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Archbishop of Canterbury issues warning over spread of Kate Middleton conspiracy theories: ‘Extremely unhealthy’

Archbishop of Canterbury issues warning over spread of Kate Middleton conspiracy theories: ‘Extremely unhealthy’

The Archbishop of Canterbury has joined a growing chorus of voices urging more privacy for the Princess of Wales as she continues to recover from surgery.

Justin Welby branded the conspiracy theories surrounding Kate during her absence from the public eye as “old-fashioned village gossip” and said people who have health concerns should be allowed “to live their lives in peace”.

“We are obsessed with conspiracy and we have little sense of the humanity of those who are caught in the glare of the news,” he told Times Radio. “It doesn’t matter who it is, people should be allowed to be ill, have an operation, whatever it is, and to live their lives in peace without everyone demanding that they prove something every other day.”

Justin Welby says Kate should be given peace to recover (PA Wire)
Justin Welby says Kate should be given peace to recover (PA Wire)

He added: “It’s the web that has made these conspiracy theories, for all kinds of people, run riot.

“It’s extremely unhealthy. It’s just old-fashioned village gossip that can now go round the world in seconds. We have to turn away from that. Gossiping in that way is wrong.”

His intervention came hours after Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said everyone should “butt out” of the princess’s affairs.

He said people should leave Kate “alone” because she had gone through a difficult surgery and deserved privacy.

Kate has not conducted any official public engagements since undergoing surgery for an unspecified abdominal condition. Her withdrawal has prompted a public frenzy over her health.

Keir Starmer said people should ‘butt out’ of princess’s business (Reuters)
Keir Starmer said people should ‘butt out’ of princess’s business (Reuters)

On Wednesday it was reported that members of staff working at The London Clinic, where Kate was treated, had tried to access her medical records.

The hospital said any breach of patient information would be investigated.

According to the Daily Mirror, which reported the alleged data breach, three employees were suspended on Thursday. If found guilty of any wrongdoing they could face disciplinary action and could face a criminal charge.

Kate was seen in public for the first time since her surgery when she visited the Windsor Farm Shop with the Prince of Wales over the weekend.

Kate recently underwent medical treatment in London (AP)
Kate recently underwent medical treatment in London (AP)

Footage showed her smiling and walking with William with her hair down, wearing a black jacket and leggings, and carrying a large white bag.

The Windsor Farm Shop is a short drive from their Adelaide Cottage home in the grounds of Windsor Castle.

But the sighting, which came after her Mother’s Day photo editing row, only served to fuel conspiracies about the princess and her health.

Kate is understood to be targeting Easter weekend for a “soft return” to life in the public eye.

Queen Camilla looks on at Fitz William Salmon-Corrie in Knotts Bakery during her visit to Northern Ireland on Thursday (Reuters)
Queen Camilla looks on at Fitz William Salmon-Corrie in Knotts Bakery during her visit to Northern Ireland on Thursday (Reuters)

Palace aides have been discussing with Kate the possibility of her walking to church on Easter Sunday to join other family members for the annual Easter matins service which takes place at St George’s Chapel, Windsor, according to The Times.

The newspaper said a team of palace officials was working to manage the “messaging” around Kate’s return to make her transition back to work as smooth as possible.

Her Easter weekend appearance would be followed by a break with her children during the school holidays, with a more permanent return to public duties pencilled in at the start of the new school term, it is claimed. Kate and William’s children return to Lambrook School in mid-April.

Charles, pictured with wife Camilla, is undergoing treatment for cancer (AP)
Charles, pictured with wife Camilla, is undergoing treatment for cancer (AP)

King Charles was also admitted to The London Clinic in January for treatment of an enlarged prostate.

He was later diagnosed with an unspecified form of cancer and has also stepped back from his public duties to undergo treatment.

Queen Camilla has been helping out with public duties while the King continues his course of treatment.

On Thursday she visited Belfast, where she entered shops on the Lisburn Road and talked with locals in the Northern Ireland capital.

During a visit to The Arcadia delicatessen, shop assistant Brenda Robb handed over a get-well card for Charles, and extended her best wishes.

Camilla took the card with thanks, adding: “He’s doing very well.... he was very disappointed he couldn’t come”.

The Queen with first minister Michelle O’Neill, left, and deputy first minister Emma Little-Pengelly (PA)
The Queen with first minister Michelle O’Neill, left, and deputy first minister Emma Little-Pengelly (PA)

She later visited Michelle O’Neill and Emma Little-Pengelly, the first and deputy first ministers, at Stormont

While visiting a bakery, the Queen joked that she had her “thunder stolen” by a toddler dressed up in a tuxedo.

Fitz Corrie Salmon, 23 months old, beamed for the cameras while Camilla had a look around Knotts Bakery owned by his father William.

The boy’s mother, Zoe Salmon, is a TV presenter who previously hosted Blue Peter and appeared on Dancing on Ice in early 2009.

“We have a natural for the cameras,” Camilla said as she smiled at the smartly dressed youngster.