The Crown star Josh O’Connor reacts to Kate Middleton’s shock cancer news and blasts ‘sad’ conspiracy theorists

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Written By Maya Cantina

The Crown star Josh O’Connor has reacted to the Princess of Wales’ shock cancer diagnosis and blasted ‘sad’ conspiracy theorists online.

The Princess of Wales, 42, announced last week in an emotional video message that she is undergoing ‘preventative’ chemotherapy after cancer was discovered following her major abdominal surgery earlier this year.

Last night, actor Josh O’Connor – who played King Charles in seasons three and four of The Crown – attended the premiere of his new film Challengers in Sydney, Australia, with co-stars Zendaya and Mike Faist.

Speaking to 9Honey, the actor, 33, from Cheltenham, said he ‘always feels so sorry’ for the Royal Family having to make public statements during difficult moments like this.

He said: ‘I know it’s part of their job, but they’re born into it. And the way everyone was talking about Kate, I found really sad.’ 

Pictured: Josh O’Connor attends the premiere of his new movie Challengers in Syndey last night

‘But I just hope she’s all right, and everyone’s thinking of her and sending her good wishes.’ 

Kate’s announcement that she has cancer followed weeks of cruel speculation on platforms including X, Instagram and TikTok, where trolls shared mocking posts and memes about her whereabouts.

The news sparked grovelling apologies from the likes of left-wing journalist Owen Jones and the actress Blake Lively, who expressed sorrow for ill-judged remarks they had made online. 

Reshma Saujani, the founder of Girls Who Code who collaborated with Meghan Markle for a campaign to change the perception of mothers on TV, said she felt ‘disgusted’ with herself for joining in with speculation about Kate. 

They were joined by scores of social media users and TikTok influencers who apologised for revelling in vile conspiracy theories and said they felt ‘guilty’ and ‘terrible’ now they knew the true reason for Kate’s absence from public life. 

But far more rushed to cover their tracks by deleting evidence of their previous posts. Others stayed silent, with critics piling on the likes of Kim Kardashian and demanding they apologise for mocking the princess. 

Earlier this month, Kardashian shared a photo of her getting into a car with the caption ‘On my way to go find Kate’. 

Last Friday, the Princess of Wales announced she has been diagnosed with cancer in an emotional video message

Last Friday, the Princess of Wales announced she has been diagnosed with cancer in an emotional video message

Pictured: Josh O'Connor with Olivia Colman starring in season four of Netflix's The Crown TV drama

Pictured: Josh O’Connor with Olivia Colman starring in season four of Netflix’s The Crown TV drama

Critical comments have now begun piling up under the post, with one follower writing ‘I think an apology is needed!’ and another telling her ‘you should probably take this down’. 

Owen Jones was one of a series of high-profile figures to speculate about Kate’s whereabouts. 

Reacting to a post on X that revealed photography agencies were pulling Kate’s Mother’s Day photo after it emerged the image had been edited, he wrote: ‘Oh wow. Ok I am now fully on board the Kate Middleton truther train.’

He then responded: ‘This is insane’ when evidence of the picture being adapted on Photoshop were shared by another X user. 

Later, reacting to new agency AFP’s ‘kill notice’ announcement, he wrote: ‘I am so obsessed with this already omg!!’ 

Kim Kardashian shared this picture on Instagram earlier this month with the caption: 'On my way to find Kate'

Kim Kardashian shared this picture on Instagram earlier this month with the caption: ‘On my way to find Kate’ 

Critical comments  have begun piling up under the post, calling on the TV personality to apologise

Critical comments  have begun piling up under the post, calling on the TV personality to apologise 

Blake Lively previously shared this obviously doctored image of herself to promote her drinks brand

Blake Lively previously shared this obviously doctored image of herself to promote her drinks brand 

The actress is among a small number of high-profile figures who have apologised for their remarks

The actress is among a small number of high-profile figures who have apologised for their remarks  

Jones then aired his doubts about a photograph of Kate and Prince William in a car together that was shared the next day, commenting: ‘You have to be kidding me. That is not a public appearance. Choo choo! All aboard the Kate Middleton truther express!’

He tweeted: ‘As someone who speculated on this without considering it could be a serious health condition, I’m very ashamed to be honest, and all the very best to her.’ 

Meanwhile, Blake Lively shared her regrets for an ill-advised jibe about photoshop before Kate’s diagnosis was revealed.

She had previously shared an obviously edited photo of herself alongside a post promoting her drinks brand. 

The 36-year-old said last week: ‘I’m sure no one cares today but I feel like I have to acknowledge this. I made a silly post around the ‘photoshop fails’ frenzy, and oh man, that post has me mortified today. I’m sorry. Sending love and well wishes to all, always.’

Today, Queen Camilla revealed during a walkabout in Shrewsbury that her daughter-in-law is ‘thrilled’ by the support she has received from the public.

Responding to a royal fan holding a sign reading ‘send our love to Kate’, the Queen replied: ‘I know that Catherine is thrilled by all the kind wishes and support.’ 

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