Everyone Is Shame Spiraling for Joking About Kate Middleton

Reuters/Aaron Chown
Reuters/Aaron Chown

In a shocking announcement on Friday, Kate Middleton revealed that she is being treated for cancer, putting an end to weeks of wild speculation about her whereabouts, the state of her marriage, and her health. Now, royal watchers the world over have been left to deal with the conspiracy theories they have spun—including celebrities.

A week ago, Blake Lively posted badly edited pictures of herself to promote some fizzy drinks, a nod to Kensington Palace’s picture snafu from earlier this month. “Now you know why I’ve been MIA,” she wrote in the caption.

On Friday, she posted an apology to her Instagram story, after receiving hundreds of comments accusing her of bullying Middleton.

“I made a silly post around the ‘photoshop fails’ frenzy, and oh man, that post has me mortified today,” she wrote. “I'm sorry. Sending love and well wishes to all, always.”

Lively wasn't the only celebrity who joked about Kate on Instagram.

Kim Kardashian, for her part, wrote: “On my way to go find Kate,” in the caption of one post last week.

The royal media frenzy went beyond social media. Earlier this week, comedian John Oliver aired a segment on Last Week Tonight in which he wondered whether she was even still alive.

“There’s a non-zero chance she died 18 months ago,” he said. “They might be Weekend at Bernie’s-ing this situation. I’m not saying it happened! I’m saying it’s non-zero until proven otherwise. Until you see her with a copy of today’s newspaper.”

Meanwhile, on his podcast, Andy Cohen fueled rumors that this was all related to Prince William’s alleged affair with Lady Rose Hanbury, whose lawyers have dismissed the rumors as “completely false.” Stephen Colbert made a similar joke, and got handed a legal notice by the Marchioness of Cholmondeley.

Now that the truth is out, many are turning on what was once harmless internet froth. Angry commenters are alleging that these celebs cruelly bullied Middleton by joking about her absence.

In the Daily Mail, journalist Amanda Platell lauded Middleton’s “quiet dignity” in the face of internet “abuse.”

“How dreadful to think that, even as she was undergoing chemotherapy, the online haters persisted in taunting her by peddling their loathsome conspiracy theories,” she wrote.

Middleton’s diagnosis has renewed criticism of her press team, which readily placed the blame for a botched Photoshop job on the ailing Princess earlier this month, and allowed the confusion to run rampant, and gaffes to abound.

Speaking of which, Buckingham Palace recently posted a new entry-level listing for a communications position in the midst of its PR nightmare.

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