The Reaction To Kate Middleton’s Video Proves Conspiracy Theorists Will Never Be Satisfied

It's ludicrous that theories are still escalating after Kate's brave decision to share her cancer diagnosis.


by Georgia Aspinall |
Published on

On Friday last week, Kate Middleton released an unprecedented video statement concerning her medical issues over the past few months. Revealing that tests showed ‘cancer was present’ following her abdominal surgery in December, the Princess of Wales said that she is currently in the early stages of preventative chemotherapy.

Kate has been on medical leave from her public duties since late December, her last official appearance on Christmas Day, and was expected to return to work after Easter. At that time, Kensington Palace released a statement explaining that Kate had undergone ‘planned abdominal surgery’ and requested privacy in order to maintain ‘as much normality for her children as possible.’ However, in the months that followed Kate’s 12-day hospital stay, after which she was said to be making ‘good progress’ recovering at home, conspiracy theories about the 42-year-olds health exploded online.

Now, many are asking whether the intense and ludicrous theories, which caused #WhereIsKateMiddleton to trend on X repeatedly, are what compelled Kate to share her private medical information. Celebrities and public figures have expressed remorse for partaking in the commentary, with Blake Lively (who joked about the Mother’s Day portrait that Kate took responsibility for editing after picture agencies released a ‘kill order’ on the picture noting that it had been doctored) saying on Instagram ‘I made a silly post around the “photoshop fails” frenzy and, oh, man, that post has me mortified today. I’m sorry.’ Journalist Owen Jones also tweeted ‘As someone who speculated on this without considering it could be a serious health condition, I’m very ashamed to be honest, and all the very best to her.’

And yet, in a somewhat unbelievable response, conspiracy theories continue to escalate online. This morning, social media platforms were filled with conspiracy theorists declaring that the video of Kate is actually AI-generated and is thus a fake. Now, ‘Kate Middleton video AI’ and ‘Kate Middleton fake video’ are major breakout search terms on Google according to Google Trends.

People are picking apart the background, claiming there are glitches, and sharing a 2016 video with Kate, Prince William, and Prince Harry where Kate appears to be wearing the same jumper (implying Kate’s new video has been generated from that, yes really). On TikTok, commentators discuss ‘evidence’ of AI to eery sounding music, their ‘evidence’ merely a ‘strange feeling’ while watching it – all the while expressing ‘concern’ for the Princess while making grossly glib statements like ‘She got Princess Diana’d’.

The reaction begs the question, will anything satisfy royal conspiracy theorists? Those determined to believe that the Palace are responsible for some kind of cover up will seemingly stop at nothing. In the Kensington Palace video of Kate, she clearly explains why she was hesitant about revealing her diagnosis:

We have been doing everything we can to process and manage this privately.

Kate Middleton

‘This of course came as a huge shock, and William and I have been doing everything we can to process and manage this privately for the sake of our young family,’ Kate said. ‘As you can imagine, this has taken time. It has taken me time to recover from major surgery in order to start my treatment, but most importantly it has taken us time to explain everything to George, Charlotte and Louis in a way that is appropriate for them and to reassure them that I am going to be okay.’

As many cancer survivors have pointed out online over the weekend, sharing your diagnosis with family – let alone publicly – is incredibly hard. No matter how public facing her role is, Kate shouldn’t have needed to share her private medical information at all, let alone feel compelled to justify why it’s taken so long.

According to royal expert Katie Nicholl, before Kate’s video release the Wales’ were already incredibly frustrated by the seemingly endless cycle of theories online. ‘Both William and Kate have been pretty shocked and genuinely surprised by the wild rumours that are circulating on the internet,’ Nicholl told Entertainment Tonight last week. ‘I think there's a sense of frustration, possibly even anger, certainly on William's part… They certainly don't have their heads in the sand. They are aware of what is being written and what is being said. And I think there's a sense of frustration that they can't bring an end to.’

One can only imagine how they feel now then, having clearly attempted to put a stop to the rumours to little success. Linda Yaccarino, CEO of X, released a statement herself last week urging users to respect Kate’s repeated requests for privacy. ‘A brave message delivered by Princess Kate with her signature grace,’ she said when sharing Kate’s video. ‘Her request for privacy, to protect her children and allow her to move forward (without endless speculation) seems like a reasonable request to respect.’

Her comment comes as pressure mounts for social media companies to clamp down on conspiracy theories being shared online. What’s more, the government is now reportedly concerned that some of the theories were fuelled by foreign adversaries. The Telegraph reports that Whitehall officials are investigating the possible involvement of China, Russia, and Iran, whom they fear were attempting to ‘destabilise the nation’ by undermining the legitimacy of the royal family.

Will this royal nightmare finally be what it takes for social media platforms to take some action over irresponsible posting? One can hope. Whether foreign bots were in part responsible for the explosion of theories or not, there are also real people on the end of these accounts now causing further harm to a family dealing with a painful health battle. If Kate’s brave health admission won’t stop them, we can’t imagine what will.

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