Fact Check

Kate Middleton in 'Vegetative State for Months,' Funeral Arrangements Being Made?

The Princess of Wales has been subject to numerous rumors regarding her health since she announced her cancer diagnosis in March 2024.

Published May 13, 2024

Kate Middleton attending a mental fitness workshop at Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre in October 2023, in Marlow, England. ( Getty Images)
Kate Middleton attending a mental fitness workshop at Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre in October 2023, in Marlow, England. (Image courtesy of Getty Images)
Claim:
As of mid-May 2024, Kate Middleton had been in a vegetative state for months and funeral arrangements were being made for her.

On May 12, 2024, an X user claimed funeral arrangements were being made for Kate Middleton because she had "been in a vegetative state for months."

Citing an anonymous royal biographer, the X user also claimed eulogies and tributes were being prepared for when the Princess of Wales dies.?

Because Snopes found no examples of any reputable news outlets reporting the same claims, which appeared to originate from the X user, and no relevant announcements from the royal family, we have rated this claim "Unfounded."

The X user wrote:?Breaking!! Anon Royal Biographer drops a bombshell claiming funeral arrangements are being made for #KateMiddleton !! 'She's been in a vegetative state for months. They're writing eulogies and tributes for when the time comes to announce.' WHAT?! #WhereIsKateMiddleton"

Is Kate Middleton in a vegetative state? (@AnnaVanhof44726 / X)

Other X users shared the post, which had amassed more than 20,000 views at the time of this writing, with one demanding Kate's family speak out, and another simply adding: "Uh oh."

Similar claims about the princess being placed in a vegetative state also appeared on YouTube, Facebook?and on X.

Searching?the?royal family's website?and?Google, we found no evidence of anyone revealing Kate was in a "vegetative state." There was also?no proof?funeral plans were being arranged for the royal. No reputable news publications substantiated the claims — which, if true, would be eminently newsworthy.

Snopes contacted the X user and Buckingham Palace for comment on the rumor and will update this article if we receive responses.

On Jan. 17, 2024, Buckingham Palace announced?the princess was?admitted to a hospital?the day before for planned abdominal surgery and that she was "unlikely to return to public duties until after Easter." However, on March 22, Kensington Palace?released a video?of Kate announcing she was being treated for cancer.

After releasing the footage, multiple British media outlets,?including?Sky News,?ITV?and?The Independent, reported a statement from Kensington Palace, which read:

The princess will return to official duties when she is cleared to do so by her medical team. She is in good spirits and is focused on making a full recovery.

Snopes also asked Buckingham Palace whether this was the latest update on Kate's health and will update this article if we receive a response.

It was not the first time rumors about Kate being in a coma had circulated on social media. On Feb. 1, 2024, U.K. newspaper The Times reported on Kensington Palace's anger over a Spanish journalist's claim the princess was in a coma, which was made the day before she was released from hospital after her abdominal surgery.

"It's total nonsense," a palace source reportedly told the newspaper at the time, adding:

No attempt was made by that journalist to fact-check anything that she said with anyone in the household. It's fundamentally, totally made-up, and I'll use polite English here: it's absolutely not the case.

Another unsubstantiated claim appeared on social media about the Princess of Wales and her cancer diagnosis in May 2024. Likewise, rumors circulated about the health of?King Charles III in?March?and?May, where it was claimed the British monarch had been given two years to live and,?respectively, his funeral plans had been updated, as he was "very unwell."

Sources

Hardinges, Nick. 'Kate Middleton Won't Return to Royal Duties for "Many Years," Friends "Lost Contact" with Her?' Snopes, 8 May 2024, //fact-check/kate-middleton-royal-family/.

---. 'King Charles III Was Diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer, Given 2 Years To Live?' Snopes, 1 Apr. 2024, //fact-check/king-charles-pancreatic-cancer/.

---. 'King Charles III's Funeral Plans Reportedly Updated, Saying He's "Very Unwell" With Cancer'. Snopes, 3 May 2024, //news/2024/05/03/king-charles-iii-funeral-royal/.

Instagram. https://www.instagram.com/p/C402JKPtLVB/?hl=en. Accessed 13 May 2024.

Kate Middleton Funeral Arrangements - Google Search. https://www.google.com/search?q=kate+middleton+funeral+arrangements&sca_esv=4771c1dce5b9df5f&biw=1280&bih=593&tbm=nws&ei=JUFCZoDKHuPaxc8PsJ61iAc&ved=0ahUKEwjA8Lm0h4uGAxVjbfEDHTBPDXEQ4dUDCA0&uact=5&oq=kate+middleton+funeral+arrangements&gs_lp=Egxnd3Mtd2l6LW5ld3MiI2thdGUgbWlkZGxldG9uIGZ1bmVyYWwgYXJyYW5nZW1lbnRzMgUQIRigATIFECEYnwUyBRAhGJ8FSNQSUABYzBFwAHgAkAEAmAG4AaAB5xGqAQQ4LjEyuAEDyAEA-AEBmAIUoAKkE8ICCxAAGIAEGJECGIoFwgIFEAAYgATCAgYQABgWGB7CAgsQABiABBiGAxiKBcICCBAAGIAEGKIEwgIHECEYoAEYCpgDAJIHBDMuMTegB9dd&sclient=gws-wiz-news&gws_rd=ssl. Accessed 13 May 2024.

Kate Middleton Vegetative State - Google Search. https://www.google.com/search?q=kate+middleton+vegetative+state&sca_esv=4771c1dce5b9df5f&source=lnms&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjA8Lm0h4uGAxVjbfEDHTBPDXEQ0pQJegQIBhAC&biw=1280&bih=593&dpr=1.5&gws_rd=ssl. Accessed 13 May 2024.

---. https://www.google.com/search?sca_esv=4771c1dce5b9df5f&q=kate+middleton+vegetative+state&tbm=nws&source=lnms&prmd=invmbtz&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjrl5GYiIuGAxXCBNsEHVlmDXcQ0pQJegQIChAB&biw=1280&bih=593&dpr=1.5&gws_rd=ssl. Accessed 13 May 2024.

Madrid, Kate Mansey and Simon Hunter. Palace Angered by 'Made-up' Reports That Princess of Wales Was in Coma. 13 May 2024. www.thetimes.co.uk, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/kate-princess-wales-health-hospital-royal-family-news-kensington-palace-5fjjpbxls.

'Princess of Wales Cancer Treatment: When Will Kate Return to the Public Eye?' Sky News, https://news.sky.com/story/princess-of-wales-cancer-treatment-when-will-kate-return-to-the-public-eye-13100363. Accessed 13 May 2024.

Royal.UK.?https://www.royal.uk/news. Accessed 13 May 2024.

'When will we see the Princess of Wales in public again?'?ITV.com, 23 Mar. 2024.?https://www.itv.com/news/2024-03-23/when-will-we-see-the-princess-of-wales-in-public-again. Accessed 13 May 2024.

William, Helen. 'When Will We See Kate in Public Again?' The Independent, 22 Mar. 2024. www.independent.co.uk, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/prince-of-wales-kensington-palace-prince-wales-princess-of-wales-b2517284.html.

Nick Hardinges is a London-based reporter who previously worked as a fact-checker at Reuters.