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John Oliver joked that the royals could be pulling a Weekend at Bernie’s with Princess Kate Middleton after her Mother’s Day photoshop fail.

“I was out. I thought, ‘Let’s all just ignore this we’ve moved on,’ until the photoshop thing,” Oliver, 46, said during the Tuesday, March 12, episode of Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen. “That feels, like, you’re almost handling it in an oppressive way at this point.”

Oliver was referencing Kate’s Mother’s Day photo taken by her husband, Prince William, and posted via Kensington Palace’s social media accounts on Sunday, March 10. Fans quickly noticed a series of editing mistakes on the portrait, which featured the princess with the couple’s children — Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5 — and began questioning if the picture was manipulated.

Kate explained the reasoning behind the editing glitches in a statement via X the following day, crediting them to her being an “amateur photographer” experimenting “with editing.”

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“Isn’t their motto, ‘Never complain never explain?’” host Andy Cohen asked Oliver during Tuesday’s WWHL. “And then they have her explaining on Twitter?”

“There is a non-zero chance she died 18 months ago,” Oliver joked in response. “They might be Weekend at Bernie’s-ing this situation. I’m not saying it happened, but I’m saying it’s non-zero until proven otherwise. Until we see her sitting there with a copy of the day’s paper.”

Kate has been out of the spotlight since undergoing abdominal surgery in January. At the time, Kensington Palace announced that the “planned” procedure would take her away from her royal duties until Easter. “The surgery was successful, and it is expected that she will remain in hospital for ten to fourteen days, before returning home to continue her recovery,” a statement via the palace’s social media accounts read. “Based on the current medical advice, she is unlikely to return to public duties until after Easter.”

Despite the Palace’s explanation, royal family supporters have raised their eyebrows over Kate’s whereabouts in recent weeks after William, 41, briefly stepped away from his own duties to aid in her recovery.

Kate was spotted for the first time earlier this month when TMZ published a photo of her driving with her mother, Carole Middleton. She was spotted again alongside her husband in a car leaving Windsor Castle on Monday, March 11, according to a photo obtained by the Daily Mail.

At the time, the outlet reported that Kate would “not be attending” the Commonwealth Day service with William and “was heading to a private appointment instead.”

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William was once again solo at the Chapel Royal in St. James’s Palace in London on Tuesday for a private ceremony honoring King Charles III’s late cousin Thomas Kingston, who died last month at the age of 45. Charles, 75, was also not in attendance, as he continues to pull back on his royal duties following his recent cancer diagnosis.

 

Speaking exclusively with Us Weekly earlier this month, royal expert Nick Bullen detailed why he believes the royal family has made a “mistake” with how they’ve handled the Kate “conspiracy theories” — particularly in juxtaposition to Charles’ openness about his own diagnosis.

“Because the king was so open about his enlarged prostate surgery, it slightly put pressure on Kensington Palace and William and Kate to reveal what is going on there,” Bullen, Editor-in-Chief of True Royalty TV, explained. “Because they didn’t, the void is created, [and] that sort of vacuum is filled with speculation.”

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Bullen told Us that Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace “obviously weren’t coordinating” when they announced Charles and Kate’s respective health struggles.

“The very fact that we have the king’s enlarged prostate news being announced on the same day that Kate is going into hospital, and one [announcement] is very open and one is less open, I think that from the very start was a little badly handled,” he told Us, “because it felt that the households weren’t talking to each other.”

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