Princess Diana's Brother Worries About "Truth" Amid Kate Middleton Conspiracy Theories

Princess Diana's brother Charles Spencer speaks out about the press scrutiny and conspiracy theories surrounding Kate Middleton as she continues her hiatus from public duties following surgery.

By Corinne Heller Mar 17, 2024 5:46 PMTags
Watch: Princess Diana's Brother Worries About "Truth" Amid Kate Middleton Conspiracy Theories

The brother of the late Princess of Wales is speaking out on the current situation surrounding the current Princess of Wales.

In a new interview, Charles Spencer, the ninth Earl Spencer, compared the media scrutiny of Princess Diana prior to her 1997 death to the recent online discourse surrounding her daughter-in-law Kate Middleton, who has been the target of conspiracy theories amid her hiatus from public duties, which began in January after Kensington Palace announced she had undergone abdominal surgery.

When asked about his thoughts on the recent rumors about Kate, Charles told BBC's Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg, in an interview released March 17, "I do worry about what happened to the truth."

Diana, mother of Kate's husband Prince William and Prince Harry, ex-wife of King Charles III and one of the most beloved philanthropists in the world, died at age 36 in a car crash in Paris. Just before the accident, the princess' vehicle was pursued by paparazzi.

7 Ways Princess Diana Forever Changed What it Means to Be a Royal

"I think it was more dangerous back in the day," Charles said, speaking about the media scrutiny of his sister. "If I look back to '97 and Diana's death, I think that was so shocking, the circumstance of her death was so shocking, that it did make the industry that supports the paparazzi really consider more carefully what it could and couldn't do. Not because they had a moral judgment, but because it was unacceptable to the public."

Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images

While Kate is no stranger to media attention, conspiracy theories—and jokes—about her and her absence have been fueled even further in recent days after major photo and news agencies removed from their databases an edited pic of her posing with her and William's three children—Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8, Prince Louis, 5— that Kensington Palace had released March 10. The companies had said the image, the first official photo of the princess since her surgery was announced, did not meet their editorial standards.

The Palace later released a statement from Kate, which read, "Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing. I wanted to express my apologies for any confusion the family photograph we shared yesterday caused."

Mark Cuthbert / UK Press via Getty Images / David M. Benett / Dave Benett / Getty Images for Charles Sabine

While Kate's immediate family members have not commented on the photo controversy, her maternal uncle Gary Goldsmith, who recently appeared on Celebrity Big Brother UK, shared his thoughts about it last week.

"When it came out I said there's not a chance in hell that Catherine would have photoshopped that herself," he said on GB News' Talking Pints with Nigel Farage March 14. "And then she says she did. My inside track absolutely went sideways there."

Kensington Palace had said in their announcement about Kate's surgery that she was not expected to return to public duties until after the March 31 Easter holiday, which her rep reiterated Feb. 29. In his interview, Gary defended the Palace, adding they have been "very clear and transparent" about the timeline of his niece's return. He also reiterated his past comments about her support system.

"I think she's got the best support infrastructure on the planet," he added, "and she's got the best people looking after her."

Read on for more royal news that broke this year so far:

Kate Middleton Focusing on Health

Nearly two months after the Princess of Wales went public with her cancer diagnosis, a spokesperson for Kensington Palace said the royal has no immidiate plans to return to her public-facing duties.

"The princess is not expected to return to work," the rep said in a May 21 statement to BBC, "until it's cleared by her medical team."

New Role for Prince William

On May 13, King Charles III bestowed the title of Colonel-in-Chief of the Army Air Corps to his oldest son, sparking controversy as many royal watchers believed the title would be more suited for Prince Harry, who trained and served in the military branch.

Kin Charles III Returns to Public Duties

On April 26, nearly three months after sharing his cancer diagnosis, Buckingham Palace announced that Charles will return to public-facing duties

Queen Camilla Attends Royal Maundy Service

The queen consort attended the Royal Maundy Service on March 28 in place of King Charles III, making her the first spouse of the Monarch to continue the ancient tradition.

Kate Middleton Shares Cancer Diagnosis

In a March 22 video message, the Princess of Wales shared that she'd been diagnosed with cancer after undergoing abdominal surgery in January.

"It was thought that my condition was non-cancerous. The surgery was successful," she said before noting that tests after the operation found cancer had been present. "My medical team therefore advised that I should undergo a course of preventative chemotherapy and I am now in the early stages of that treatment."

Kate Middleton Apologizes for Edited Family Photo Controversy

After photo agencies pulled the picture Kensington Palace shared of Kate since having her abdominal surgery on March 10, the Princess of Wales addressed claims the photo was doctored. 

"Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing," she tweeted on March 11. "I wanted to express my apologies for any confusion the family photograph we shared yesterday caused. I hope everyone celebrating had a very happy Mother's Day. C."

Lady Kitty Spencer Privately Welcomes Baby

Princess Diana's niece celebrated Mother's Day in the U.K. by sharing she and her husband Michael Lewis privately welcomed their first baby.

“It’s the joy of my life to be your mummy, little one. I love you unconditionally," she captioned her March 10 Instagram post. "Happy Mother’s Day to those who celebrate today."

Queen Camilla Takes a Break

After keeping up her full slate of engagements in the wake of her husband's cancer diagnosis, the palace cleared Camilla's schedule.

The Times pointed out March 2 that the 76-year-old didn't have any engagements on her calendar until March 11, when she'd be due at Westminster Abbey to observe Commonwealth Day.

Thomas Kensington Dies at 45

The husband of Lady Gabriella Windsor and ex-boyfriend of Pippa Middleton, was found dead Feb. 25. Days later, a coroner's inquest found that he died by suicide.

King Charles Diagnosed With Cancer

While King Charles III was in the hospital for his benign prostate enlargement procedure, the royal family member was diagnosed with cancer.

"His Majesty has today commenced a schedule of regular treatments, during which time he has been advised by doctors to postpone public-facing duties," Buckingham Palace said Feb. 5. "Throughout this period, His Majesty will continue to undertake State business and official paperwork as usual.The King is grateful to his medical team for their swift intervention, which was made possible thanks to his recent hospital procedure. He remains wholly positive about his treatment and looks forward to returning to full public duty as soon as possible."

Sarah Ferguson Is Diagnosed With a Second Type of Cancer

The Duchess of York's rep said in a statement on Jan. 21 that Sarah was recently diagnosed with malignant melanoma, an aggressive form of skin cancer. Several months prior, she underwent a single mastectomy to treat breast cancer.

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark Abdicates the Throne

On Jan. 14, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark made history as she officially abdicated the throne, handing the crown over to her son, now known as King Frederik the 10th

Kate Middleton Is Hospitalized

Kensington Palace announced on Jan. 17 that Kate Middleton underwent planned abdominal surgery and was set to remain in the hospital for 10 to 14 days.

"Based on the current medical advice," the Palace said, "she is unlikely to return to public duties until after Easter."

Prince William Adjusting His Schedule

Amid Kate's recovery, Prince William postponed a number of engagements as he supported his family, including the couple's three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

King Charles III Undergoing Treatment

Shortly after Kate's hospitalization was made public, Buckingham Palace shared that Charles "has sought treatment for an enlarged prostate."

"His Majesty's condition is benign and he will attend hospital next week for a corrective procedure," the statement added. "The King’s public engagements will be postponed for a short period of recuperation."

Luxembourg Welcomes a New Baby

Princess Claire and Prince Felix of Luxembourg welcomed son Balthazar Felix Karl on Jan. 7, the first royal baby of the New Year!

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