Kate left ‘very sad’ by Mother’s Day photo row and only edited picture as she ‘wanted it to be perfect’

11 March 2024, 22:34 | Updated: 11 March 2024, 22:37

The Princess of Wales has admitted editing a controversial family photo
The Princess of Wales has admitted editing a controversial family photo. Picture: Instagram/Alamy
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

The Princess of Wales has been left ‘very sad’ after being caught up in a row over the release of a self-edited picture on Mother's Day.

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Kate apologised this morning over the edited Mother's Day picture that kick-started wild speculation.

It sparked a huge row and caused news agencies to delete it from their systems.

The row has left Kate 'very sad' as she 'just wanted the picture to be perfect', The Sun reports.

Kate issued the following statement today: "Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing.

"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."

The beaming Mother's Day picture of Princess Kate is still on the couple's official Instagram page. She has today revealed the image was manipulated, and that she did the editing work on it herself.

Royal sources said the Princess of Wales made "minor adjustments" and that Kate and the Prince of Wales wanted to offer an informal picture of the family together for Mother's Day.

"The Wales family spent Mother's Day together and had a wonderful day," a source added.

Kensington Palace said it would not be reissuing the original unedited photograph.

Earlier, The UK’s biggest press agency ordered the withdrawal of the controversial picture.

The Press Association ordered news outlets to delete the image from websites saying it must be removed “in the absence of clarification from Kensington Palace on the veracity of the image.” This is known in the industry as a 'picture kill'.

Read more: Royal photo manipulation row deepens as UK’s biggest news agency withdraws 'doctored' Princess of Wales image

Read more: Prince William makes solo appearance at climate event hours after Kate apologised amid 'Photoshop' row

Kate posted an image today apologising for editing the Mother's Day photo
Kate posted an image today apologising for editing the Mother's Day photo. Picture: Instagram

They said the image should be taken down “immediately” - ahead of Kensington Palace issuing an apology over the image under Kate's name.

PA's website describes the media agency as the "UK's leading provider of multimedia content and services." A spokesperson for the UK's national news agency said: "Like other news agencies, PA Media issued the handout image provided by Kensington Palace of the Princess of Wales and her children in good faith yesterday.

Keen eyes spotted multiple 'errors' with the image that indicate it had been doctored
Keen eyes spotted multiple 'errors' with the image that indicate it had been doctored. Picture: Alamy

"We became aware of concerns about the image and we carried a report about it last night, and made clear that we were seeking urgent clarification about the image from Kensington Palace.

"In the absence of that clarification, we are killing the image from our picture service."

Yesterday Reuters, AP, Getty and AFP all removed the picture over claims it may have been digitally manipulated.

Picture agencies issued 'kill' notifications for the Mother's Day image
Picture agencies issued 'kill' notifications for the Mother's Day image. Picture: PA

Experts have said the picture was ‘damaging’ to the royals and the public would ‘question whether health updates can be trusted’.

The first official photo of Kate was released on Sunday following her abdominal surgery - but keen eyes spotted parts of the photograph which had been manipulated.

The photo of Kate with her three children Louis, George and Charlotte, first caught the attention of the Associated Press (AP), Reuters, Getty and Agence France-Presse for apparent image changes - and they all issued kill notices to inform journalists not to use the image.

Kate admitted 'experimenting' with the image - Princess Charlotte's sleeve was one of the edited areas under scrutiny
Kate admitted 'experimenting' with the image - Princess Charlotte's sleeve was one of the edited areas under scrutiny. Picture: PA

The photo was released as wild conspiracy theories circulate about the Princess's health after her lengthy lay-off following surgery.

Several ‘inconsistencies’ have been pointed out in the image, which was released for Mother's Day in the UK, with some claiming Kate’s zip is misaligned and that her wedding ring is absent. However, the main errors in the image appears to be with Princess Charlotte’s skirt, which is blurred a the edges, and her sleeve, which is partially missing.

Alongside the pictures, The Princess of Wales thanked the public for their "kind wishes and continued support" following her operation. The message was signed “C” for Catherine.

An updated AP caption on the image read: "At closer inspection, it appears that the source has manipulated the image."

An AP spokesperson told the Telegraph: “The photo shows an inconsistency in the alignment of Princess Charlotte’s left hand.”

All agencies have a policy of not distributing photographs that have been overly edited. Kensington Palace provided the photo to agencies and said it had been taken by the Prince of Wales earlier this week.

The photo is the first authorised release by Kensington Palace since Kate's surgery.

There is no suggestion that the Princess is not in good health despite the claims. Kate was last seen in public attending the Christmas Day service at Sandringham with the rest of the royal family.

However, she was pictured publicly for the first time with her mother Carole Middleton on Monday by US outlet TMZ.

It follows weeks of speculation on her whereabouts, with Kensington Palace refusing to give further updates on her recovery. The palace slammed the "madness of social media", insisting that Kate has a right to privacy and that she is "doing well".

Kate will not return to her royal duties until after Easter. She spent almost two weeks in the London Clinic in Marylebone and was discharged at the end of January to continue her recovery at home in Windsor.

Sharing the image to mark Mother's Day, Kate said: "Thank you for your kind wishes and continued support over the last two months. "Wishing everyone a Happy Mother's Day."

It came as King Charles also paid tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth to mark Mother's Day. Sharing an image of them together, the official royal family Twitter account said: "Wishing all Mothers, and those who are missing their Mums today, a peaceful Mothering Sunday."