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Conspiracy theories surrounding Kate won’t force William to change his position on family privacy

For a woman we haven’t actually seen since Christmas, an awful lot has been written about the Princess of Wales this week.

In fact, you could say the questions and conspiracy theories about Kate and her health have got out of control.

I was told this week that it’s too early to say exactly when we’re going to see her again.

So should we read anything into that? I’m told a firm ‘no’.

The prince and princess, and their team at Kensington Palace, are sticking to the line they put out in January: she has had abdominal surgery and won’t be back to public engagements until after Easter.

The rumour mill was set off by William’s decision not to attend a memorial service in Windsor on Tuesday for unknown personal reasons, even though the palace has insisted the princess is still recovering well.

But the prince’s decision and the lack of explanation for it has exposed how high-risk their strategy of keeping quiet is – a vacuum of information is quickly filled by rumour and speculation.

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Conspiracy theories have been trending on social media all week, some more vicious and far-fetched than others, and it has been headline news all over the world.

The voracious appetite for news about the princess hasn’t been helped by the perception that the King is being much more open about his cancer diagnosis. We’ve seen videos of him with his “get well soon” cards, walking to church at Sandringham, and even rare access to his meeting with the prime minister.

Former palace communications secretary Ailsa Anderson said the intense interest in the royals isn’t new: she had dozens of phone calls when Prince Philip attended an engagement with a plaster on his hand.

But the comparison between the King and Kate, and what they’re sharing, is unfair, she said.

(left to right) the Princess of Wales, Princess Charlotte, Prince George, the Prince of Wales, Prince Louis and Mia Tindall attending the Christmas Day morning church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk. Picture date: Monday December 25, 2023.
Image: We haven’t seen the Princess of Wales since Christmas Day last year. Pic: PA

“He is the head of state. He’s also the head of state to various realms and Commonwealth countries, so he is in a different position to the Princess of Wales” she said.

“It’s got to be done by a case by case episode.

“He is the monarch. He’s been very, very open about his treatment. We still don’t know what sort of cancer he has got. But we’re not getting that same level of, frankly, vile speculation on social media and in the press that the Princess of Wales is getting and people should literally give her a break.”

A couple of years ago we were briefed that William wouldn’t stick to the royal line of ‘never complain never explain’ – he wants to be more open.

You can see that with his recent intervention on the Middle East and the public statement he made about Princess Diana’s discredited Panorama interview.

But there is a red line when it comes to his family, his wife and children.

His anger at perceived intrusion was clear when photographers outside the hospital where Kate was treated were warned it was best that they leave.

We haven’t seen the princess since Christmas Day. It’s a long time and it is inevitable that people have wanted to know more. With other big royal family events coming up soon, such as the Easter Sunday church service, the anticipation about when we’ll see her will only ramp up.

But what’s been made very clear to me is that William isn’t going to change his position on their family privacy, no matter how noisy the speculation may become.

Sky News Source