Where is Kate? Conspiracy theories mushroom on Princess of Wales

An image should have quelled the rumours surrounding the health of Catherine, the Princess of Wales, instead, it fed the frenzy. Where is Kate is the one big question being asked about the member of the British royal family who has been missing from the public eye for months now.

The hashtag ‘WhereIsKate’ is trending.

“Literally everyone on Twitter is trying to figure out what is happening with #KateMiddleton and questioning #WhereIsKate???” posted Kinza Tariq, a social media influencer.

The curiosity over Kate Middleton’s whereabouts and health comes after the release of a photo on Mother’s Day. The photo was later found digitally manufactured.

This came after two months of Kate’s absence from the public eye after her abdominal surgery due to an unspecified condition.

There is a lot of curiosity and distrust over information from the British royal family.

The life and death of Princess Diana is still the stuff of intense public curiosity even after 27 years after the former royal’s fatal car crash.

Princess Diana’s life faced intense scrutiny. It seems it is the turn of Kate Middleton now.

KATE’S ABSENCE MADE PEOPLE TAKE A CLOSER LOOK

An image of Kate and her children — Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis — that the palace said was taken by Prince William was released on Sunday to mark Mother’s Day in Britain.

Intended to calm speculation regarding Kate’s health after her surgery, the photo was withdrawn by leading news agencies over it being digitally altered.

Kate apologised a day later, saying that “like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing”.

It was in fact people on social media who spotted issues with the photo.

“I don’t think it’s any surprise that the discrepancies in the photograph were first identified by ordinary social media users,” Ed Owens, a royal historian and author, told The Time.

“It [the image] was always going to be pored over and carefully analyzed given the rumours and speculation that’s been circulating and mounting regarding Kate’s illness and her absence,” Owens said.

The Guardian’s imaging team “found as many as 20 anomalies with the image that may require further inquiry”, the UK-based newspaper reported.

British tabloid The Daily Mail labelled the image a “PR disaster” for the royals.

A ROYAL PICTURE OF TRUST DEFICIT

Kate and Prince William have used social media well till now, sharing family portraits and curating a public image for themselves.

However, the Sunday fiasco undid all that control.

The speculations over the health and whereabouts of Kate Middleton comes at a time when the British royal family is under scrutiny after King Charles III cancelled public events due to treatment for an unspecified form of cancer.

The Marchioness of Cholmondeley Rose Hanbury (R) with Prince William (L) and Kate Middleton. (Image: Getty)

The age of social media is the age of gossip and rumours. And the palace’s keeping the details of Kate away from people has fuelled conspiracy theories.

Social media amplify chatter and allow the creation of crowd-sourced conspiracy theories that can spread around the globe, Stephanie Baker, senior lecturer of sociology at City University of London, told the Associated Press.

“The most serious issue for the Princess of Wales and the monarchy in light of the photoshopped image is the erosion of trust and credibility”, Stephanie Baker said.

KATE AND THE CONSPIRACY THEORIES

Conspiracy theories surrounding Kate have spread like wildfire on the social media.

Some have suggested that she might be facing health complications after her abdominal surgery, while others speculate that it could be splitsville for her and Prince William.

Then other sinister ones say, it has to do with Queen Consort Camilla and Lady Rose Hanbury, the Marchioness of Cholmondeley.

The Marchioness of Cholmondeley is reported to be Kate’s best friend, but one of the theories suggests that her proximity to Prince William might have made Kate withdraw from public life.

It is no longer the press which both Princes William and Henry blamed for their mother Princess Diana’s death, but the social media that is at the paparazzi game now.

Despite the all-round pressure and photo fiasco, the palace hasn’t released the original Kate and family photograph. It is obvious to people to ask where Kate is?

Published By:

Sushim Mukul

Published On:

Mar 13, 2024

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