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Internet Jokers Regret Royal Rumors

Because the British royal family lives under constant media scrutiny, it’s usual for any member of the family to stay out of the limelight for an extended period. So, when Catherine of Wales hadn’t been seen in public for months, and her Mother’s Day photo was scrutinized as possibly being doctored, conspiracy theories began to proliferate.

All these theories proved to be irresistible for online jokesters. “Perhaps Kate Middleton had been using a body double, or was in a coma, or was engaged in an illicit tryst,” people speculated online. Even American late night comedy hosts were getting in on the action.

But it turns out the truth was much less exciting, and much scarier: Kate Middleton was undergoing chemotherapy treatments for a form of cancer.

For many people, this news created a regretful reckoning. A 58-year-old woman named Dana spoke to reporters at The Washington Post about this. Dana had been joking with her friends about the Kate Middleton rumors; when she heard the truth, she was filled regret. She said, “This woman’s sick and afraid. And I just lost my mom to cancer. I am devastated at my inhumanity.”

Many of the online entertainment personalities simply ceased joking and moved on to other targets, but CBS’ late-night host took an extra step, apologizing during a segment of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. He said:

There’s a standard that I try to hold myself to. And that is I do not make light of somebody else’s tragedy. Any cancer diagnosis is harrowing for the patient and for their family. Though I’m sure they don’t need it from me, I and everyone here at The Late Show would like to extend our well wishes and heartfelt hope that her recovery is swift and thorough.

Possible Preaching Angle:

Telling jokes can be a great way to bring levity to your friends, but take care that your jokes do not veer into harassment or defamation of character.

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