The Kate Middleton Saga: Disappearance, Doctoring, and Diagnosis
Ricky Wilson

The Kate Middleton Saga: Disappearance, Doctoring, and Diagnosis

Where is Kate Middleton? On January 17th, the entire world became detectives when 

Kensington Palace announced that the Princess of Wales underwent a “planned abdominal procedure.” Even though it was announced that Kate would not be making public appearances until Easter, rumors about her “disappearance” started to fly. Popular theories included: that she and William were getting divorced due to infidelity, that she went to Mexico to get a BBL, and that she was competing on a reality TV show. However silly the rumors were, the amount of attention on Kate revealed that she fills the role of the Late Queen Elizabeth: a symbol of strength and constancy. When she is not present, the world goes crazy. 


“Kategate” only worsened on March 10th, when the Prince and Princess of Wales’ official Twitter account released a photo of Catherine and her three children for Mother’s Day. At first glance, the image appears normal, but upon closer inspection, it seems as if the image was doctored. Professional photographer, Joscelynne Feinstein, points out the two main errors: Princess Charlotte’s sweater blending into her skirt, and her skirt overlapping with her mother’s hand. Kate later admitted to playing around with photoshop, causing skepticism from the general public.. Many believed that the Royal Press manipulated the image to quell rumors about Kate’s disappearance. Much to the royal family’s chagrin, the photo scandal only increased rumors and interest in Kate’s life. It is no secret that the royal family tries to control their narrative. Queen Elizabeth lived by the motto “Never complain, never explain,” but in the era of social media, control is slipping from the Monarchy’s fingertips. 


Perhaps this loss of control of her private life and the invasiveness of the media led Princess Catherine of Wales to release the video that shattered the world’s heart. “I am now in the early stages of [that] treatment,” said Kate in a video statement released on March 22nd. She explains that when she went in for abdominal surgery, the doctors believed that her condition was non-cancerous but tests afterward revealed that cancer was present.


Celebrities and media outlets are now apologizing for their role in circulating rumors about the Princess. It is important to note, however, that social media was far more invasive than popular media outlets such as Sky News and the BBC. Social media was responsible for the creation and investigation of rumors about Kate Middleton, some people online believe that Kate has been dead for months and her video was a deepfake. Popular British newspaper The Sun (which has been accused of illegally intercepting phone calls between Prince Charles and Princess Diana) has published several articles since the photo scandal telling people to give Kate privacy, including an article titled “Lay Off Kate.” This illustrates how media outlets are continuing to minimize threats to the royal family and social media, causing issues across the board in Buckingham Palace. Social media allows individuals to post and create unregulated content, making it increasingly difficult for the royal family to control their narrative and protect their privacy. 


What happens in the immediate future? Well, Prince William will most likely take over all public duties that the couple is responsible for as Kate undergoes chemotherapy. Media outlets and celebrities will also continue to apologize and show support. Additionally, the relationship between social media and the monarchy will be under scrutiny as people question whether Kate was “forced” to share details about her private life.

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