Kate, Princess of Wales: Why the royal family has become the focus of conspiracy theories

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Prince William visits the British Red Cross in London on February 20, 2024.

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Prince William's decision to walk out of an important family gathering on Tuesday, and his lack of explanation, has plunged the British royal family into a tidal wave of rumours, speculation and wild conspiracy theories.

For a family never far from the headlines in the modern media age, some of that is par for the course. But the talk reached a frenzy this week — especially in the unchecked realms of social media.

While a memorial service for William's late godfather, former King Constantine II of Greece, was underway at St George's Chapel in Windsor on Tuesday, royals said the Prince of Wales would miss it due to a personal matter. William, a source told CNN, called the Greek royal family to inform them of his last-minute change.

Avoidance of events generally does not trigger the doctrine of occurrence. Going back two years, there wouldn't have been the same level of online speculation as seen in recent days.

But the endless stream of recent royal heartaches and health scares has left many unsettled. The deaths of Queen Elizabeth II, and Catherine, Princess of Wales, the illness of both King Charles III and Catherine soon after, and the fact that the public did not see Kate until after Christmas Day also contributed to the speculation.

A series of devastating blows were added Sudden Death of Thomas KingstonHusband of the King's cousin, Lady Gabriella, aged 45. William's absence is understood to be unrelated to the news of Kingston's death, which was publicly revealed on the same day in honor of Constantine.

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Alexandra Dees de Rivera/Buckingham Palace/Reuters

An undated handout photo provided by Buckingham Palace shows Lady Gabriella Kingston and her husband Thomas, who died suddenly on Sunday.

Royal evidence cannot properly be drawn on William's having been prevented from going into service. Because of that ambiguity, people have linked his absence to his wife, Kate, who is still at home recovering from surgery. The prince's recent return to royal duties was seen by many as a signal that the prognosis for the Welsh family is rapidly improving.

Others suggested it should have been easier for the heir to the throne Living about five minutes' drive away in Adelaide Cottage, she joined her extended family at Windsor Castle, where her three children were at school when the event took place.

If the role of the monarchy is existence, continuity and unity, it was a stark sight to see the royal family enter the church without many prominent senior faces.

It's worth emphasizing that Kate is „continuing to do well” in her recovery, a royal source told CNN. Although the palace has been clear from the start that the Princess of Wales' ill health will keep her out of public engagements for several months after her stomach surgery, people are still trying to fill in the gaps.

Kensington Palace took a rare step in the face of speculation about Kate's whereabouts and health, with a spokesman saying on Thursday that the palace „clarified in January the timeline for the Princess' recovery and we will only provide significant updates. That guidance stands.”

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(From right to left) Queen Camilla, Princess Anne, her husband, Adm. Timothy Lawrence and Richard, Duke of Gloucester, at a service for the late King Constantine II of Greece at St George's Chapel, Windsor, on Tuesday.

Although William was not at Tuesday's memorial service, his diary was not removed from public events, and he was back in action on Thursday.

Palace strives to provide as much information as possible without compromising medical privacy. This is the challenge of an archaic monarchy operating in a changed landscape, where people expect instant information. The public is not always apathetic, rather people care and want to know why someone they used to see has disappeared from public view.

As a society, we've become accustomed to having information at our fingertips, and there's an innate desire to fill the void. An example of plugging holes in knowledge gaps is best represented in Netflix's „The Crown.” It was initially based on the historical record but The seasons moved closer to the present dayWriters and producers were forced to dramatize moments for storytelling purposes.

The truth is, no one — beyond those immediately involved — knows why William pulled out of this family event, or how Kate feels on a day-to-day basis. Recent developments emphasize that even though the people of Wales are public servants, they are vulnerable to the same struggles we all face.

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