One thing about the internet; it never forgets.
And with the influence of TikTok on our everyday lives, it’s to hard to not be sucked down a rabbit hole of conspiracy theories and deep fakes.
When a series of photos recently went viral on social media showing what appeared to be Prince Harry passionately kissing his sister-in-law, the Princess of Wales, it made us do a double take.
The “leaked” photos resurfaced after TikToker @floranutricion shared the grainy images on her account, claiming that they “were leaked several years ago and allegedly showed Prince Harry escorting Princess Kate out of a club to her car waiting outside”.
@floranutricion #principeharry #harry #katemiddleton #chisme #noticias #chismesito #chismecito #noticiastiktok #noticia ♬ sonido original - 🍎Flora
At first glance, even we were convinced by it. The couple seen in the photos matched the description of the royals. But surely there must have been a reasonable explanation?
The viral post caused widespread speculation, including that Harry and Kate did seem a little too close for comfort before Duchess Meghan came along.
British pop culture commentator Tasha did a deep dive into their relationship in 2021 and claimed that even when Kate and William went through their numerous break-ups, she and Harry still kept in contact.
Judging from their body language, Kate seemed more receptive to Harry’s warm, playful demeanour. It could also explain the animosity from her side once Meghan was in the picture.
@tishtoking Reply to @notobemean #meghanmarkle #katemiddleton #princeharry #foryou ♬ original sound - Tasha
But opinions and surmising aside, the pictures in question were not of Harry and Kate, but of his older brother William and Kate.
According to Your Tango blogger John Sundholm, the photos first started circulating in 2009, “a few years before Prince William and Middleton's 2011 marriage and during their courtship after they first met at the University of St Andrew's in 2001”.
Sundholm also quoted a 2016 “Daily Mail” report stating that the photos were of William and Kate kissing outside the Potting Shed Pub, not far from where Middleton grew up in Bucklebury, Berkshire.