Hearing Kate Middleton’s shocking cancer announcement on Friday, my heart went out to her.

Then I thought of Stephen Colbert, who comported himself in a gruesome way — breathing viral life into an old rumor about Prince William having an affair with a family friend.

“The kingdom has been all a flutter by the seeming disappearance of Kate Middleton. Well now, internet sleuths are guessing that Kate’s absence may be related to her husband and the future King of England, William, having an affair,” he said, mockingly, during a “The Late Show” monologue on March 12.

“So, I think we all know who the alleged other woman is. Say it with me –– the Marchioness of Cholmondeley –– what a beautiful name!”

I expect the host felt like an inch of a human after learning the truth.

But then again, shame is in such short supply these days.

Colbert, who lost his funny bone while serving in the Trump resistance army and who has shilled for covid vaccines, will not be able to inoculate himself from much deserved scorn.

Kate Middlton was the picture of grace and restraint while announcing that she was undergoing treatment for cancer. BBC Studios
Stephen Colbert mocked Kate Middleon’s absence before her announcement, making rumors of a Prince William affair the subject of a monologue.

But he was hardly the only public figure having fun with the Princess of Wales’ “disappearance,” despite Kensington Palace announcing in January that she’d had abdominal surgery and would be “unlikely to return to public duties until after Easter.”

Kim Kardashian jumped into the fray as online conspiracy theories abounded, posting on Instagram that she was “On my way to go find Kate.”

Andy Cohen first said that a video last weekend showing Middleton shopping was fake — “That ain’t Kate” — then doubled down by giving more credence to the affair rumors: calling William “his father’s” son, in reference to King Charles’ affair with Queen Camilla while married to Diana.

Bravo honcho Andy Cohen took cheap shots at the Prince and Princess of Wales, suggesting she was using a body double and stoking affair rumors. WireImage

Yesterday, Markle mouthpiece Omid Scobie ghoulishly tweeted (and later deleted) an image of an alarm clock set for 6 p.m. — the UK time for Middleton’s announcement.

The gross cynicism.

The royals are international figures and certainly not off-limits when it comes to mockery. It’s an ugly reality that comes with the privilege of the crown. And yes, the palace fumbled initial messaging — or lack thereof — around Middleton’s health crisis in a comically naive way.

A chuckle over Middleton’s notorious Photoshop editing fail of her Mother’s Day picture was not beyond the pale.

The Princess of Wales said it’s taken time to explain everything to her kids, Charlotte, George and Louis (above, walking to Christmas services with Prince William and young cousin Mia Tindall). Samir Hussein/WireImage

But it was also clear that, behind the scenes, something was truly wrong — and yet so many continued to relentlessly dig in, shoveling wild conspiracies for clicks and laughs.

Still, the Princess of Wales sat on that bench in her video and exhibited superhuman grace and restraint.

“I wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you, personally, for all the wonderful messages of support and for your understanding whilst I have been recovering from surgery,” she said.

The royal family has long held a public-relations motto of “Never complain, never explain.” She may have been forced by the cruel Kate-anon army to explain, yet she held tight to the “never complain” credo.

Middleton admitted to Photoshopping this Mother’s Day (UK) portrait, adding to public curiosity and stoking speculation. Prince of Wales/Kensington Palac / MEGA

In the emotional video, which brought tears to my eyes, she reminded us that her priority was not the lunatic internet sleuths, but her children.

“But, most importantly, it has taken us time to explain everything to George, Charlotte and Louis in a way that is appropriate for them, and to reassure them that I am going to be OK.”

Duty to country, yes but that came second to duty to home.

Kate Middleton finally emerged on a walk with Prince William last weekend — yet many, including Andy Cohen, said it was not really her. The Sun

Look no further than our disgusting confessional culture, where celebrities — some in Middleton’s own family — are compensated for oversharing. Social media, filled with cringeworthy revelations, has commodified disease, disorders and drama.

Maybe that’s why no one could believe the princess wanted to stay quiet. Discretion, once valued, has become a foreign concept.

We have much to learn about strength from Middleton, whom I hope has a swift recovery — and a bright future on the British throne.

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