Celebrities Who Weighed In On The Kate Middleton Conspiracy Theories

Princess Catherine's photoshopped Mother's Day picture provided Buckingham Palace with a boatload of trouble. It became a news cycle that refused to die thanks to ongoing conspiracy theories surrounding Princess Catherine's absence, late-night talk shows keeping the momentum going, and Kensington Palace's tight lip on the situation.

However, the conspiracy theories and rumors were quickly doused on March 22, 2024, when the Princess of Wales announced her cancer diagnosis in a video posted on social media. In the somber clip, Catherine explained that cancer had been detected following abdominal surgery in January and that she had begun "preventive chemotherapy" treatment. Before the princess' announcement, the internet was rife with imaginative stories of where Catherine could possibly be and her reasons for taking a break from her royal duties.

Sky News correspondent in the United States, James Matthews, has been watching people's reactions with interest. "It's extraordinary. ... In the United States, 'KateGate' is a powerful drug to the influencer generation falling over itself in 'EMERGENCY EPISODES' of nudge-wink YouTube specials on what happened, where is she, and 'I wonder what Meghan Markle's saying about it,'" Matthews remarked. Various prominent names in the entertainment industry have also weighed in with their two cents. From divorce rumors to a major cover-up, celebrities were just as part of the conspiracy theories as the general public.

Andy Cohen hinted that Catherine had a body double

Late-night talk show host Andy Cohen had some queries about Princess Catherine's whereabouts following her photoshopped Mother's Day post. He discussed the saga in more depth with British comedian John Oliver when he made an appearance on "Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen" on March 12.

"[They're] almost handling it badly in an impressive way at this point," Oliver quipped in a since-deleted clip. Cohen responded, "Isn't their motto, 'Never complain never explain?' And then they have her explaining on Twitter?" Oliver agreed it was odd. "There is a non-zero chance she died 18 months ago. I'm not saying it happened, but I'm saying it's non-zero until proven otherwise. Until we see her sitting there with a copy of the day's newspaper," he said (via Facebook).

The conspiracy theories didn't stop there. When Princess Catherine was spotted visiting a farmer's market with Prince William on March 18, 2024, many expected the hoopla about her well-being and whereabouts to die down. For some, Princess Catherine's weekend sighting didn't add up. Instead, the video raised even more questions, with many pundits saying the woman in the video is a body double and not the Princess of Wales. Andy Cohen was bold enough again to weigh in regarding the farmer's market photo when he tweeted, "That ain't Kate."

Stephen Colbert thought a divorce scandal was looming

Another late-night talk show host who was intrigued by Princess Catherine's disappearance was Stephen Colbert. Prince William can't seem to escape those affair rumors amid all the drama, and Colbert fanned the flames when he brought up the prince's alleged affair with Rose Hanbury, the Marchioness of Cholmondeley, while discussing Catherine's lack of public appearances since December. "I'm afraid I've got some troubling news about England's royal family," Colbert said on an episode of "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" on March 12, 2024. "Internet sleuths are guessing that Kate's absence may be related to her husband, and the future King of England, William, having an affair." Now, these rumors about William's alleged affair date back to 2019, and of course, Kensington Palace never addressed them, thus speculation was at an all-time high.

Colbert didn't spare the royals during his monologue, musing about whether or not the rumors were true and making fun of Hanbury's husband, David Rocksavage. "Really? Rocksavage? Sounds less like a British noble and more like a musician from 'The Flinstones,'" Colbert said amid bouts of laughter from the audience. Soon after Colbert's little humorous monologue, Rose Hanbury broke her silence by issuing a statement through her lawyers, which claimed that "the rumors are completely false" (via Business Insider). 

Donald Trump called for calm

Donald Trump's New York fraud case doesn't appear to be keeping him busy nearly enough, because the former president had time to weigh in on all the Princess Catherine drama, and for once, he did what he should have done on January 6 — he called on people to calm down.

While Trump was making an appearance on GB News on March 19, host Nigel Farage breached the topic of Princess Catherine's doctored Mother's Day photograph. Trump appeared to be sympathetic toward the future queen's conundrum. "It's pretty tough being in her position, isn't it? It shouldn't be a big deal," he said. Donald Trump thinking it's not a big deal to deceive the public shouldn't come as a surprise. The former president added, "Everybody doctors. You look at these movie actors, then you see them in real life and you say, 'Is that the same person in the picture?'" Trump added that the changes to the photograph are "very minor" and that the press is attacking Catherine during what is clearly a difficult time in her life.

It might be safe to say that most people didn't expect the former president to sympathize with Catherine. After all, he was very critical of her when she was photographed topless while vacationing in France. At the time, Trump said on X, formerly Twitter, that she only had herself to blame, even though she had been photographed while on private property.

Barack Obama's photographer was critical of Catherine's Mother's Day photograph

Altering photographs for the sake of making the image brighter or sharper is normal and acceptable, but making significant changes like adding or removing things is not. That's what former chief presidential photographer Pete Souza, who worked with both Presidents Barack Obama and Ronald Reagan, explained in an Instagram post.

Souza has photographed royals in the past — the picture of Prince George meeting Obama in his pajamas was Souza's fine work — so he took to Instagram to share how he edited this picture while addressing Princess Catherine's Photoshop blunder, explaining that, despite the small changes he made to the image's appearance, he didn't make any alterations. "I thought of this distinction after the photograph released earlier this week of Princess Catherine and her children was found to be 'altered.' Some stories referred to it as being 'photoshopped.' And that made me cringe."⁣ Souza went on to explain that Catherine's photograph would better be referred to as "fake" or "altered," not photoshopped.

All publications have strict rules when it comes to the images they use — tweaking pictures to improve the color balance, adding highlights and shadows, and adjusting the density (how dark or light it is), is perfectly acceptable, Souza explained. "What's not acceptable is to remove, add, or change elements in the photograph. That would be altering the content," he said. This, of course, is what Catherine reportedly did with the now-infamous Mother's Day picture.

King Willem-Alexander made casual jokes about the debacle

Either we're not paying enough attention to other royal households across the globe or they don't create nearly as much drama as the British royals. We're starting to think it is the latter. What members of these monarchies tend to do, however, is make a bit of fun of the sticky situations in which the British royals tend to find themselves.

One such jokester is King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands. While greeting members of the public during a royal engagement, the king's attention was caught by a young girl, who excitedly told him that she had a photograph of the king and his family at home. Probably unable to help himself, the king joked, "At least I didn't photoshop it" (via X platform, formerly Twitter).

People quickly took to the comments with their two cents. "Oh Britain, not becoming a laughingstock," one person tweeted. "I don't wanna laugh but..." another tweeted. However, others didn't think it so funny. "He should know better and as a matter of respect [for] the Princess of Wales not to literally poke fun at her. Despicable behaviour from a King much appreciated by the British Royal family," one person wrote

Tucker Carlson got duped while trying to investigate the photo saga

Tucker Carlson got roped into the Princess Catherine photoshop scandal when he didn't double-check his sources ahead of what he likely thought would be a bombshell interview. The controversial former Fox News firebrand was at the center of a very public prank played by British YouTubers Josh & Archie. Archie Manners contacted Carlson's team, claiming to be a former employee of the Prince and Princess of Wales who was tasked with editing the Mother's Day photograph, making Carlson and his team believe that he could spill all the tea.

Carlson interviewed Manners and started off the conversation by saying that he and his team had done their best to confirm his identity. "You're not a fake [Alexei] Navalny or doing a prank," Carlson started (via YouTube). Manners kept up the ruse, answering, "I was fired for negligence because the editing that I did was found ... the editing job was almost too big to do." He then dished up a fake story about how the original picture of Princess Catherine and her children was taken during the 2023 holiday season and that he had to edit out a Christmas tree in the background. Carlson appeared to be eating it up, but the YouTube duo decided to reveal Manners' true identity before the interview could be aired to avoid causing widespread confusion. They posted the prank to their YouTube channel, leaving Carlson and his team a little red-faced.

Piers Morgan was convinced the royal family was involved in a major cover-up

Amid Princess Catherine's photoshop drama, controversial journalist Piers Morgan made some bold claims about what he believed was really going on behind the palace walls — a cover-up attempting to hide the fact that Catherine had a complete breakdown. Making an appearance on TMZ's "Where is Kate Middleton?" segment, Morgan speculated that Catherine might have had a mental collapse from shouldering the burden of being the queen in waiting. "They've had now a major health crisis and she's trying to bring up three young kids in the goldfish bowl of the royal family. You put that all together, that's a lot for any young woman to deal with," Morgan said (via the Mirror).

Morgan had been stirring the pot long before he granted TMZ an interview. On his show, "Uncensored," he claimed to have some inside information. "I've been told some stuff that, if even half of it is true, it's pretty alarming what is happening. I don't know what to believe, nor do any of us — we're not there," he said.

After the Mother's Day photograph was pulled by news outlets, Morgan took to X platform, formerly Twitter, to call on the palace to release the original image. "If it's just a small bit of harmless retouching gone wrong, nobody will care. If they don't release the original pic, the conspiracy theories they were trying to kill, will get way worse," Morgan wrote.

The Daily Show's Michael Kosta made some good old fun of the photo saga

"The Daily Show" is known for making fun of just about everything, so naturally, Princess Catherine's photo scandal came up during an episode. "You know how I know that [photograph is] fake? There's three kids smiling at the same time. As a parent, I know that's impossible," Michael Kosta, joked as the audience broke out into laughter. He then added that he had no interest in Catherine's leave of absence until Kensington Palace released the heavily altered Mother's Day photograph. "The palace better have a good explanation for this," Kosta quipped.

Kosta's co-host on the episode, Desi Lydic, made it clear that she doesn't buy the story that Catherine is the one who edited the photograph. "This is the royal family. They don't do anything themselves. They don't even pick their own noses ― they have butlers for that. You think she's doing her own photoshopping? The only thing they know how to do without help is adultery," Lydic said.

Kim Kardashian hopped on the Kate-gate trend

Kim Kardashian has faced plenty of backlash over Photoshop mishaps in the past, so she could have probably provided Princess Catherine with some sound advice on how to handle her conundrum.

Kardashian seemed to poke fun at the Mother's Day photoshop scandal and the conspiracy theories that claimed the princess was missing by posting a snap of herself on Instagram dressed to the nines next to a car with the caption, "On my way to go find Kate." The comment section quickly filled up with people who caught the joke. "Omg that caption is going to stir up so much more drama," one person replied with a laughing emoji. "Is Kimmy... trolling Kate Middleton," another wrote. "Pls find her and report back that she is alive and well," another added.

Others thought the post was in bad taste, given Kardashian's history of photoshopping her own images. "On my way to find out how you got so tall," one quipped. "Nothing like a celebrity who allegedly hates rumors, spreading rumors," another said. "She's been in hospital and resting at home and this is something to joke about?!!!" another follower wrote.

Blake Lively used Catherine's Photoshop blunder to promote her new products

There are some celebrities who aren't a fan of Blake Lively, and we can probably add Princess Catherine to that list. Lively evoked plenty of criticism when she posted a since-deleted badly photoshopped picture to Instagram to promote her new mocktail drinks. It's evident that her head was added to another body, and she appeared to have two different hands. A can of soda also appeared to have been added to one hand, and there was a random lemon floating in the air above her head. While most could probably have caught the joke she was trying to make by just looking at the image, Lively made it clear in the caption. "I'm so excited to share this new photo I just took today to announce our 4 new @bettybuzz & @bettybooze products! Now you know why I've been MIA," she wrote. While some thought it was a timely joke, others were disappointed that Lively joined the chorus of voices making fun of Catherine's photoshopped Mother's Day photograph. The comment section quickly filled up with people criticizing the post with one person commenting, "Nothing like kicking another woman when she's down."

After Catherine's cancer diagnosis was announced, Lively posted an apology to her Instagram Story. "I feel like I have to acknowledge this," she began. "I made a silly post around the 'photoshop fails' frenzy, and oh man, that post has mortified me today. I'm sorry."

Whoopi Goldberg told everyone to calm the hell down

While hosting her talk show, "The View," Whoopi Goldberg scolded her co-hosts for buying into the drama and conspiracy theories surrounding Princess Catherine's whereabouts, saying that they wouldn't think it's interesting or funny if they were in Catherine's shoes. "You haven't had this done to you," Goldberg said (via Us Weekly). "When you buy into this stuff, when they start doing it to your family or they start doing it to your kids, it's not cute. It's not fun. It really irritates me."

Goldberg also believed that all the hoopla about the Mother's Day photograph was much ado about nothing. "I believe that she took the picture and gave it to [the Palace] because she wanted to take charge of the story that's being put out," Goldberg said, adding that the edits Catherine made were likely less severe than people think and had more to do with making everyone in the picture appear prettier. "This is all speculation and we're having fun. Just know that we know that we don't know," Goldberg concluded.

Jimmy Kimmel was fed up with the drama

Jimmy Kimmel sided with Whoopi Goldberg on the whole Princess Catherine drama and asked his viewers to stop feeding the frenzy during an episode of "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" on March 21, 2024. "There's a very simple explanation for Kate Middleton's whereabouts: She's been working from home," he said, referring to an earlier statement from palace representatives. He urged people to leave Catherine alone because she had enough to deal with and no one had any idea how challenging her recent surgery might have been. "She had an operation, she had abdominal surgery. ... Maybe she has a colostomy bag and doesn't want everybody to see it. I mean, really. People are demanding she get dressed up and march through London so we can have a look at her. Leave this woman alone!" Kimmel said.

Actress Jamie Lee Curtis appeared to have been keeping an eye on Kimmel's show because shortly after it aired, she took to Instagram to echo his message. "Can we please just STOP with this bullsh*t conspiracy theory? This is a human being with young children, and clearly some sort of a health issue. That is a private matter," she wrote in the caption, adding that people should busy themselves with more important things.