Updated March 19th, 2024 at 17:46 IST

From 'Growing Out Bangs' to Royal Affair: Bizarre Conspiracy Theories Surrounding Kate Middleton

On Monday, Kate Middleton was seen on video for the first time since her surprise hospitalisation, sparking more speculations among the conspiracy theorists.

Reported by: Digital Desk
Princess of Wales Kate Middleton | Image:AP
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London: On Monday, the Princess of Wales Kate Middleton was seen on video for the first time since her surprise hospitalisation, sparking more speculations among the conspiracy theorists. The video was published by TMZ in which the Princess of Wales can be seen with all smiles as she walks around the farmers market with her husband Prince William. However, several royal fanatics went on to question the authenticity of the video. Not only this, they also questioned the narrative put out by the Kensington Palace that the Princess of Wales went to hospital for a “planned abdominal surgery”. 

The whole saga started with an official announcement on January 17 that Catherine, Princess of Wales, had been admitted to the hospital for "planned abdominal surgery," along with an acknowledgement that she “appreciates” the interest it will generate. However, the hush-hush manner in which Kensington Palace presented the case, stirred a major social media frenzy from the royal family enthusiasts. For almost two months “#WhereisKate” and #KateGate started trending on social media. Here’s a look at some of the bizarre conspiracy theories that are circulating online. 

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How photos, video or lack of it became the catalyst

Conspiracies started brewing after no videos or photos of Middleton emerged when she was rushed to the hospital or came out of it. Many were left surprised by the secrecy since the Princess of Wales is known for her royal wave hours after delivering all her children. Things became even more intense after a grainy image of Middleton appeared weeks after she was discharged. The image was published by TMZ  in which Middleton was seen sitting on the passenger seat of a car which was driven by her mother, Carole Middleton. However, the netizens did not believe in the image and speculated that Kate’s sister Pipa Middleton was sitting inside the car. Some even claimed that the royal family is using a “body double” of the Princess of Wales. From Middleton’s mole to shades, everything was scrutinised with an unsaid consensus that the photograph did not feature Middleton.

The next photograph that generated commotion was the Mother’s Day Picture that was shared by the Kensington Palace. The official X handle of Kensington Palace shared Middleton’s first image with all her children – Prince George, Princess Charollet and Prince Louis. However, shortly after the image was released, several news outlets like the Associated Press issued a “Kill Notice” stating that the image was manipulated. Amid the chaos, the Princess of Wales issued a statement in which she called herself an “amateur photographer”. “Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing. I wanted to express my apologies for any confusion the family photograph we shared yesterday caused. I hope everyone celebrating had a very happy Mother’s Day,” Middleton wrote on X. These tampered and blurred photographs ensued speculations that maybe Kensington Palace is hiding something.

Affairs and possible divorce

The disappearance of Middleton from the public scene re-fuelled rumours about Prince William’s alleged affair with Lady Sarah Rose Hanbury. Hanbury is the Marchioness of Cholmondeley and wife of the 7th Marquess of Cholmondeley, David Cholmondeley. As per reports, Hanbury was part of Middleton’s “inner-social circles”. The affair rumours initially started while Kate was pregnant. However, conspiracy theorists predicted that “the affair never stopped”.

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Meanwhile, some conspiracy theorists claimed that Middleton was allegedly having an affair with Thomas Kingston, husband of Lady Gabriella Kingston. These rumours became rife after Kingston died by suicide. While some claimed that Prince William was behind Kingston’s death, others claimed that Middleton was refusing to make public appearances because of this reason.  

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After days of speculation, Lady Rose Hanbury broke her silence over the matter. Hanbury told Buisness Insider — via her lawyers — that rumours she had an affair with William “are completely false.”

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The Vanity of it all: Bangs or Butt Lift

Other than affairs, there were speculations about Kate undergoing the knife. While some joked that she is resting after getting a “butt lift” or she is recovering from a possible facelift. “I love that the two working theories on Kate Middleton's disappearance are "Brazilian butt lift" and "she's growing out bangs,” a user wrote on X, formally known as Twitter. Some of the theories were so frivolous such as Kate growing out her bangs or grappling with a hair colour disaster.

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Is Middleton Still alive?

After the palace was accused of sharing doctored images some even questioned whether the Princess of Wales was still alive or not. The rumours started coming to the forefront after Spanish journalist Concha Calleja claimed that Princess Kate was put into an “induced coma” after her abdominal surgery. “I reaffirm what I said...This happens when you touch a nerve, it is annoying. I fully trust my source. What happens is that they feel upset because we have discovered the truth,” she said. With this, some people claimed that the princess had ”passed away" or worse that “she was murdered”.

Why #KateGate beccame viral?

The whole ordeal became viral because of the secrecy surrounding the saga. While Prince William made few public appearances, he didn’t mention Catherine other than to refer to her as "the arty one" during a cookie decorating event, The Independent reported. It is pertinent to note that Kate is the face of the modern-day monarchy. Hence, media scrutiny remains severe. With the Palace stating that Kate will be back “until and after Easter,” it will be interesting to see how the Kensington royals will navigate the whole debacle. 

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Published March 19th, 2024 at 17:34 IST