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Blake Lively Leads Apologies For Kate Middleton Jokes After Cancer Diagnosis Reveal

Kate Middleton news: Blake Lively, seen here in February, is among the public figures who have apologised to the Princess of Wales for engaging in online speculation and jokes ahead of her cancer diagnosis being revealed. Credit - Taylor Hill—Getty Images

Kate Middleton, Princess of Wales, announced her cancer diagnosis on Friday, ending weeks of scrutiny about her health and whereabouts and prompting some to express remorse about previously making jokes amid the media and public frenzy.

In January, Kate was hospitalized for two weeks for a planned abdominal surgery, after which post-operative tests revealed cancer had been present. She began undergoing “preventative chemotherapy" in late February, but didn’t tell the world until March 22. In the interim, she edited a U.K. Mother’s Day photograph of herself and her three children which was posted on social media and later retracted by news agencies, inciting more speculation and prompting her to apologize “for any confusion” caused.

Actor Blake Lively was among many online who poked fun at the photo-editing saga while promoting new flavors for her Betty Buzz drinks line, by sharing an over-the-top edited photo of herself featuring her product. Kim Kardashian also posted a picture on Instagram of herself standing next to a car, with the caption, "On my way to go find Kate," making reference to the "Where's Kate?" trend.

After Kate’s cancer diagnosis reveal, some issued public apologies. Lively posted on her Instagram story that she had made a “silly post around the ‘Photoshop fails’ frenzy, and oh man, that post has me mortified today. I’m sorry. Sending love and well wishes to all, always.”

U.K. political commentator Owen Jones also expressed remorse, writing on X, formerly Twitter, after Kate’s announcement: “As someone who speculated on this without considering it could be a serious health condition, I’m very ashamed to be honest, and all the very best to her.”

Some on social media have urged apologies from other celebrities and online conspiracists who engaged with rumors about Kate during her public absence.

Royal commentator and journalist Jennie Bond criticized conspiracy theorists and mainstream media for its part in the rumor mill in an interview with PBS NewsHour.

“I think we as a society should take a long look at ourselves, because the trolls on the internet have put about the most ridiculous conspiracy theories consistently, and we, the mass media, actually, have given some of those theories airtime, which I think is entirely wrong,” Bond said.

Contact us at letters@time.com.