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Internet conspiracy theorists fail to show Kate Middleton grace

Internet sleuths have been speculating what happened to Kate Middleton after she disappeared from the public eye — the answer was eye-opening. – Photo by @DannyDeraney /

Up until a few days ago, everyone on the internet had the same question — where did Kate Middleton go?

The answer came in the form of a public video announcement from the Princess of Wales, where she shared that after getting abdominal surgery, additional tests had uncovered cancer in her body. The news came as a shock to many, especially after weeks of wild speculation.

Middleton's social media "disappearance" began after she underwent her surgery in January. In a statement from Kensington Palace, it was announced that she wouldn't return to her public duties until after Easter in early April. But, this didn't stop social media users from making all kinds of speculations.

Some of the more popular rumors included that she had undergone plastic surgery or that she retreated from public life after discovering that Prince William had an affair. Other ideas were more outlandish, with some joking that she was a part of the infamous Glasgow Willy Wonka Experience.

The conspiracies only spread further after Middleton shared a photo with her children for U.K. Mother's Day. Many online users were quick to spot and point out that the picture had undergone extensive editing. The obvious mistakes made while altering the photo only added fuel to the fire — even celebrities like Blake Lively jumped in to make Photoshop jokes.

Middleton did eventually admit that she had edited the picture but said nothing else about her withdrawal from the public eye until she released her video about her diagnosis.

After this media frenzy, Middleton's announcement was a humbling truth. Online users were quick to delete their posts and apologize for their actions, but the damage had been done.

Middleton and her family have already been emotionally impacted by the swirling rumors. It's certainly possible that she felt forced to announce her cancer diagnosis before she was ready just so the speculations would stop.

One possibly good thing to come out of the controversy is the fact that it has caused major news outlets and internet users to reconsider their actions. This isn't the first time a woman in the royal family has been unfairly scrutinized — just ask Meghan Markle.

Public figures don't owe anyone appearances or explanations. It's natural to speculate, but making up wild rumors and posting non-stop about someone's whereabouts takes things to an uncomfortable level.

When discussing public figures, it's important to remember that these are real people. Social media posts don't exist in a vacuum — there's a good chance a celebrity might even see it.

By accepting fame, celebrities have agreed to share at least some portion of their lives with us. But in situations like Middleton's, where she actively retreated from the public eye, she deserves a semblance of privacy.

Hopefully, this situation will serve as a reminder not to spread gossip or believe a rumor at its face value — you never know what someone might be going through behind the scenes.

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