Two months of critical communication from the British government preceded the announcement

A two-minute video posted on social media cleared the mystery. Sitting in a garden, Kate Middleton, with drawn features and a distressed look, announced on Friday March 22 that she had cancer and, without specifying its nature, had begun chemotherapy. “Big Shock”.

For weeks, rumors swirled after the much-publicized Princess of Wales underwent surgery in January. A highly discreet communication from the British Crown and an official family photo fueled wild speculation. Franceinfo looks at the British monarchy's communications faltering in recent months.

A surgical operation was announced by a confidential press release

On January 17, A brief press release Kensington Palace said “The Princess of Wales was admitted to a London clinic [la veille] For elective abdominal surgery”. The palace did not specify the reason for this intervention and relays “like” of the princess “Their personal medical information remains private”. But the duration of hospitalization, “10 to 14 days”It raises many questions about the seriousness of his condition, with the Palace warning that his recovery will take at least two-and-a-half months.

Faced with many questions, while King Charles III was hospitalized, Kensington Palace finally released information to British royal reporters that the Princess of Wales' surgery was not related to cancer.

After two weeks, it was A A more brief message The company announces in four sentences that the Princess of Wales has been released from hospital “Returned to her home at Windsor”West of London, and that “Good progress”, Without specifying when this discreet procession took place.

Fuel for cancellation questions on indigenous agenda

A month after Kate Middleton was released from hospital, her husband Prince William canceled her presence at Windsor Castle at the last minute at a ceremony in honor of her godfather, King Constantine of Greece. “personal reason”.

The episode reignites rumors and concerns about the health of Kate Middleton, who hasn't been seen in public since Christmas, even though she's usually one of the most photographed women on the planet. In the face of media frenzy, Kensington Palace is holding back on confirming that it is the princess. “Continuing to do well” In a press release.

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Later, on March 5, the British Army website announced that the princess would take part in official celebrations for King Charles III's birthday in early June. But Kensington Palace, which manages the princely couple's agenda, has not confirmed the event.

Royal sources indicate that the palace was not consulted in advance by the Ministry of Defense and the reference to Kate Middleton's presence in the evening was removed from the website. This very clever official communication leaves the field open to the tabloids, which published the first photo since the Princess of Wales's performance on March 4.

A restored photo reignites the rumours

On March 10, Mother's Day in the UK, Kensington Palace releases Photo by Kate Middleton Surrounded by his three children, all smiles. This is the first official photo released since his surgery two months ago. Was the Crown hoping to silence rumors about the Princess of Wales' health? Very quickly, suspicion of forgery led to the non-publication of the family portrait by several press agencies, such as Agence France-Presse or the Associated Press.

We had to wait until the next day for Kate Middleton to take responsibility for these changes. “Like many amateur photographers, I sometimes try my hand at editing.”, he wrote on Kensington Palace's X account (formerly Twitter), signing off with his initial C (for Catherine). She apologizes “For the confusion caused by the family photo we shared yesterday.”

But the report didn't put an end to questions about Kate Middleton's health or rumors surrounding her missing wedding ring. The original, untouched photo will not be released, while Prince William has not made any public comments.

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Additionally, this episode undermines confidence in the Palace's communications. On March 18, A A new photo taken by two royal photographers showing Kate Middleton in a car with Prince William was suspected to be a fake by internet users upon its release. Eight days after the disastrous publication of this regurgitated photo, the tabloids the sun And TMZ reveals new pictures of the Princess of Wales appearing in good health during a trip with William to the Windsor Farmers Market. Again, crazy theories like the dual existence of the princess are being discussed on social networks.

Many unanswered questions

Is the pressure to induce the Crown to official communication too much? Since March 18, the royal family has had to deal with countless misinformation about the death of Charles III. “We cannot allow rumors and suspicions to continue to circulate, especially since the recovered photo episode was particularly awkward.”Judge with franceinfo Philippe Chassaigne, professor of contemporary history at the University of Bordeaux-Montaigne and expert on the British monarchy.

In this case, Kate Middleton has announced through a video that she is suffering from cancer. Despite this newfound transparency, the news was filmed British crowned heads did not escape the highly restricted communication strategy. Kate Middleton is revealing few details about her health, like her father-in-law Charles III, not revealing the nature of her cancer or the precise schedule of her medical treatment.

A speech in line with the will of the royal family. “While completing my treatment, we now need time and respect for our space and privacy.”she repeated in a taped message.

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Will British citizens forgive the Crown's poor communication? “Monarchies are so popular among the people that sympathy may act in their favor”, believes Philip Sassine. Either way, they will have to wait a little longer before seeing the Princess of Wales in public again. A Kensington Palace spokesman said she would return to her official duties “As soon as his medical team allows him to do so.”. According to British agency PA, neither she nor her husband or their children will attend the traditional Easter Mass with the royal family.

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