Kate Middleton at Outfit Moray in Moray, Scotland on November 2, 2023.

Jane Barlow - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Kate Middleton at Outfit Moray in Moray, Scotland on November 2, 2023.

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While royal watchers look forward to Princess Kate’s formal return to public duty, it’s still unclear when that might happen. Kensington Palace stressed that Kate won't be out and about until after Easter, but the royal family’s traditional church outing is technically a private family event — leaving the possibility of an appearance on March 31 open.

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