Kate Middleton Apologizes After Admitting Editing Photo That Was Pulled by Major News Agencies

Kate Middleton Photo

The Princess of Wales Kate Middleton has apologized after admitting to editing a family portrait that has been pulled by major news agencies.

“Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing,” reads a message on The Prince and Princess of Wales’ social media account signed by Kate.

“I wanted to express my apologies for any confusion the family photograph we shared yesterday caused. I hope everyone celebrating had a very happy Mother’s Day. C.”

The British Royal Family member has not been seen officially in public since December 2023 but yesterday (Sunday) marked Kate’s reappearance when The Prince and Princess of Wales’ social media account shared a photo of her with her children to mark Mother’s Day in the U.K. The photo is credited to her husband William, Prince of Wales.

Kate Middleton family photo that is allegedly doctored

Before the photo was published, rumors about Kate’s whereabouts had swirled with the Royal Family explaining that the Princess was having “abdominal surgery.”

U.S. celebrity news website TMZ published a paparazzi photo of Kate and her mother Carol on March 4 which was not published by the British press.

Why Did Picture Agencies Pull the Photo of Kate?

Immediately after the family photo of Kate posing with her children Prince George, Prince Charlotte, and Prince Louis was realeased, there was immediate speculation that the image had been doctored.

Fans pointed to an inconsistency around Charlotte’s sleeve and other strange artifacts in the image.

Charlotte's sleeve that is allegedly manipulataed
Close-up of Charlotte’s sleeve.

But those rumors were turbocharged when The Associated Press (AP) and other major picture agencies issued a “kill notice” on the picture because of the belief that the image had been manipulated.

The kill notice sent out by the Associated Press.

“Close study of the image revealed inconsistencies that suggested it had been altered, for instance in the alignment of Princess Charlotte’s left hand with the sleeve of her sweater,” writes AP.

“By early evening, AP and other news agencies, including Getty, Reuters, and AFP, decided to remove the image after examining it more closely.”

Major news agencies have editorial standards and one is that they cannot disseminate pictures that have been altered or digitally manipulated.

While minor photo editing, such as cropping and small color adjustments is allowed, anything that substantially changes images, such as blurring a background or even red eye removal, is not permissible.

“At closer inspection, it appears that the source has manipulated the image,” the AP says in its advisory. “No replacement photo will be sent.”

Kate Middleton is one of the most photographed women in the world and the speculation surrounding her well-being has intensified after not being seen in public for such a long time. The alleged doctored family portrait and Kate’s subsequent apology has only sought to intensify those rumors.