Kate Middleton seen out in public for first time since December

The Princess of Wales has been seen out in public for the first time since December days after Kensington Palace opted to issue a statement on her health amid rampant conspiracy theories.

Kate Middleton was photographed in the passenger seat of a car with her mother Carole in pictures published on celebrity gossip website TMZ.

The paparazzi snaps are believed to be taken near Windsor Castle and mark the first time the Princess has been seen since she was admitted to the London Clinic for abdominal surgery earlier this year.

The Palace had addressed concerns about when she would return to public life with a statement in January saying she would stay in hospital for two weeks to recover and should not be expected back in the public eye until after Easter, which is later this month.

The rumours Kensington Palace moved to quash last week claimed Kate was in a coma following her surgery. They were fuelled after Prince William abruptly cancelled his attendance at an event due to a "personal matter".

The statement reiterated Kate is "doing well" in her recovery and that the "timelines of the princess' recovery" remained as stated in January.