Iran, Russia, China 'behind wild conspiracies' on Kate Middleton

Iran, Russia, China 'behind wild conspiracies' on Kate Middleton
Iran and other countries have been accused of spreading conspiracies about Kate Middleton, after the princess revealed she had cancer.
2 min read
26 March, 2024
Kate Middleton's private life has been subject to rumours and misinformation [Getty]

Iran, China, and Russia have been accused of being behind "wild conspiracies" about Kate Middleton, the Princess of Wales, in a bid to "destabilise" the UK.

Questions about the health of the princess have spread online since she disappeared from public view in December with Kate revealing on Friday evening that she is being treated for cancer.

This silence and a photoshopped image of Kate released by the palace before this revelation led to a slurry of online rumours about her fate with the UK government saying that hostile states have taken advantage of the confusion.

"Part of the modus operandi of hostile states is to destabilise things – whether that is undermining the legitimacy of our elections or other institutions," a senior government source told The Telegraph.

The government has been alarmed by disinformation being spread online about Kate Middleton, even after she told the nation she has cancer in a video address, and particularly about "hostile powers" being involved in the campaign.

Social media analysts have noted bots are likely used on salacious stories on the royals and given the sensitive position they hold in British public life, believe hostile parties, such as Russia, could be behind some of the disinformation.

Fears about foreign interference via social media are particularly high at present in the UK as it is an election year, with local elections taking place in May and a general election at some point in 2024.

UK Foreign Minister David Cameron has accused Iran and its proxies of contributing to an "extremely high" level of "danger and insecurity", The Telegraph reported.

British MPs have also raised the issue of alleged Iranian interference in elections and using social media to spread propaganda.

The possibility of Chinese interference in the general election has been raised by Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden, while the UK is preparing new sanctions on Chinese figures accused of meddling in UK politics, including with the leak of voters' details.

"The Government has regular and ongoing dialogue with social media companies to discuss a range of issues including disinformation," a government spokesperson told the British daily.

"We are also working across government to ensure we are ready to respond to threats, including through our Defending Democracy Taskforce.

"When fully implemented, under the Online Safety Act, platforms will be required to swiftly remove illegal misinformation and disinformation as soon as they become aware of it."

Iran has also accused the UK of interference in its domestic affairs and issued tit-for-tat sanctions on British officials.