Royal Friends Dismiss ‘Toxic’ Kate Middleton Speculation

Chris Jackson/Pool via Reuters
Chris Jackson/Pool via Reuters

Royal sources told The Daily Beast it was “very much business as usual” for Prince William Thursday, as he made a high-profile visit to a London synagogue following a torrid week of speculation on the subject of Kate Middleton’s health.

Rumors about Kate’s condition reached fever pitch this week, fueled by William’s absence from a high-profile memorial service for his godfather, King Constantine, the last king of Greece, on Tuesday.

William’s aides said he was skipping the service due to a “personal matter,” triggering speculation that his absence was related to a setback in his wife’s recovery from abdominal surgery in January. They later clarified that Kate was “doing well” but the last-minute nature of the cancellation, which was especially notable since William was due to read at the service, has stoked a chorus of demands for the royal family to open up about Kate’s recovery.

William and Kate ‘Put Family First’ as She Recovers From Surgery

However, friends of William and other royal sources told The Daily Beast the palace would not be pressured by “toxic” speculation into changing their carefully planned approach of saying as little as possible about the princess’ recovery.

One friend, asked about media commentary suggesting that the palace should be more open, such as an assertion in the Daily Mail that “by saying nothing, (the royals) invite speculation,” said, “The newspapers are always telling the family how to run their press operations. This time—surprise surprise—they seem to think it would be a good idea for the royal family to give them more information about Kate. William isn’t a big one for doing stuff because the Daily Mail says he should.”

When The Daily Beast pointed out that similar appeals are also being made not just across broadcast and print media but on social media by ordinary people too, the friend said, “If William has read any of this stuff, it will only make him more determined to stick to his guns and keep his wife out of the limelight while she recovers. The stuff people are writing is toxic.”

A former royal staffer who still has friends and contacts inside the palace said, “Anyone who expects the palace to suddenly start giving lengthy updates on Kate will be disappointed. The principal aim of her being sequestered is to guard her privacy. I’m sure the press hate it because it is working. There is a really, really small bubble of people who know exactly what is going on.”

Indeed, the paucity of information made available to the media about Kate has been remarkable in and of itself.

She was last photographed attending church on Christmas Day. Her operation took place in mid-January, after which, on January 17, the palace made a lengthy statement saying that she had undergone abdominal surgery and briefed the media not to expect to see her until after Easter.

She was visited by King Charles before he had his prostate procedure, and she was released from hospital two weeks after her op, exiting via a private route to avoid being photographed.

Fellow parents at the couple’s school told The Daily Beast that William has been sharing school-run duties with the couple’s nanny. “He seems the same as ever,” one shrugged.

Kate has been convalescing at the couple’s home in Windsor, Adelaide Cottage, and has also made a trip up to their country home on the Sandringham estate.

The news blackout has been astonishingly successful, with almost nothing emerging apart from the very few crumbs of information the palace has sanctioned.

Kate’s office at Kensington Palace did not respond to a question from The Daily Beast asking if they were likely to provide more information about Kate’s health in light of the recent media clamor for them to do so. However, conversations with sources suggest that is very much not going to happen.

Prince William speaks with Renee Salt, 94, a Holocaust survivor, at the Western Marble Arch Synagogue, in London, Britain, February 29, 2024.

Prince William speaks with Renee Salt, 94, a Holocaust survivor, at the Western Marble Arch Synagogue, in London, Britain, February 29, 2024.

Toby Melville/Pool/Reuters

While unfounded theories as to what is “really” going on with Kate are ten a penny on social media, friends of the royal family are united in believing the truth is simpler and less dramatic. “They just want her to be able to recover in peace,” said another friend of the family. “The idea that they are going to be swayed by the idiots on social media saying she has been abducted by aliens is laughable.”

Asked if it was not reasonable for the citizens of a constitutional monarchy to worry about the health of their convalescing future queen when their future king had canceled a high-profile public appearance with 46 minutes notice, the friend said, “That’s total bollocks put about by the media to justify their outrage at being denied private information that would sell papers. It’s very simple. William is putting his family first. That’s what a ‘personal matter’ means.”

The friend added that they had no special insight into Kate’s condition but said, “The whole world knows what’s ‘going on’ because they have actually been remarkably open: she had abdominal surgery, it went as planned, it wasn’t cancer, she is keeping to herself until after Easter and she is doing well. ‘Case closed’ in my humble opinion.”

William’s visit to the Western Marble Arch Synagogue Thursday had originally been planned to coincide with Holocaust Memorial Day, with Kate also due to be in attendance.

William met with two Holocaust survivors, Manfred Goldberg and Renee Salt, whom aides said were “the living example of the tragic consequences of antisemitism being allowed to go unchecked,” and described antisemitism as “a deeply concerning problem.”

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