Stephen Colbert Walks Back 'Upsetting' Kate Middleton Jokes

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L: Kate Middleton, R: Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert is addressing the backlash caused by some of his recent jokes at Kate Middleton and the royal family's expense—some of which even resulted in threats of legal action.

The late-night host took a moment at the start of a recent episode, as seen in a clip uploaded by ITV NEWS Royal Editor Chris Ship, to acknowledge the response that he's received over his reporting of the speculation and conspiracy theories that have surrounded the Princess of Wales in the weeks leading up to the revelation of her cancer diagnosis.

From behind his desk, Colbert pointed out that he does "a lot of shows" and "tell[s] a lot of jokes about a lot of different things—mostly what everybody's talking about." For several weeks now, Middleton's status as "missing" is what everyone has been talking about.

"Two weeks ago, we did some jokes about that mystery and all of the attendant frou-frah [sic] in the reporting about that, and when I made those jokes, that upset some people, even before her diagnosis was revealed," he continued. "And I can understand that."

It's not the first time his material has caused some upset, and it's likely not the last time, either. "But there's a standard that I try to hold myself to, and that is I do not make light of somebody else's tragedy," he added.

He continued, "Now, I don't know whether her prognosis is a tragic one; she's the future queen of England and I assume she's going to get the best possible medical care, but regardless of what it is, I know, and I'm sure many of you—far too many of us—know, that any cancer diagnosis of any kind is harrowing for the patient and for their family."

While he didn't formally apologize, he did "extend our well wishes and heartfelt hope that her recovery is swift and thorough" on behalf of the show and its crew.

Colbert isn't the only one walking back previous statements made before the world knew the truth; Blake Lively recently apologized to Middleton after she made light of the princess' PhotoShop scandal. Meanwhile, Kim Kardashian has remained mum ever since posting a photo of herself "on [her] way to go find Kate," leading followers to flood the comments to demand an apology on the princess' behalf.

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