The Wessex Wire

The Student News Site of West Essex Regional High School

The Wessex Wire

The Wessex Wire

STAFF EDITORIAL: Princesses deserve to have privacy, too


In January, Kensington Palace announced that Princess Kate Middleton had undergone a “successful planned abdominal surgery” and would be taking a break from her public duties until Easter. Almost immediately, the internet became suspicious. A sudden global outpour of concern and skepticism erupted over her lack of public presence, and people started to search for the “real reason” she wasn’t working.

Once the TikTok theories began, each one seemed to be more outrageous than the next. Pulling together theories from almost nothing, people with no real knowledge of the royal family began to speculate that the princess was really getting a nose job or a butt lift. Starting off for the most part as jokes, these theories began to gain footing as more and more people latched onto the idea that something was really going on.

In an attempt to calm the public, the royal family released a picture of Middleton and her three children appearing cheerful in front of a garden for Britain’s Mother’s day on March 10. But within days of its release, the media went crazy over discrepancies and editing errors found in the image; people pored over the length of Charlotte’s hair and the look of George’s hands. It was later confirmed to have been digitally edited, which only further fueled the conspiracies.

Soon, people were wondering if Middleton was even alive, or if something truly horrible had happened to her. Others looked for marriage issues between Princess Kate and Prince William to explain her absence. An old rumored affair between the prince and Rose Hanbury resurfaced, as people searched for anything that might explain what they saw. Deuxmoi, a widely trusted celebrity gossip page, posted an Instagram story corroborating this theory.

Even after a video surfaced of Kate and William at a farm near their home, people were not convinced. They speculated that it was not Middleton, but actually a famous body double known to look like her.

The royal family was scrutinized from the public as media outlets urged to hear from Middleton herself. After days of pressure, Middleton was posted on March 22 in a heartfelt video explaining that she had been fighting a cancer diagnosis. Within minutes, the public’s outlook on Middleton was changed forever.

The heartbreaking diagnosis unfortunately does not erase all of the damage done online by the millions of people who took it upon themselves to solve the missing Middleton mystery. The disturbing conspiracies of cheating scandals, plastic surgery and even a homicide case have put the royal family in an uncomfortable position during such a vulnerable and difficult time. While the princess was trying to find a way to tell her children she was battling a very serious disease, amateur virtual detectives wondered if she was getting plastic surgery or being cheated on by the prince. This could all have been avoided if everyday people had simply let the royals live, accepting the information that was being released from the palace and waiting for more information before jumping to crazy conclusions.

Of course the British royal family will always be in the public eye, and Middleton knew this when she married the prince. But their role in the monarchy doesn’t justify online rumor mongering. It isn’t the public’s place to determine the personal lives of the royal family.

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