Here’s Why Kate Middleton and Prince William Divorce Rumors Are Spreading and Where They Came From

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Remember when the Palace initially announced Kate Middleton’s post-surgery break and the response was relatively chill? Times have changed and there is no chill to be found, none at all, not even an iota. Cut to several months and one baffling attempt at Photoshop later, conspiracies about Kate’s whereabouts now range from “she’s growing out bangs” to “she and Prince William are getting a divorce.” So…[awkward silence]…are they? All signs point to absolutely not, but let’s go over the origins of this theory.

People Zeroed in on Kate’s Missing Wedding Ring

Okay, first things first, let’s discuss the fact that Kate’s ring is missing in her Mother’s Day photo.

It’s definitely unusual for Kate to be seen without her signature sapphire, but Prince William being credited with taking the pic initially seemed to calm everyone down. However! Once Kate’s many bizarre Photoshop errors were clocked, questions were raised. Specifically: If this image isn’t trustworthy, can we really expect the caption to be?

There’s also the fact that Kate—who certainly wasn’t being subtle when it came to Photoshop—didn’t take time to add in her ring, which left some suggesting the move was intentional. As columnist Sarah Vine put it in the Daily Mail, the ring’s absence seemed to be “deliberate, a statement in its own right. If it’s not there, could that be because she doesn’t want it there? It doesn’t bear thinking about.”

Even Kate’s friends were said to be “completely baffled,” with one acquaintance telling the Daily Beast, ““It’s fair to say we were all completely baffled when the picture came out with the wedding ring missing, especially as it was Photoshopped. It just seemed guaranteed to get people asking questions about the state of the marriage.”

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And Dusted Off Old Prince William Affair Rumors

Another reason some people are convinced Kate and William are heading for divorce? Rose Hanbury:

the duke and duchess of cambridge attend gala dinner to support east anglia's children's hospices' nook appeal

Stephen Pond//Getty Images

Old rumors (emphasis on rumors) about Prince William’s alleged affair with the Marchioness of Cholmondeley have been dusted off amid Kate’s absence from the spotlight—but, to be clear, there are no specific reasons these rumors are in circulation again. They’ve simply taken on a life of their own thanks to some UK publications writing (or possibly just updating) articles about Rose at the most side-eye-inducing moment possible.

As Late Show host Stephen Colbert put it, “The Kingdom has been all a flutter about the seeming disappearance of Kate Middleton. Well now, internet sleuths are guessing that Kate’s absence may be related to her husband, and the future King of England, William, having an affair.”

Again, these are actually years-old rumors—and Stephen himself cited Cosmopolitan’s original deep dive on them. But TL;DR?

  1. Tabloids reported a “falling-out” between Kate, William, and Rose in 2019.
  2. Then In Touch claimed Wills and Rose may have had an affair.
  3. Then the Daily Mail’s royal reporter Richard Kay claimed both sides were considering “legal action.”
  4. THEN the rumors died out and everyone decided to ultimately say nothing.

Anyway, veracity aside, a former royal courtier tells the Daily Beast the rumors are “deeply annoying and unhelpful for the palace, but it’s not surprising that the affair rumors are being reheated. What else are people supposed to think when she sends out a photo not wearing her wedding ring?”

Meanwhile, Rose Hanbury’s lawyers tell Business Insider, “The rumours are completely false.”

But Here’s Why Divorce Rumors Are *Very Likely* False

Most of the “evidence” people are pointing to is pure speculation, and importantly, William and Kate have made several appearances since Kate’s “disappearance.” Not only were they seen driving in a car together (theories that Photoshop was used were disproved!), but The Sun also reports that they were spotted at a farm shop over the weekend of March 15 (and TMZ published pics).

Meanwhile, William made a reference to Kate at a public appearance on March 14, calling her “my wife.” Which seems like a weird thing to do if they are in the middle of a divorce, right?

On that note, gonna go start my rewatch of The Crown, bye.

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