• World
  • royals

Trump Speaks Out On Kate Middleton Amid ‘Rough Period’ For Royals

4 minute read

Former President and 2024 election candidate Donald Trump gave his take on the British royal family’s recent “rough period,” including the controversy over a photo of Kate Middleton pulled from press circulation because of manipulation.

Trump answered questions about the royal family during a wide-ranging interview with Nigel Farage, a news presenter and former U.K. politician, published by GB News on March 19. After discussing the cancer diagnosis of King Charles III, Farage turned the conversation to Kate.

The Princess of Wales was hospitalized for two weeks in January for a “planned abdominal surgery,” at which time Kensington Palace said she would be out of the public eye until after Easter, which is on March 31. However, her absence has stirred conspiracy theories, which were not quelled by the release of a photo on social media of Kate and her three children on Mother’s Day that press agencies retracted after discovering it was manipulated and did not comply with their editorial standards. Kate took credit and apologized for the edited photo. 

Trump said in response: “That shouldn’t be a big deal because everybody doctors [photos]. You look at these movie actors, and you see a movie actor, and you meet them and you say, ‘Is that the same person in the picture?’ I looked at that actually and it was a very minor doctoring, I don’t understand why there could be such a howl over that.” 

“It’s a rough period,” Trump concluded, with Farage noting: “The whole family is having a rough period.” 

Trump and Farage also discussed other royals, including the late Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III, and Prince Harry. 

“I’m a big fan of the concept of the royal family and the royal family,” Trump said. “I’m a little prejudiced because I thought the Queen was incredible. Think of it, all those years, 75 years, she’s almost never made a mistake.” (Queen Elizabeth II reigned for just over 70 years). Trump added that during his time with Her Majesty, he couldn’t get her to say which U.K. Prime Minister or U.S. President she liked the best. 

Speaking on King Charles III, Trump noted that he likes the reigning monarch, although they disagree on environmental issues. 

“We have different views, but we get along. I think he’s a really wonderful guy, we get along, he was a little bit more into environmental restriction than I am,” Trump said. 

In a 2019 meeting, the two reportedly discussed climate change, an area about which then-Prince Charles was vocal. Trump has called climate change a “hoax” and rolled back measures aimed at preventing climate change during his presidency.

About the King’s person and health, Trump added: “I like him and I hope he’s going to be okay.” 

The interview also discussed Prince Harry, who moved to California with his American wife Meghan Markle in 2020 and is no longer a senior or working royal. Farage asked about Harry’s admissions in his 2023 memoir Spare that he had taken cannabis, psychedelics, and cocaine, and demands from conservatives to know whether he reported this drug use on his U.S. visa application. (The U.S. typically asks about drug use on visa applications, which can cause travel complications, but admitting to past drug use doesn't automatically prevent individuals from entering or remaining in the country).

In response to whether the American people deserve to know the truth, Trump said: “I guess so.” 

Farage followed up asking Trump if Prince Harry should get special privileges. 

“No, and we’ll have to see,” Trump said. “If they know something about the drugs and if he lied, they’ll have to take appropriate action.” 

Farage pressed him: “Appropriate action? Which might mean, not staying in America?” 

“I don’t know, you’ll have to tell me,” Trump responded. “You would have thought they would have known this a long time ago.”

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com