Cancer Specialist Condemns UK Telegraph Column Praising Kate Middleton Making Public Appearance: ‘Absolutely Appalling’

United Kingdom National Health Service cancer specialist Dr. Clive Peedell condemned an article in the U.K. Telegraph for its coverage of Kate Middleton’s appearance at Trooping the Colour on Saturday.

“As a cancer specialist, I find this level of journalism absolutely appalling. It’s hard to know where to begin, when the lack of understanding of how cancer might affect people is this poor,” Peedell tweeted.

On Saturday, Allison Pearson penned a piece titled “Our Fair Lady: Princess of Wales’ selfless display was the tonic that Britain needed.” Pearson described Middleton, who shared her diagnosis of cancer in March after weeks of speculation about her health and safety, as an “absolute trouper” for appearing at the annual event to support her family.

“I’m more than happy to speak to Allison Pearson to explain why this is so bad,” Peedell added. Pearson quickly fired back, writing, “I’ve spent the past four years campaigning for cancer services, Clive. And pointing out the dire consequences of shutting them down during lockdown.”

The issue for the doctor wasn’t Pearson’s purported advocacy for cancer services, as Peedell made clear in a follow-up tweet. He answered, “My criticism is about the tone of your article. You may want to reflect on it. As for the pandemic, you can’t run cancer services if hospitals are overwhelmed by profoundly sick patients. It was the only way to slow infection rates before the vaccines became available.”

“Kate briefly patted her stomach, whether to smooth her dress after being seated on the journey from the Palace or a reflex to protect herself after recent surgery it was hard to tell,” Pearson wrote. “Illness has definitely taken its toll. More slender and with heavier make-up than usual, the 42-year-old Princess appeared brighter than she probably felt. How brave to face the gaze of the world when your body is in the business of betraying you.”

“God knows what it cost her to put on that impeccable, elegant display, to make the last thing she felt like doing the first thing to do, but I hope it was a good day for her because it certainly was for us,” she concluded in her piece. “When Catherine walked back onto the national stage, the clouds parted and all heaven broke loose. I hope she’s back at home now putting her feet up with a nice cup of tea. Thank you. Thank you.”

At the center of Peedell’s reaction — and the reaction of many who read the article and replied to him — is Pearson’s assertion that “when lesser mortals would have stayed at home, Catherine proved that the show goes on.” The use of “lesser mortals” in reference to people who have battled cancer, or whom are currently doing so, justifiably angered many.

As one user explained, “My late mother was one of those ‘lesser mortals’ — I can remember pushing her in a wheelchair down to the shops when she was wrecked with agony. Allison Pearson is just foul.”

Another user echoed this sentiment. “Lesser mortals how disgusting is that, I had breast cancer, mastectomy and chemo, it was hell, I had no one to look after me and I had two children scared they may lose their mother no one to look after them too, I had to try and stay strong for them I fought for them,” they wrote.

Pearson is notably no stranger to controversy. She publicly came out against mask wearing and vaccines during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic (and even insisted it was a good thing after her son and his friends caught the virus). She also heads the Global Warming Policy Foundation, one of the most prominent climate change denialist organizations in the U.K.

That she was the author of a piece that offended Peedell and countless others seemed unsurprising to many in the country.

As one person put it on Twitter, “Sadly Clive, Allison Pearson is known for being an abhorrent human being willing to say anything if it gets her attention, good or bad. But she sticks to the bad because it gets more engagements.”

“She’s an awful person. I admire your willingness to try and educate her but some people will always believe they know better. Even when you’re an oncologist and she’s a garbage rag columnist,” the commenter added.

Middleton has not publicly shared what type of cancer she has nor what treatment she has received.

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