Britain s Catherine, Princess of Wales Britain s Catherine, Princess of Wales reacts during a visit of Hope Street , a residential community piloting a new approach to supporting women in the Justice System, in Southampton, southern England on June 27, 2023. Designed and developed by the charity One Small Thing, Hope Street is the first of its kind in the UK and is designed to transform women and children s experience of the justice system. Inspired by One Small Thing s commitment to systemic change for wom

The start of 2024 began with some serious health announcements from the royal family. On Jan. 17, 2024, Buckingham Palace released a statement revealing King Charles III would undergo hospital treatment for an enlarged prostate. It later said tests had identified a form of cancer for which the monarch would begin treatment. Afterward, Kensington Palace disclosed in a statement that the Princess of Wales, Kate Middleton, had undergone abdominal surgery at the London Clinic. It said the surgery had been “successful” and that the princess would remain in the hospital for a 10–14-day recovery period.

News of the pair’s hospitalization led to an outpouring of well wishes and support from their supporters worldwide. This came as no surprise, as Charles and Kate are among some of the most popular members of the royal family. But while Charles was lauded for his transparency surrounding his diagnosis, Kate’s initial silence over her condition led to increasingly bizarre theories and wild rumors bolstered by her disappearance from the public eye.

When Kate finally broke her silence to post a family portrait on Mother’s Day, possibly in an effort to quell the speculation, the move backfired. The photo was confirmed to have been manipulated, and a “kill notification” was issued by various news photography agencies. Kate subsequently issued an apology, but this did little to stamp out the raging media frenzy. Photos of Kate seen out in public were scrutinized and believed to be fake, with the media and social media users offering theory after wild theory behind her absence. 

Finally, on March 23, 2024, a video of Kate speaking frankly to the camera was shared on her official social media accounts. In it, she appeared calm and slightly fatigued as she dropped the bombshell that she had been diagnosed with cancer.

Kate Middleton (2023), (IMAGO/i Images)

In the video, Kate shared that after her successful abdominal surgery,  doctors came back to her with devastating news.

“The surgery was successful. However, 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,” she explained.

Kate also offered an explanation as to why she had kept the news private. 

“As you can imagine, this has taken time. It has taken me time to recover from major surgery in order to start my treatment. But, most importantly, it has taken us time to explain everything to George, Charlotte and Louis in a way that is appropriate for them, and to reassure them that I am going to be ok,” she said. 

The Princess of Wales added her family needed “some time, space and privacy” while she completed her treatment. 

“My work has always brought me a deep sense of joy and I look forward to being back when I am able, but for now I must focus on making a full recovery,” the princess said, reassuringly. “For everyone facing this disease, in whatever form, please do not lose faith or hope. You are not alone.”

The news put an end to the fierce rumormongering of the weeks prior, but the focus on Kate did not waver. Instead, attention shifted toward deeper questions concerning just how much the royal family owes the public and the media’s sometimes intrusive approach to reporting on them. 

In the wake of Kate’s video, parties have also begun to criticize other members of the royal family, such as Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, for what they feel is their part in changing the status quo.

Catherine, Princess of Wales (2023), (IMAGO/

Prince Harry and Meghan have been divisive figures when it comes to conversations surrounding the royal family. According to podcast host Kinsey Schofield, they’ve also “warped” the expectations of the media and public, laying the blame on the media frenzy surrounding Kate on the couple’s ubiquitous ways.

“I think this is a reflection of Harry and Meghan oversharing for the last four (years). I mean for the last four years we had a book, we had a reality show, we had multiple sit-down interviews,” Schofield said. “When Meghan Markle had her miscarriage she announced it through the New York Times, like she wrote an op-ed announcing her miscarriage, and I just think it’s warped our expectations when it comes to … What we expect to hear about the British Royal family,” she added.

Schofield suggested the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had paved the way for a new normal for the royal family.

“It feels like Harry and Meghan have made it in a way more okay for us to try to push the envelope and try to ask for more when it comes to the privacy of the real working royals,” she remarked.

Meanwhile, a former palace aide attributed the media firestorm following the Mother’s Day photo blunder to today’s age when information is more widely available than in generations before.

“There was no malintent. But it unleashed up a pent-up feeling that people wanted information — unfortunately, that’s the curse of being a modern royal. It was a complex reaction,” the insider said.   

The palace aide revealed, “(The royal family) is vulnerable at the moment, and there will be an even greater appreciation that they are human beings with frailties like the rest of us.”

Carole Middleton (2023), (IMAGO/i Images)

Now, Kate’s health issues and recovery could also be jeopardized by her parents’ recent financial woes. According to Us Magazine, Kate’s mother, Carole Middleton, is “desperately” trying to protect her daughter from involvement in their beleaguered family business.

Kate’s mother and father, Michael Middleton, are reportedly facing serious difficulties repaying a £260,000 (approximately US$329,000) debt to an insolvency firm incurred through their party supplies business, The Party Pieces Company. Established by the Middletons in 1987, Kate had even worked as a project manager there prior to marrying Prince William

After the COVID pandemic left the company in dire straits, the debt owed to its creditors soared to about £2.6 million (approximately US$3.2 million) and it went into administration in June 2023. They roped in Interpath Advisory to manage the company’s insolvency but are now unable to pay back the company, whose restructuring professionals charged an average hourly rate of £566 (approximately US$714). 

“Carole is desperately trying to keep Catherine fully focused on her recovery. It’s a very worrying time for the family but they are not looking for any assistance from their children and don’t want them to worry,” an insider revealed.

“Catherine and her parents are very close and they always check in with each other, but talk about the business is off limits as she needs to focus on her health,” the source added.

Royal commentator Afua Hagan also told the outlet Carole “will be doing all she can right now to stop her daughter from stressing as she undergoes chemotherapy.”

“It’s a stressful time at the moment and she will be pulling out all the stops to shield her daughter from this. Party Pieces has collapsed and it’s been devastating for the family, but Carole will be most concerned about Kate’s well-being right now,” Hagan added.

Kate Middleton (2022), (IMAGO/i Images)

Do you think Carole Middleton is right in trying to keep her daughter away from the family’s financial problems at this time? Let us know then pass this along to friends and family, too, to get their opinion on the issue.

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