Home EntertainmentCelebrity How Kate Middleton’s Cancer News Should Be A Cautionary Tale for Fans & Media

How Kate Middleton’s Cancer News Should Be A Cautionary Tale for Fans & Media

by Scott Kacsmar
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Kate Middeton Portrait

Kate Middleton, the Princess of Wales, has been in the news so much as of late that there is a “Where is Kate?” page on Wikipedia for her. But after months of speculation about her public absences in 2024, we finally learned the unfortunate reality from Middleton herself last Friday in an official video release from the royal family.  

Middleton has been diagnosed with cancer and has undergone chemotherapy to treat it. That should end the conspiracy theories, but the sad news is the latest in a line of misfortunes for the royal family.

King Charles is already battling his own cancer diagnosis, meaning that Prince William, the next in line for the British throne, must manage with his father and wife both undergoing cancer treatments.

But the wild speculation since January about what’s happened to Kate shows that media and fan interest in the royal family has not declined by any means, and social media can be great and terrible at the same time for spotting when something is not right. Speculation grew so wild that even some offshore sportsbooks offered certain props around the situation, like for example if Middleton would sue the clinic she was being treated at.

Let’s review how this story started and how things got to Friday’s reveal of the truth.

January: The Mysterious Abdominal Surgery

We last saw Princess Kate, the mother of 3, publicly with her family on Christmas Day in 2023. With the calendar turning over to 2024, Middleton celebrated her 42nd birthday on January 9. Just a week later on January 17th, we learned from Kensington Place that she had undergone planned abdominal surgery a day ago and was in recovery.

What was the nature of this surgery? All we know is it was abdominal, it was planned, and it was reportedly not related to cancer. Middleton was seen by her husband and father-in-law at the hospital as she recovered, but she was not expected to return to her public duties until after Easter in April.

She returned home just 13 days after surgery on the 29th, and to this point, nothing seemed too out of the ordinary.

At least not to the average rational mind. As for the TikTok and X/Twitter crowds, no theory was off limits.

February: Speculation Grows as Where Is Kate?

The internet was already starting to stir up what could be wrong with Kate, why she hadn’t been seen publicly since Christmas, why she’d need abdominal surgery at 42, and if her marriage to William was strained by him possibly cheating on her.

“The Curse of Diana” was thrown out there for Kate as the reason for another Princess of Wales facing turmoil after marrying into this family. It was only a few months ago when the final season of Netflix’s The Crown showed the royal family’s struggles in overcoming Princess Diana’s dissolved marriage to Charles and her subsequent death in a car accident aided by crazed paparazzi in 1997.

Some joked that Kate had to recover from a “BBL” (Brazilian Butt Lift) operation. More serious accusations from a Spanish television program of Kate being in a coma had to be refuted by royal sources.

Newsweek had to publish a story to confirm that Princess Kate had not died as rumors on TikTok suggested by fake stories of her “lawyer” confirming her death.

But for some proof of life, on March 4, TMZ published the first photo of Kate since Christmas as she could be seen in the passenger seat of a car with sunglasses on. This led to more speculation and jokes about her faking her death and going through her Gone Girl phase, a reference to the 2014 movie where Rosamund Pike faked her death to get back at her husband.

But the next photo of Princess Kate would set the internet on fire.

March: The Mother’s Day Photo Conspiracy

For a conspiracy theory to really take off, you usually need some evidence of suspicious activity from the subject. That came in a big way on March 10, Mother’s Day in the United Kingdom, when a photo was released to show Kate with her 3 children, celebrating the holiday together.

The picture came from the royal family’s social media accounts, so it was a real posting. But internet sleuths began to weigh in on things that looked edited, including the stitching on some of the children’s clothes, weird finger placements from her son’s hand, an edited zipper on her jacket, and a piece of Kate’s hair cuts off oddly.

The Daily Mail identified 16 editing mistakes and inconsistencies in the photo. Just hours after the photo was released to the public, major news publications such as the Associated Press and Reuters issued a rare “kill order” to have the picture and story removed completely from all sites and social media accounts.

A day later, Middleton issued an apology and did admit to editing the photo:

This only added to the frenzy of what the royal family is hiding about Kate’s health. Is she even alive? CBS’ late night host Stephen Colbert joked about Kate in light of this, adding that Prince William may be having an affair with royal friend Rose Hanbury. Colbert would later regret these jokes.

Someone on Twitter received 49 million views for a theory that Kate’s 2016 Vogue cover was used in the infamous doctored photo, a theory that was easily debunked. But 49 million views is still a ton of traffic and spread of misinformation that gets picked up by other sites and lives on the internet for years.

The edited photo from Mother’s Day clearly blew this story up so much that the royal family was going to have to soon answer with something concrete to cut down the absurd speculation. Things had gotten out of hand.

After TMZ released another video of Kate at a farm shop a week later, the online conspiracy theories believed it was a body double and not the real Princess of Wales.

We needed to hear the truth from Kate’s mouth.

March 22: The Cancer Diagnosis

On Friday, March 22 in a prerecorded video, Princess Kate confirmed that she has been diagnosed with cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy to treat it. She had major abdominal surgery in January, and while the specifics of that are still unknown, it was only after that operation that cancer was found. She began doing chemo in late February.

Which type of cancer does she have? We do not know and will not speculate, but chemotherapy treatment is a good way to explain why her appearance looks different in recent videos and pictures compared to 2023.

Princess Kate has asked for privacy for her family at this time as she continues her battle with cancer. While the video was not the news people wanted to hear, it did at least silence most of the conspiracy theories as people turned to compassion and hope for the best in her recovery.

Some crazy theories still exist, and some have taken Prince William to task for not being present at his wife’s side in the video. But that’s just the nature of coverage for the royal family. Things are always heavily scrutinized.

But this multiple-month odyssey should be over, and now that we know what Middleton faces as the potential future Queen of England, we can only wish her the best going forward.

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Scott Kacsmar
NFL football picks are Scott Kacsmar's expertise, serving as his main focus. He has contributed to various sports websites and blogs, such as NBC Sports, ESPN Insider, FiveThirtyEight, and, JoeWager. Originating from Pittsburgh, Scott maintains a love-hate connection with the Pirates.

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