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Kate Middleton: BBC Responds to Complaints About ‘Excessive and Insensitive’ Coverage of Cancer Diagnosis


The BBC has responded to complaints about its extensive coverage of the cancer diagnosis of Kate Middleton, the Princess of Wales.

Last month, Middleton confirmed she has undergone treatment for cancer. In an emotional video, Middleton said that while her condition was originally thought to be non-cancerous, cancer was found in her system following abdominal surgery and she is now in the “early stages” of preventative chemotherapy.

The BBC said that it “received complaints from people who feel our coverage of the Princess of Wales’ cancer diagnosis was excessive and insensitive.”

In response to the complaints, the BBC said in a statement on Friday: “We broadcast in full the highly personal video message from the Princess of Wales, in which she spoke directly to the public about her cancer diagnosis.  Our coverage reflected the significance of this story and the outpouring of support for the princess from around the globe. We explained to our audience what was known about Catherine’s condition, but did not speculate on details that had not been made public.

Our reporting made clear that this is a difficult time for the princess and the rest of the Royal Family; we have been mindful at all times to approach our coverage with sensitivity.  As part of our analysis, we examined the intense speculation there had been in the preceding weeks about the princess’s health.  We also reported on Catherine’s request for privacy and detailed the statement from Kensington Palace regarding the princess having the right to privacy in relation to her medical issues. 

We always give careful consideration to the editorial decisions we make.  While we have a responsibility to report on stories that are of interest to our audience, we appreciate that not everyone would have approved of the approach we took.”