Kate Middleton’s Health Is None of Your Business


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LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 15: Catherine, Princess of Wales arrives to attend the Shaping Us National Symposium at Design Museum on November 15, 2023 in London, England. The symposium event, hosted by the Princess of Wales and  The  Royal  Foundation  Centre  for  Early Childhood, brings together leaders and specialists to consider key foundational skills for early childhood which can result in healthy adult lives. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)

Since Kensington Palace announced Kate Middleton would temporarily pause her royal duties following a planned abdominal surgery in late January, rumors have been swirling about the Princess of Wales’s whereabouts and health. The speculation only got worse when the family released a photo of Middleton with her children on March 10, which they have since confirmed was digitally altered. Conspiracy theorists and well-intentioned folks alike grew more curious about her medical condition. While the palace rightfully faces questions and concerns about its handling of the matter, frankly, Middleton’s health is no one’s business but hers and her family’s.

Middleton shouldn’t be expected to open up about her health just because she’s a public figure.

Amid the speculation, there’s been much demand for Middleton to make a public appearance or the palace to share details of her medical condition. Sure, it’s fair for people to have questions — especially given the PR mystery surrounding the doctored photo — but Middleton shouldn’t be expected to open up about her health just because she’s a public figure.

While celebrities like Christina Applegate and Selena Gomez have shown the value of sharing their medical journeys, particularly with rare or stigmatized diseases like multiple sclerosis and lupus, respectively, no one should feel compelled to disclose anything about their health. Perhaps Middleton will share more about hers at a later date — but she shouldn’t have to.

Moreover, in its original statement, the palace stated that the princess had a “successful” surgery and was expected to remain in the hospital for up to two weeks before returning home to continue her recovery. It added that she would be “unlikely to return to public duties until after Easter,” which is on March 31. Since it’s not yet Easter, and there have been no other medical updates from Middleton and the palace, speculating beyond what they’re willing to share feels inappropriate. She’s clearly asked for privacy during this time, and while many may argue that celebrities lose this right as public figures, they certainly deserve it when it comes to their health.

The constant theories and conjecture even feel potentially harmful, considering the media’s history with the women of the royal family. Meghan Markle has said she stepped away from royal duties because of Buckingham Palace’s unwillingness to protect her, Prince Harry, and their children from negative and often racist press coverage. And Princess Diana‘s tragic death has long been linked to the paparazzi’s relentless pursuit of the royal. In this case, it seems Kensington Palace is attempting to protect Middleton by controlling the narrative, but she still faces undeniable and outsized scrutiny from the media and the public.

Let this be a reminder that we shouldn’t gossip about anyone’s health — even public figures. Let Middleton recover in peace.

Yerin Kim is the features editor at POPSUGAR, where she helps shape the vision for special features and packages across the network. A graduate of Syracuse University’s Newhouse School, she has over five years of experience in the pop culture and women’s lifestyle spaces. She’s passionate about spreading cultural sensitivity through the lenses of lifestyle, entertainment, and style.

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