The Internet Agrees, It's Time to Leave Kate Middleton Alone

Whatever you think of how Buckingham Palace handled the scandal, it's time to give her some space.

<p>Getty Images</p>

Getty Images

Kate Middleton has long been a subject of global fascination. Since she joined the royal family in 2011, everything from her fashion choices to her parenting style has been analyzed, dissected, and expounded upon by royal watchers across the globe. However, this February, public interest in Kate Middleton (or rather, her whereabouts) reached an absolute fever pitch.

When the Princess of Wales took an uncharacteristically long break from public life this winter (her last official public appearance was on Christmas), internet sleuths, royal experts, and more guessed about where and why she'd been hiding. Initially, the speculation came from a place of concern. Kate is a beloved figure and has lived in the public eye for more than a decade. Her disappearance from view understandably raised a few red flags.

<p>Getty Images</p>

Getty Images

But as the months went on, conjecture turned to frenzy, with conspiracy theories, rumors, and Photoshop deep fakes running rampant across social media. Everyone, it seemed, had a theory about why and how the Princess disappeared from view, and as always on the internet, the hotter the take, the more attention it fired up. Wild speculation drowned out more measured analysis until even the most conservative royal experts agreed that something must be going on with the Windsors.

Finally, on March 22, the Firm finally set the record straight with a short video from the Princess of Wales. As it turns out, Kate Middleton has been battling cancer and going through "preventative chemotherapy." Despite her private health matter becoming a public media storm, she graciously thanked everyone for their concern and appealed for privacy.

There are two natural reactions for anyone who's been following this story (myself included): guilt and compassion. On social media, one resounding sentiment is something along the lines of well, I feel bad now. "Omg we are all douchebags," read one viral post on X. "I'm going to hell," says another. And while not necessarily the most productive emotion, there's something to the self-reflection: We shouldn't be thrilled with how this unfolded.

That said, the royal comms team could've handled this better (a certain Photoshop fail comes to mind), and of course, she's the future queen of England. Has no one in Buckingham Palace ever googled the Streisand effect? The public has a vested interest in her future and deserves to know what's going on in the life of their monarch, especially considering the royals live on public funds.

Still, those valid points don't erase the Princess of Wales's lived experience: A mother of three dealing with a cancer diagnosis watched silently as her marriage, her health, and even her photo editing skills were picked apart by the world.

Thankfully, the tide seems to be turning on the Kate Middleton fervor now that there's finally some transparency from her team. "She is being admirably open," reads a post on X. "No one respected her wishes the first time, I hope people will leave her alone now," wrote royal watcher Kayla Adams. A little transparency from the royals goes a long way, and the public has responded in kind.

I think everyone can all agree: Kate Middleton deserves her privacy. For real, this time.

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