Why South Asians Can’t Stop Thinking About Kate Middleton

The Princess of Wales’s months-long absence from public life resurfaced familiar feelings for those from the subcontinent.

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Kate Middleton arrives at the Badshahi Mosque during day four of their royal tour of Pakistan on October 17, 2019 in Lahore (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Ayesha Le Breton


March 25, 2024

On Friday, March 22, Kate Middleton, Princess of Wales, announced she had cancer. The revelation, which led to an outpouring of support, followed weeks of speculation around Middleton’s wellbeing and whereabouts. Her last public appearance was on Christmas and she underwent abdominal surgery in mid-January, leading to months of absence from public life. Early sympathy, however, soon gave way to a social media frenzy that had parallels with the public obsession with Middleton’s late mother-in-law, Princess Diana. Conspiracy theories ranging from Prince William and Middleton each having an affair to Prince William abusing her. 

The reaction is hardly surprising. For decades, the British monarchy has walked a fine line between demanding privacy and capitalizing on our fascination with them. Cue South Asians, whose obsession with the royals has often vacillated between Stockholm syndrome and meme fodder. #KateGate is no different.

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