Kate Middleton apologises for ‘confusion’ amid edited family photo furore

The Princess of Wales is taking time out of the public eye after undergoing surgery in January.
Robert Kindregan
Robert Kindregan

11.32 11 Mar 2024

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Kate Middleton apologises for...

Kate Middleton apologises for ‘confusion’ amid edited family photo furore

Robert Kindregan
Robert Kindregan

11.32 11 Mar 2024

Share this article

Kate Middleton has apologised after being accused of ‘manipulating’ a family picture released by Kensington Palace for Mother’s Day on Sunday.

The image shows the Princess of Wales alongside her three children and is the first official photo of her released since she underwent abdominal surgery in January.

Kate Middleton apologises after being accused of ‘manipulating’ family pic Britain's Prince William and his wife Duchess Kate Middleton, 20-07-2017. Image: Britta Pedersen/dpa-Zentralbild/Pool/dpa

The image was issued to news agencies by Kensington Palace and shared to the Princess of Wales's official Instagram account.

Agencies Reuters, Getty Images and Associated Press (AP) shared it with news outlets before issuing a kill notice and removed it from their archives.

AP said it ‘killed’ the photo because there was an “inconsistency in the alignment of Princess Charlotte's left hand".


Taking to social media today, Kate Middleton said she is an amateur photographer who “occasionally” likes to “experiment with editing”.

“I wanted to express my apologies for any confusion the family photograph we shared yesterday caused," she said.

“I hope everyone celebrating had a very happy Mother’s Day.”

On Newstalk Breakfast today, former royal correspondent for the BBC Jennie Bond said the image was instantly met with scepticism when it was released yesterday.

“There are elements of the picture, if you zoom right in, that don’t seem quite right,” she said.

“News agencies and picture agencies have pointed out that Princess Charlotte’s wrist doesn’t quite seem to be in alignment with the sleeve of her jumper - if you look closely there is something wonky about that.

“We all know how easy it is to edit pictures these days, you can do all sorts with them, but why they would want to do it – I don’t know.”


Ms Bond said the accusations made by image agencies must be clarified by Kensington Palace.

“Image agencies feel it has been manipulated by the source, in other words by the palace,” she said.

“Kensington Palace are under intense pressure now and they are going to have to explain it.

“If I took a guess, I would say it is a cock up rather than a conspiracy that someone has, for whatever reason, touched it up and not made the best job of it.”

Conspiracy theories

Ms Bond said the debacle has fuelled conspiracy theories being shared on social media about the Princess of Wales.

“The result is a whole lot more conspiracy theories online about whether the princess is sitting there at all with her children,” she said.

“But we cannot be persuaded to dance to the tune of social media.

“We cannot follow these conspiracy theories and broadcast them, talk about them, or give them any credence because they are absurd and ridiculous.

“If we let that drive the news agenda we are in really serious trouble.”

A previous photo taken of Kate Middleton earlier this month on a school run sparked controversy after it was published in the US but was not touched by the UK media.

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Main image: The image of Kate Middleton and her family released by Kensington Palace on Sunday. 

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