Banksy, Wonka, and BBLs: What the F*ck Is Going on With the Kate Middleton Conspiracy Theories?

What do Banksy, the Wonka experience, and BBLs all have in common? Guaranteed social media engagement, for one.

Kate in a hat and navy coat at a public event, smiling
Image via Getty/Mark Cuthbert/UK Press
Kate in a hat and navy coat at a public event, smiling

Even if your knowledge of the Royal Family is limited, at best, you've no doubt been exposed to the recent litany of conspiracy theories surrounding Kate Middleton, Princess of Wales.

In light of this week's first post-surgery public sighting, we've taken it upon ourselves to get you caught up on the Katespiracy theories, all while pondering acute existential concerns that permeate everything we do.

Wait. Did the Princess of Wales actually disappear?

From the public eye? Yes. In December 2023, Middleton joined husband Prince William for the usual Christmas Day proceedings. As pictured up top, she rocked an all-blue look that made headlines with the usual quickness we've come to expect from Royal Family coverage. She wasn't seen again, however, until March 2024, at which point she was photographed riding in a car with her mother, Carole Middleton.

What’s the official word?

In a statement from Kensington Palace dated Jan. 17 of this year, it was announced that her Royal Highness, the Princess of Wales, had been “admitted to hospital yesterday for planned abdominal surgery.” Per the same statement, the surgery in question “was successful” and would be followed by a hospitalization period of up to 14 days. Recovery would continue at home, Kensington Palace added, with the Princess not set to make a return to her duties “until after Easter.”

Later that month, a separate statement revealed that Middleton had returned home and was "making good progress" in her recovery from surgery.

A statement from Kensington Palace

— The Prince and Princess of Wales (@KensingtonRoyal) January 29, 2024

How does King Charles’ health factor into this?

On Jan. 29, Buckingham Palace said that King Charles had been released from the hospital “following planned medical treatment,” thus requiring him to reschedule previously planned public appearances. The following month, King Charles was revealed to have been diagnosed with cancer.

“As all those who have been affected by cancer will know, such kind thoughts are the greatest comfort and encouragement,” Charles later said.

Amid coverage of Charles' health concerns, some were quick to compare the Royal Family's messaging to how it handled Middleton's own surgery and recovery.

A thank you message from His Majesty The King.

Link to full message on the website:

— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) February 10, 2024

Does the general public care?

You better believe it, and expectedly so. Mere speculation swiftly gave way to full-fledged conspiracy theories ranging from those put forth with a certain level of seriousness to those almost completely detached from reality.

View this video on YouTube

What, exactly, is being theorized here?

On the more serious side, a frequent source of debate here has been the ongoing speculation from some regarding an alleged cover-up of some sort. At the core of such speculation are concerns that the original cause of the surgery was perhaps more serious than the public was led to believe, though there has been no confirmation of this. Similarly, both the Princess of Wales and King Charles' recent health incidents have been linked in such theories by those arguing that perhaps it's the latter whose issues were more serious than publicly claimed. Again, no confirmations on that front.

Meanwhile, on the decidedly not serious side, some of the more playfully conspiracy-minded types on social media have intentionally jumped the proverbial shark by injecting absurdist humor into the mix.

Forget mere unfounded divorce rumors, why not tap into the BBLiverse? Or the recently viral and soon-to-be-a-movie fake Wonka experience in Glasgow? Better yet, why not combine the two by ludicrously proposing that the individual in question could have gotten a BBL from The Unknown, i.e. the makeshift star of the bizarre Wonka shitshow? Alternately, could Kate Middleton be The Unknown? (She's not).

Enjoy more inspired batshittery below, including parallel tongue-in-cheek theorizing about Banksy and The Masked Singer. May God have mercy on us all.

The Kate Middleton reveal on Masked Singer is going to make all of us look silly.

— Catherine Tinker (@catherinetinker) February 28, 2024

not a single banksy since kate middleton disappeared. coincidence?

— Lucy (@LMAsaysno) February 27, 2024

Kate Middleton watching Prince William attend royal events alone because she's secretly filing for divorce while recovering from abdominal surgery after getting a BBL and growing out her bangs

— Colleen Claes (@colleenclaes) February 29, 2024

Kate Middleton flirting with The Unknown on their lunch break at the Glasgow Wonka experience

— Massimo (@massmandato) February 29, 2024

Kate Middleton hasn’t been seen for about 2 months now

— stoned cold fox (@roastmalone_) February 27, 2024

“grandpa, what was it like on twitter when kate middleton, willy wonka and rebecca ferguson were all trending at the same time?”

— Zach Goins (@zach_goins) February 29, 2024

Y’all said Kate Middleton got a BBL and 2 days later her mother is driving around with a Madame Tussaud’s wax figure in the passenger seat

— Elsbeth Tashioni (@THISisLULE) March 4, 2024

“yeh so basically Kate Middleton hasn’t been seen in months like she’s actually missing. word on the conspiracy street is that she’s doing 1 of many things - gone for a BBL, growing out her bangs, lost at the Wonka experience. also she’s possibly banksy x”

— tiger b (@tiger_brooke) February 28, 2024

kate middleton seen leaving the willy wonka experience after getting a BBL from THE UNKOWN

— seninha (@renaissena) March 4, 2024

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