How royal fans spotted Kate’s photo had been edited as Princess of Wales issues apology over Mother's Day picture

11 March 2024, 13:24

Here's how royal fans spotted the photo had been edited.
Here's how royal fans spotted the photo had been edited. Picture: Kensington Palace

By Jenny Medlicott

These are all the signs that helped social media sleuths spot that Kate’s Mother’s Day photo had been edited.

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Kensington Palace released an image of Kate with her three children Louis, George and Charlotte to mark Mother’s Day on Sunday.

But the photo, which was the first official image released of the Princess of Wales since her abdominal surgery, ended up fuelling pre-existing speculation about Kate's health after social media users picked up on some ‘inconsistencies’ with the image.

At first glance, the image appears normal - but on closer inspection there are several signs the image has been altered, according to social media users.

Kate issued an apology for the edits on Monday.
Kate issued an apology for the edits on Monday. Picture: Kensington Palace

'Inconsistencies' spotted in the image

  1. Charlotte’s wrist/sleeve - this is perhaps the most obvious of the signs that the image had been doctored. The very end of the princess' left sleeve is missing and just the edge of the hem remains.
  2. Charlotte’s blurred skirt/knee - Slightly further down in the image, the edge of Charlotte’s skirt and knee are slightly blurred.
  3. Charlotte’s hair - on the side closest to Kate, Charlotte’s hair seems to abruptly stop and is blurred.
  4. No ring - Kate’s hand holding onto Charlotte is missing her wedding ring.
  5. Blurred hand - Kate's hand holding onto Louis is blurry and pixelated.
  6. Coat zip - although this one requires up-close inspection, the top of Kate’s coat zip appears misaligned.
  7. The tree - despite the photo having been snapped in early March, the leaves seem more similar to those that might be seen in late autumn.
  8. Louis’ fingers - the prince’s fingers appear contorted in such a way that his forefinger appears shorter than the rest of the fingers on his hand.
Charlotte's blurred hair and sleeve.
Charlotte's blurred hair and sleeve. Picture: Kensington Palace
Kate's blurred hand.
Kate's blurred hand. Picture: Kensington Palace

Read more: Kate apologises for Mother’s Day photo row and admits editing family picture - but Palace won't release original

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

Kate issued a statement apologising for the edits on Monday morning, as she said: “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.

Kate apologised for the edits.
Kate apologised for the edits. Picture: Kensington Palace

"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.

It came after 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'.

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

"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.

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