Did UK hospital staff try to snoop on Princess Kate’s medical records? Privacy watchdog investigating

LONDON (AP) — A British privacy watchdog said Wednesday it is looking into a report that staff at a private London hospital tried to snoop on the Princess of Wales ’ medical records while she was a patient for abdominal surgery.

The Information Commissioner’s Office said: “We can confirm that we have received a breach report and are assessing the information provided.”

The Daily Mirror newspaper reported that at least one staff member at the London Clinic tried to look at Princess Kate’s notes during her stay there in January.

Video above: The Prince and Princess of Wales take their children to school in 2022

Kate had surgery at the clinic in central London on Jan. 16 and was discharged almost two weeks later.

Kensington Palace, the office of Kate and Prince William, said the report was “a matter for the London Clinic.”

Another royal family photo flagged by news agency for being ‘digitally enhanced’

Al Russell, the hospital's chief executive, said Wednesday that “all appropriate investigatory, regulatory and disciplinary steps will be taken.”

“There is no place at our hospital for those who intentionally breach the trust of any of our patients or colleagues," he said in a statement.

Health Minister Maria Caulfield said police had been asked to look into the matter.

“Whether they take action is a matter for them,” she told LBC radio.

“But the Information Commissioner can also take prosecutions,” she added. “So there are particularly hefty implications if you are looking at notes for medical records that you should not be looking at.”

Kensington Palace has given little detail about Kate’s condition beyond saying that it wasn’t cancer-related, the surgery was successful and recuperation will keep the princess away from public duties until April.

FILE - Britain's Prince William, left, and Britain's Kate, Princess of Wales, attend a ceremonial welcome for the President and the First Lady of the Republic of Korea at Horse Guards Parade in London, England on Nov. 21, 2023. (Chris Jackson/Pool Photo via AP, File)

Even though that time has not yet elapsed, the princess’ absence from public view has fueled a tide of speculation, rumor and conspiracy theories.

On March 10, William and Kate’s Kensington Palace office released a photo of Kate and her children George, Charlotte and Louis to coincide with Mother’s Day in the U.K. The move backfired when The Associated Press and other news agencies retracted the picture from publication because it appeared to have been manipulated, fueling even more conjecture.

Kate issued a statement acknowledging she liked to “experiment with editing” and apologizing for “any confusion” the photo had caused.

The gossip has not been quieted by footage published by The Sun and TMZ that appears to show Kate and husband Prince William visiting a farm shop near their Windsor home on the weekend. The video sparked a new flurry of rumor-mongering, with some armchair sleuths refusing to believe the video showed Kate at all.

Nelson Silva, a local resident who said he shot the footage, told The Sun that conspiracy theorists are “delusional."

“I’m not so much shocked that these comments have continued, I’m just confused how exactly they can continue," he was quoted as saying. “This is a video clearly showing her and William. I saw them with my own eyes."

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