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Stephen Colbert regrets Kate Middleton jokes before her cancer announcement, extends 'well wishes'

"There’s a standard that I try to hold myself to, and that is I do not make light of somebody else’s tragedy.”

Stephen Colbert is reflecting on the jokes he made about Kate Middleton on The Late Show prior to the Princess of Wales revealing her cancer diagnosis last week.

The late night host got serious for a moment during Monday’s broadcast as he addressed the backlash he received for previously joking about Middleton's whereabouts even before her announcement and extended his “well wishes” on her ongoing recovery. 

“We do a lot of shows. I tell a lot of jokes. I tell jokes about a lot of different things, mostly about what everybody is talking about,” Colbert began. “For the last six weeks to two months, everybody has been talking about the mystery of Kate Middleton’s disappearance from public life.”

<p>CBS; Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty </p> Stephen Colbert and Kate Middleton

CBS; Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty

Stephen Colbert and Kate Middleton

Colbert acknowledged that he “did some jokes about that mystery” two weeks ago on his show.

“When I made those jokes, that upset some people even before her diagnosis was revealed,” he said. “I can understand that. A lot of my jokes have upset people in the past, and some of my jokes will upset people in the future, 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.”

“I don’t know if 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 far too many of us know, that any cancer diagnosis of any kind is harrowing for the patient and for their family,” Colbert continued. “Though I’m sure they don’t need it from me, I and everyone here at The Late Show would like to extend our well wishes and heartfelt hope that her recovery is swift and thorough.”

Colbert previously joked about the conspiracy theories being posted online surrounding Middleton’s disappearance from the public eye on the show’s March 13th episode.

“Internet sleuths are guessing that Kate’s absence may be related to her husband, and the future King of England, William, having an affair," he said at the time, per NBC News. "According to tabloid, when Kate supposedly confronted him about it, he laughed it off, saying there was nothing to it. Always a good response when your wife accuses you of cheating.”

Colbert is one of several celebrities who have gone on to express regret for making light of Middleton's whereabouts in the wake of her diagnosis. Blake Lively recently apologized for an Instagram post she made that poked fun at Middleton's photo editing, while The View hosts said that they "feel awful" after discussing conspiracy theories on the show.

Watch Colbert address the backlash in the video above.

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