Princess Kate's Mothers' Day family photo pulled by picture agencies over manipulation fears

10 March 2024, 22:35 | Updated: 11 March 2024, 07:18

Three picture agencies have issued a kill notice for the Wales's photo after claims that the image had been manipulated
Three picture agencies have issued a kill notice for the Wales's photo after claims that the image had been manipulated. Picture: Kensington Palace

By Chay Quinn

A photo of the Princess of Wales and her children released for Mothers' Day has been pulled by at least four picture agencies over claims that the image has been doctored.

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

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

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The photo was released in order to attempt to quell conspiracy theories about the Princess's health after her lengthy lay-off following her 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 ‘error’ in the image appears to be with Princess Charlotte’s skirt, which is blurred a the edges, and her sleeve, which is partially missing.

Kate shared the image to mark Mother's Day
Kate shared the image to mark Mother's Day but now it has been pulled by several photo agencies. Picture: Kensington Palace
An AP spokesperson told the Telegraph: “The photo shows an inconsistency in the alignment of Princess Charlotte’s left hand.”
An AP spokesperson told the Telegraph: “The photo shows an inconsistency in the alignment of Princess Charlotte’s left hand.”. Picture: Kensington Palace

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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 four 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.

Kensington Palace has declined to comment to news sources thus far.

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.

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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."

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