Need help now? Call 216.321.7774

The British Royal Family Learns That if You Don’t Fill an Information Vacuum, Someone Else Will

By David Bauder, writing for the Associated Press…

A media frenzy was born on Feb. 27, when the hashtag #WhereIsKate exploded online with speculation about the whereabouts of Britain’s Princess of Wales. It opened a rabbit hole of amateur detective work, memes, bizarre theories and jokes — mixed with genuine concern about Kate’s health — into which thousands of people descended until her announcement last week that she was recovering from cancer.

The episode offered the royal family — and everyone else — a lesson in the modern world of online media: If your silence leaves an information vacuum, others will rush to fill it. And the results may be messy.

“The royal family’s mantra is never complain, never explain,” said Ellie Hall, a journalist who specializes in covering Britain’s king and his court. “That really doesn’t work in a digital age. It doesn’t take much to get the crazy things going.”

It was, in part, entertainment for some people with too much time on their hands. Except it involved real people with real lives — and, it turns out, real medical challenges.


On Jan. 17, Kensington Palace announced that Kate was in the hospital recovering from a planned abdominal surgery and would not be doing any public events until after Easter. There was relatively little online chatter, or official updates, until it was announced on Feb. 27 that her husband, Prince William, would not be attending his godfather’s memorial service due to a “personal matter.”

For the rest, click here.

Photo Credit:  DALL-E

Contact Us

Your name Organization name Describe your situation Your phone number Your email address
Leave this as it is