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Blake Lively has an apology for Kate Middleton.

The Princess of Wales vanished for months. After an infamous photoshop fail, numerous royal conspiracy theories and jokes circulated.

In the wake of Kate Middleton’s cancer news, some are rethinking their previous jokes.

Blake Lively, for one, would like to offer an apology.

Blake Lively in February of 2024.
Blake Lively attends the Michael Kors Collection Fall/Winter 2024 Runway Show on February 13, 2024. (Photo Credit: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Michael Kors)

After Kate Middleton’s phony family photo, everyone was cracking jokes

In a now-deleted Instagram post, Blake Lively announced updates for her alcohol brand, Betty Buzz and Betty Booze.

Her post included some deliberately obvious photoshop featuring the caption: “Now you know why I’ve been MIA.” Blake posted this on March 15, well over two months since Kate’s last official appearance.

The official Betty Buzz account added a comment: “Haters will say it’s photoshop.” It was a cute, topical promo.

Kate Middleton in December of 2023.
Catherine, Princess of Wales attends The “Together At Christmas” Carol Service at Westminster Abbey on December 08, 2023. (Photo Credit: Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

The ad did not actually mention Kate Middleton by name

However, it was an obvious nod to Kate’s months of seclusion following a January abdominal surgery. And, of course, to the botched (British) Mother’s Day post that deepened suspicions.

(After all, if someone is alive and well, they can just pose for a family photo without fabricating one)

Rumors ranged from claims that Kate was in a coma to suggesting marital problems with Prince William following years of reports on his alleged affairs. A normal celebrity can simply go into seclusion; a princess is going to have a harder time doing so.

Blake Lively in September of 2023.
Blake Lively attends the Michael Kors Collection Spring/Summer 2024 Runway Show at Domino Park on September 11, 2023. (Photo Credit: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Michael Kors)

In light of the cancer news, Blake Lively offered an apology

On Friday, March 22, just shortly after Kate’s public revelation that she has cancer and has been undergoing treatments, Blake Lively took to her Instagram Story. Instagram automatically deletes Story posts, but Deadline and other outlets preserved the message.

“I’m sure no one cares today but I feel I have to acknowledge this,” Blake Lively began.

“I made a silly post around the ‘photoshop fails’ frenzy,” she acknowledged. “And, oh, man, that post has me mortified today. I’m sorry.”

A screenshot of Blake Lively's March 2024 Instagram Story.
In her Instagram Story, Blake Lively offered an apology for a photoshop joke that she had made. (Image Credit: Instagram)

SHOULD Blake Lively apologize to Kate Middleton?

Celebrity apologies are so ubiquitous that the “Notes app,” ostensibly for jotting down a reminder or a grocery list, has become synonymous with them.

Sometimes these apologies come too late, or are incomplete or otherwise flawed. Other times, they are gracious and appropriate.

Not everyone is convinced that Blake Lively owes Kate an apology over this, however.

Kate Middleton in late December of 2023.
Catherine, Princess of Wales attends the Christmas Morning Service at Sandringham Church on December 25, 2023. (Photo Credit: Stephen Pond/Getty Images)

Obviously, Blake was not making a joke about cancer, directly or indirectly. Not only did she not know that Kate has cancer, but the butt of the joke was a clumsy PR blunder on the part of the royal firm.

And, to be clear, this was a PR blunder. The royal firm decided to withhold Kate’s cancer diagnosis for months. The baffling PR strategy simply caused one of the world’s most famous women to disappear for months with a dubious explanation, and also included a blatantly phony photoshop image.

Blake Lively is welcome to apologize for anything that she likes. But making fun of one of the planet’s wealthiest families making an amateurish PR blunder isn’t really wrongdoing.