After Weeks of Social Media Frenzy, Kate Middleton Reveals She Has Cancer

"The surgery was successful. However, tests after the operation found cancer had been present," the Princess of Wales said on Friday. "My medical team then advised that I undergo a course of preventative chemotherapy."

After Weeks of Social Media Frenzy, Kate Middleton Reveals She Has Cancer

After weeks of misinformation, thousands of conspiracy theories, and 700 too many articles about Rose Hanbury, Kate Middleton has surfaced to reassure everyone that while she’s OK, she is currently receiving treatment for cancer.

“In January, I underwent major abdominal surgery in London, and at the time, it was thought that my condition was non-cancerous,” Kate says in the video posted to the official Twitter account of the Prince and Princess of Wales. “The surgery was successful. However, tests after the operation found cancer had been present. My medical team then advised that I undergo a course of preventative chemotherapy and I’m now in the early stages of that treatment.”

“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,” the Princess of Wales continued. “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 Louise in a way that’s appropriate for them and to reassure them that I’m going to be OK.”

Friday’s video was released as the internet spiraled into its third week of #KateGate. On Monday, #RoyalAnnouncement began trending on Twitter, and news of an imminent message from the British royals spread like wildfire. Speculation abounded, with users gleefully sharing theories that Charles was dead, Kate was in a coma (or also dead), and that a royal divorce was on the horizon. 

Of course, the whole thing was fake. Despite the Palace clearly saying in January that Middleton would be recovering from abdominal surgery until March 31st–a date that eagle-eyed readers will note has not yet occurred–a series of now infamous and peculiar PR moves by Kensington Palace led conspiracy theories around Middleton’s disappearance to reach a fever pitch. So much so, that she needed to appear in a video on Friday to essentially say: Hi, I’m alive and I have cancer.

People who, less than a week ago, were touting themselves as too smart to fall for Kensington Palace’s Mother’s Day photoshop fail instead fell for unsourced tweets from “royal watchers” on social media. Ahead of Kate’s Friday message, I’m sad to say that in our quest to uncover the truth about the Princess’s whereabouts, we netizens fully lost the plot. 

Take these two posts for example. In the first tweet, user Diana Wallace posted that “someone claiming to work in a crematory in the U.K. says this is a video of Kate Middleton’s body being cremated during a private ceremony,” while also conceding there is “no way to verify” the information. (Very smart to tweet it, then!) The attached video looked more like a scene from Arrival than a Princess’ cremation (Side note: why would anyone want to watch a Princess’ cremation?), but that didn’t stop the tweet from being viewed one million times. 

At the exact same time, Matt Wallace, the first poster’s husband, claimed that “theories are surfacing that Kate Middleton is being held at a mental institution against her will” with an attached image so dubious and bizarre I half expect Kensington Palace to release a version of it for Kate’s birthday. This post got 3 million views. 

“I wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you personally for all the wonderful messages of support and for your understanding whilst I’ve been recovering from surgery,” Kate said at the beginning of the video. This is not how I would address the internet after it theorized that I was dead but I get it, she’s British and a Royal so she has to be polite. “Having William by my side is a great source of comfort and reassurance to me. As is the love, support, and kindness that has been shown by so many of you. It means so much to us both.” I am lightly snickering at the fact that she said “so many of you” and not “all of you.”

I’m very glad to hear that, despite a cancer diagnosis, Kate seems to be doing OK and is getting the treatment she needs. (Unfortunately, she did not address that Mother’s Day photo but that’s fine.) I’m also very glad that TikTok’s Kate Middleton conspiracy theory wormhole can take a break for a couple of days. Most importantly, I hope that Kate will also take this opportunity to fire her entire communications department for bundling this so badly that people online said they had cremation footage and other people online believed them.

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