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Was Kate Middleton Behind News of the World Shutdown?

Kate Middleton, Hugh Grant, Sienna Miller Indigo/Getty Images; Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images; Nick Harvey/WireImage
Conspiracy Corner, Comic Con 2009 Brick

It's no mystery who killed the News of the World. Owner Rupert Murdoch pulled the trigger, announcing that Sunday's issue, shockingly, will be his 168-year-old newspaper's last.  

As for who wanted the News of the World dead—that's more complicated.

Kate Middleton. Hugh Grant. Sienna Miller. Even that guy from Hamlet 2. They had the motive, if not the wherewithal to orchestrate the paper's demise.

So, did they?

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Mostly no, but a little bit yes.

First the backstory: The News of the World, as all of the lowercase world now knows, per countless allegations (some verified, some not), was hacking into celebrity cell phones.

In addition to the above, other reputed victims included Prince William, Prince Harry, Mick JaggerElle Macpherson, Jude Law and Paul McCartney's ex-wife Heather Mills.

The abuse went on for years. Miller eventually shamed the paper into issuing her an apology. Grant was driven to running his own quasi-sting operation.

But only one bold-faced Brit appears to have really, truly got the train rolling down the track—and crashing into the News of the World's offices.

And if you're thinking the newly powerful Middleton you're wrong, but close.

It was back in 2005 that her future husband suspected that the tab had breached his privacy to score a scoop about a knee injury. A Scotland Yard probe ensued, and, in 2006, a News of the World reporter and a P.I. were jailed.

But the paper wasn't shuttered. 

"I think there are some people who look at the royal family, and forget they are human beings," said Daniel Willis, who researches and writes about royal history. "I think there is an expectation that people will try to pry into their private lives." 

Indeed, it would take this week's revelations that the tab had hacked into the phones of a 13-year-old murdered girl, the father of a bombing victim and war veterans to produce the kind of outrage that led to government condemnation, advertiser pullouts, and, ultimately, the surrender flag.

The News of the World, enemy of the celebrity, was done in by the common man.

Make that, the not-so-common man.

WATCH: Is Kate Middleton guilty of something herself?

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