Internet reactions to Kate Middleton’s cancer news, #KateGate and more

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By Marissa Chin

Internet reactions to Kate Middleton’s cancer news, #KateGate and more

After months away from the public limelight, Kate Middleton has officially released a statement via a moving video message on her official social media platforms. On Friday, the Princess of Wales revealed that she has been diagnosed with cancer and is undergoing preventative chemotherapy. 

A screenshot of Kate, Princess of Wales, in her video message regarding her cancer announcement / X (@KensingtonRoyal)

“In January, I underwent major abdominal surgery in London and at the time, it was thought that my condition was non-cancerous,” Middleton shared while speaking on a bench in Windsor. “The surgery was successful. However, tests after the operation found cancer had been present. My medical team therefore advised that I should undergo a course of preventive chemotherapy and I am now in the early stages of that treatment,” she explained.

The 42-year-old princess said the news came as a “huge shock” and that she and William needed time to process the diagnosis privately for the sake of their “young family”, with their three children aged 5, 8 and 10. “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.”

The Prince and Princess of Wales with their children, George, Charlotte and Louis during Trooping the Colour on 17 June 2023 / Getty Images

Middleton praised her husband for being “a great source of comfort and reassurance” and thanked the public for their messages of support during her recovery from the surgery. “I am well and getting stronger every day by focusing on the things that will help me heal; in my mind, body and spirits.” She has also asked for privacy as she continues her treatment by sharing, “We hope that you’ll understand that, as a family, we now need some time, space and privacy while I complete my treatment.”

Kate Middleton attending the Shaping Us National Symposium on 15 November 2023 / Getty Images

The princess ended her video message with an encouraging statement for all those also suffering from cancer. “For everyone facing this disease, in whatever form, please do not lose faith or hope. You are not alone.”

READ: How to talk to someone who has cancer, according to a psychiatrist


What is #KateGate and when did it start?

Internet speculation on Middleton’s whereabouts first came about after Buckingham Palace announced that she had received abdominal surgery early January and would return to royal duties after Easter. The Princess of Wales was last seen on Christmas Day on an official royal engagement before disappearing from the public’s eye after the announcement of her surgery. 

The Royal Family attending Christmas morning service in Sandringham, Norfolk / Getty Images

Despite the news stating that Middleton would require rest from the operation and the timeline of her return after Easter, it did not stop social media from speculating on the ‘true’ whereabouts of the princess, spawning questions online from people demanding to know where Kate actually was. 

Conspiracy theories were running rampant on social media platforms, which only reached a fever pitch after a picture of Middleton and her three children was released on Mother’s Day. Internet users quickly discovered that the image was digitally altered and the princess later personally apologised for “causing any confusion.”

Middleton’s Mother’s Day post that caused a frenzy online due it being digitally altered / X

However, this only further fuelled the #KateGate rumours that something potentially sinister was going on. Some of the theories discussed by Internet sleuths include her absence having something to do with William’s cheating allegations; her running away from the marriage and royal duties; her hiding injuries due to her abuse from William; her receiving a Brazilian Butt Lift surgery instead; and going as far as to claim the Princess of Wales actually passed away, without any formal evidence. Sightings of Middleton in a car and most recently on a grocery run with William were also dismissed as a body double. 


How everyone is reacting to the news

With Middleton herself silencing the ‘Katespiracies’ in her video message, there has been a flurry of reactions on social media at the shocking news. Many Internet users have expressed anger and disappointment towards those behind #KateGate and have called for a stop to the theories for the sake of the Wales family’s privacy.


However, there are some who still believe there is more being let on and have called the nature of the video message suspicious.

The rest of the world has expressed their unwavering support to the Wales family, including the British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, London Mayor Sadiq Khan, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and Kate’s younger brother James Middleton who posted an old picture with his sister.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by James Middleton (@jmidy)


When will Kate Middleton return to official duties?

Currently, there is no timeline for when the Princess of Wales will return for royal duties. According to a Palace spokesperson, Middleton may attend events when she is “cleared to do so by her medical team.” At the moment, she is in “good spirits” and is focused on making a full recovery first.

Kate Middleton attending the Out-Sourcing Inc. Royal Charity Polo Cup 2023 / Getty Images

Middleton’s diagnosis follows King Charles’ own cancer announcement after it was revealed in early February that he would be undergoing treatment for prostate cancer. Through a Buckingham Palace spokesperson, The King expressed that he is “so proud of Catherine for her courage in speaking as she did” and has “remained in the closest contact with his beloved daughter-in-law throughout the past weeks as the two battle cancer together.

Queen Camilla, King Charles III, Prince William, Prince of Wales and Catherine, Princess of Wales pose for a photograph ahead of The Diplomatic Reception / Getty Images

Additionally, the spokesperson also shared that King Charles and Queen Camilla “will continue to offer their love and support to the whole family through this difficult time.”


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