China, Russia and Iran 'behind wild conspiracy theories about Princess of Wales' in attempt to destabilise Britain

24 March 2024, 23:43 | Updated: 24 March 2024, 23:48

China, Russia and Iran 'behind wild conspiracy theories about Princess of Wales' in attempt to destabilise Britain
China, Russia and Iran 'behind wild conspiracy theories about Princess of Wales' in attempt to destabilise Britain. Picture: Alamy

By Christian Oliver

China, Russia and Iran are behind the online slurs against the Princess of Wales to try and destabilise Britain, sources have claimed.

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Hostile states spread wild conspiracy theories and online rumours about Princess Kate's whereabouts following her absence from the public eye since Christmas, senior government figures believe.

Kate squashed any rumours or speculation Friday night as he announced her cancer diagnosis and the "huge shock" following her abdominal surgery in January.

Both Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Labour leader Keir Starmer led condemnation of "lurid speculation" about Kate and the "intense scrutiny" she was subject to on social media.

Whitehall sources now believe hostile state actors have been involved in the social media attacks on Kate to try and destabilise the country, according to The Telegraph.

Princess of Wales reveals she is in early stages of treatment for cancer

Read More: Kate recorded video after seeing 'warmth and affection' displayed by public following King's cancer announcement

Read More: King Charles hopes to lead Royals at 'Easter Lite' service in 'show of unity' amid his and Kate's cancer treatment

“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 paper.

The claims comes as the UK government prepares to announce new sanctions against China following a series of cyber attacks against voters and senior politicians.

The Defending Democracy Taskforce was set up last year with the aim of protecting the UK against foreign interference.

Led by Tom Tugendhat, the security minister, it will investigate how the UK can tackle disinformation and the spread of conspiracy theories on social media.

“Countering this is right at the heart of the work of the taskforce,” a Government source told The Telegraph.

It comes after it was revealed the Princess of Wales decided to record her video publically announcing her cancer diagnosis after seeing the "warmth and affection" displayed by the public towards King Charles after announcing his illness.

Kate spoke publicly on Friday about the "huge shock" of finding out she had cancer following abdominal surgery in January earlier this year. The princess explained she was now undergoing preventive chemotherapy.

Buckingham Palace revealed last month that the King was also having treatment for "a form of cancer". Neither Royals have released their specific form of the disease.

Ahead of the video's release Friday night, Kate met with the King for lunch shortly after filming the announcement. He told the princess that he expected the public would offer heartwarming support, The Times reported.

A Palace insider has told the paper that her decision to record the announcement and release details of her treatment was after seeing the reaction to the King's own announcement.

“A factor in their decision to go public would have been the great warmth and affection received by the King as a result of his announcement. It meant a huge amount to him," the paper reported the source as saying.

“In some ways it provided a template," they added.

The Princess of Wales and the King leave St Mary Magdalene Church, Sandringham, December 25, 2023
The Princess of Wales and the King leave St Mary Magdalene Church, Sandringham, December 25, 2023. Picture: Alamy
Kate, William and their children
Kate, William and their children. Picture: Getty

The source said the King wanted to "act quickly" over his announcement to share his diagnosis with the wider world.

Kate, meanwhile, needed to make sure her three children - George, Charlotte, and Louis - knew what was happening and that the message was "sensitively handled at the right time before it could be shared".

It is understood the princess made the decision to record the video some weeks ago, and wrote every word of the speech she gave revealing her diagnosis.

She said her family have experienced an "incredibly tough couple of months" in a video released to the public.

The Princess of Wales and her husband William have since thanked the public for the outpouring of support after the announcement.

A friend of the princess told the Times that Kate wrote the personal announcement herself.

"It allowed her to speak directly to the public who, overwhelmingly, have always been with her and her family and who don’t buy into the noise and gossip," they said.

The announcement, coming after weeks of speculation about her health, was made at what was deemed to be the right time for her and William's three children, who have broken up for the Easter school holidays.

Revealing the lunch between Kate and Charles on Thursday, a source told the Sun: "It is highly unusual for just the two of them to sit down together like this.

"The King had already been made aware that the woman he calls ‘my beloved daughter-in-law’ had cancer.

"They would have had lots to discuss and share because just weeks earlier the King had begun his course of treatment and dealt with announcing his diagnosis.

"The King left his lunch feeling very emotional. They are very close and he thinks of Catherine as his daughter.

"There is no doubt there is a lot they can share and can use each other for support during their own deeply personal cancer battles."

Charles and Kate have become very close
Charles and Kate have become very close. Picture: Alamy

It came after it was announced earlier this year he had also been diagnosed with cancer following surgery for an enlarged prostate.

In a statement released after Kate's video the King said: "His Majesty is 'so proud of Catherine for her courage in speaking as she did'.

"Following their time in hospital together, HM has 'remained in the closest contact with his beloved daughter-in-law throughout the past weeks.'

"Both Their Majesties 'will continue to offer their love and support to the whole family through this difficult time'."

Kate was admitted to hospital for abdominal surgery on January 16 and at the time her condition was thought to be non-cancerous but tests after the successful operation found cancer, the type of which has not been disclosed.

The future Queen began a course of "preventative chemotherapy" late in February but is said to have a positive mindset for her recovery and is in good spirits, describing herself as "well and getting stronger every day".

Kate Middleton
Kate Middleton. Picture: Alamy

Kate has received an outpouring of support and well-wishes following her announcement.

Rishi Sunak praised her "tremendous bravery", saying she had been "unfairly treated" and "subjected to intense scrutiny" in recent weeks.

In a statement, he said: "My thoughts are with the Princess of Wales, Prince of Wales, the Royal Family and in particular her three children at this difficult time. The Princess of Wales has the love and support of the whole country as she continues her recovery.

"She has shown tremendous bravery with her statement today. In recent weeks she has been subjected to intense scrutiny and has been unfairly treated by certain sections of the media around the world and on social media.

"When it comes to matters of health, like everyone else, she must be afforded the privacy to focus on her treatment and be with her loving family.

"I know I speak for the whole country in wishing her a full and speedy recovery and look forward to seeing her back in action when she's ready."

Andrew Marr reacts as Kate, Princess of Wales announces she is receiving treatment for cancer

Sir Keir Starmer said Kate has "the love and support of not just her whole family, but the whole nation too" during this "distressing time".

He said: "On behalf of the whole Labour Party, I want to send my very best wishes to Her Royal Highness at this distressing time.

"Our thoughts are with the whole Royal Family as they come to terms with the news and as they support The Princess of Wales through her treatment and recovery.

"Any cancer diagnosis is shocking. But I can only imagine the added stress of receiving that news amid the lurid speculation we've seen in recent weeks.

"Their Royal Highnesses are entitled to privacy and, like any parents, will have waited to choose the right moment to tell their children.

"I am heartened by The Princess of Wales' optimistic tone and her message of faith and hope. Her Royal Highness will be in our thoughts and prayers as she progresses through her treatment with the love and support of not just her whole family, but the whole nation too."

Ali Miraj says it's time to 'show a bit of kindness' towards Princess Kate

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan posted on X: "On behalf of Londoners, I wish the Princess of Wales a swift recovery as she undergoes treatment. My thoughts are with her & her family.

"Cancer has an impact on so many of us - & her bravery in sharing her diagnosis will help raise awareness & encourage others to get checked."

Former PM Liz Truss said the "entire country" will be wishing the Princess of Wales a speedy recovery.

She said: "My thoughts are with the Princess of Wales and her family at this very difficult time.

"The entire country will be wishing her a full and speedy recovery."

Shelagh condemns those who have 'taken it to far' in the lead up to the Princess of Wales announcing her cancer treatment.

Harry and Meghan also shared a message of support for Princess Kate on Friday.

They said: "We wish health and healing for Kate and the family, and hope they are able to do so privately and in peace."

James Middleton, 36, the younger brother of Princess Kate shared a heartwarming tribute to his sister following her announcement.

Sharing a sweet childhood snap of the pair on a hiking trip, he wrote: “Over the years, we have climbed many mountains together. As a family, we will climb this one with you too.”

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