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Kate Middleton Poses with 3 Kids in New Photo for U.K. Mother's Day amid Abdominal Surgery Recovery

The Princess of Wales, who has stayed out of the public eye since surgery in January, issued the photo to thank people for their support

<p>The Prince and Princess of Wales/Instagram</p> The new picture of Kate Middleton and (left to right) Prince Louis, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, taken by Prince William at Windsor earlier this week

The Prince and Princess of Wales/Instagram

The new picture of Kate Middleton and (left to right) Prince Louis, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, taken by Prince William at Windsor earlier this week

Kate Middleton is surrounded by love on Mother's Day in the U.K.

The Princess of Wales, 42, has appeared in a new photo while being celebrated by Prince William and their three children — Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5 — as she continues her recovery from abdominal surgery.

In the photo, which was taken by William, 41, a few days ago at the family's home in Windsor, Kate beams as she's surrounded by her children. It is the first official picture of Kate that has been released since her abdominal surgery on Jan. 16.

Accompanying the photo was a message from Princess Kate thanking the public for their continued support as she also extended well wishes to other families on Mother's Day.

<p>The Prince and Princess of Wales/Instagram</p> The new picture of Princess Kate and her children taken by Prince William earlier this week at Windsor

The Prince and Princess of Wales/Instagram

The new picture of Princess Kate and her children taken by Prince William earlier this week at Windsor

"Thank you for your kind wishes and continued support over the last two months. Wishing everyone a Happy Mother’s Day," Kate wrote in the caption, signing off with a C at the end.

The cheerful photo captures the princess seated in a chair with her three children gathered around her, while George wraps his arms around her from behind.

This is also the first time that a family shot taken by William has been released. Typically, Kate is the one behind the camera, capturing special moments with her family.

Related: A Complete Timeline of Kate Middleton's Abdominal Surgery and Recovery

The Mother's Day celebration followed shortly after Princess Kate's first public appearance since her surgery on March 4, when she was spotted in a car with her mother, Carole Middleton, 69, near her Windsor home. This marked her first public sighting since December 25.

On Jan. 17, the palace revealed that she had undergone abdominal surgery the previous day. It has not been revealed what the issue was that made the procedure necessary, but PEOPLE understands it was non-cancerous.

Princess Kate spent 13 days in the London Clinic before she left for home to continue her recovery. The palace said she would not return to public duties until at least Easter.

<p>Chris Jackson/Getty</p> Princess Kate and Prince William and their children at Buckingham Palace in June 2023

Chris Jackson/Getty

Princess Kate and Prince William and their children at Buckingham Palace in June 2023

At the time of the surgery, her office at Kensington Palace said, "The Princess of Wales appreciates the interest this statement will generate. She hopes that the public will understand her desire to maintain as much normality for her children as possible; and her wish that her personal medical information remains private," the statement continued.

"Kensington Palace will, therefore, only provide updates on Her Royal Highness’ progress when there is significant new information to share."

Despite the palace's brief comment stating that the Princess of Wales, 42, "continues to be doing well" in her recovery, and her recent sighting during a car ride with her mother, one palace insider describes the overall lack of information as complete "radio silence" regarding her condition.

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"She is their MVP, without any doubt," royal historian Amanda Foreman tells PEOPLE exclusively in this week's cover story. "She is in so many ways the most like the late Queen."

Adds royal biographer Sally Bedell Smith, "She's so central to the monarchy and the future."

Princess Kate's father-in-law, King Charles, 75, was also cared for at the London Clinic earlier this year when he underwent a procedure to correct a benign prostate enlargement. The monarch has since announced that he is undergoing treatment for cancer.

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