Is Prince William going blind? That’s what one silly tabloid article is claiming this week. Gossip Cop can debunk the rumor.
In a new piece published in the National Enquirer, an unnamed “high-level courtier” is claiming that the Duke of Cambridge is “desperately” turning to “top doctors” to cure his ailing eyesight. Prince William supposedly has just five years before he goes permanently blind. “He publicly admitted his vision is failing,” the supposed courtier told the tabloid. “But behind palace walls, I’m told he’s terrified of going blind.” Note how even the tabloid’s insider hasn’t heard this story firsthand from Prince William himself.
Not surprisingly, the unreliable publication then drags Prince Harry and Meghan Markle into the mix, suggesting that their exit from royal duties has added to the stress the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are facing. “It’s no secret William and his wife, Kate, are furious at their in-laws for selfishly quitting,” another “senior royal source” says of the Sussexes. “Although Kate’s putting on a brave face in public as always, we fear her private world is falling apart. Williams battle against blindness must be devastating and heartbreaking.”
Gossip Cop can explain what’s going on here. The tabloid was clearly inspired by an interview Prince William gave two weeks ago in which he admitted that one way he’d dealt with anxiety while speaking to crowds in the past was by not being able to see them. “My eyesight started to sort of tail off a little bit when I got older and I didn’t used to wear contacts,” he explained. “When I gave speeches, I couldn’t see anyone’s face…actually that really helped with my anxiety.”
And no matter how you feel, personally, about Prince Harry and Markle, recent events have made it clear where the Cambridges stand. A recent profile of Kate Middleton in Tatler similarly wrote that the future queen was “putting on a brave face” but was “furious’ at the Sussexes behind the scenes for their selfish behavior. Breaking royal protocol, Kensington Palace sent legal papers over to the magazine demanding the story be taken down and dismissing it as a “swathe of inaccuracies and false representations.” It’s clear where Middleton and Prince William stand when it comes to their in-laws.
It’s not like the National Enquirer has ever been known for its stellar journalism, but its stories about Prince William are always especially ludicrous. A popular refrain for the tabloid is that the Duke of Cambridge is going to usurp his father and become the next king of Britain.
It said as much last May, claiming that the “dying” queen gave Prince William her blessing to seize the throne from his father. Gossip Cop dismissed the silly story: just a few months earlier, Queen Elizabeth had given a toast to her eldest son on his 70th birthday and described him as a “dedicated and respected heir to the throne to stand comparison with any in history.”
That December, the publication came back to yet again insist that the queen was naming Prince William King, supposedly to “save the monarchy” following the scandal of Prince Andrew’s associations with Jeffrey Epstein. Supposedly, Her Majesty blamed Prince Charles for not doing enough to contain the scandal and as punishment had “fired” him as heir. While that continues to be a popular rumor, in reality the queen does not have the power to assign a new heir—the law governing succession is determined by Parliament, and so would the act of disowning the heir apparent.
Gossip Cop has determined this story is totally false.