Global photo agency explains editor’s note on Kate Middleton cancer diagnosis video

Getty Images says footage ‘may not adhere’ to its editorial policy days after Kate shares cancer news

Maroosha Muzaffar
Thursday 04 April 2024 06:00 BST
Princess Kate announces cancer diagnosis

Visual media agency Getty Images has been forced to explain why it added an editor’s note to the video in which the Princess of Wales revealed her cancer diagnosis.

The note was spotted on Monday and immediately sparked a reaction online, coming after recent controversies regarding the release of edited photos by the royal family. A Mother’s Day photo of Kate with her children was withdrawn by international agencies as the palace admitted it had been digitally altered.

The new note, placed on Getty’s version of the video in which Kate told the nation about her cancer diagnosis, read: “This handout clip was provided by a third-party organisation and may not adhere to Getty Images’ editorial policy.

Getty did not immediately provide any further details, but has now offered an explanation after some users leapt on the note as an opportunity to further outlandish conspiracy theories around the princess’s condition. “Of course the Kate Middleton video was fake: Getty adds addendum that suggests video was not legitimate... Kensington Palace stumbling around in the dark,” wrote one.

“Getty Images have placed an editor’s note on the video of Kate Middleton where she reveals she has cancer. The note states the footage ‘might not adhere to its editorial policy’. Why on earth have they done this?” a user asked on X, formerly Twitter.

Getty said the way the video was flagged was standard practice for content handed to it by third-party organisations – in this case Kensington Palace.

Some X posts about the Getty video have now been amended with readers’ notes of their own. Under one of the posts is a message that says: “This is a standard disclaimer that Getty Images uses when distributing video provided by a third party.”

It has been disclosed by the palace that BBC Studios recorded the video of Kate announcing her cancer diagnosis to the public on 20 March, just two days prior to its release. BBC Studios issued a short statement confirming that they filmed the video.

“BBC Studios filmed a message from the Princess of Wales at Windsor this week. We would like to wish Her Royal Highness a speedy recovery,” the statement read.

Last month, the Princess of Wales announced in a video statement that she had begun preventative chemotherapy. She told other cancer patients: “You are not alone.”

“In January, I underwent major abdominal surgery in London and at the time, it was thought that my condition was non-cancerous,” Kate explained in the video. “The surgery was successful. However, tests after the operation found cancer had been present. My medical team therefore advised that I should undergo a course of preventive chemotherapy and I am now in the early stages of that treatment.”

In the video, the 42-year-old said the cancer diagnosis was a “huge shock” for her family.

After her announcement, there has been a global outpouring of support, including from US president Joe Biden, and King Charles III who is also undergoing treatment for cancer.

Earlier a photograph of Kate and her children, taken by the Prince of Wales, was the first to be issued since the princess’s abdominal surgery and was released by the palace to mark Mother’s Day.

The princess publicly took the blame for editing the family photograph and issued a personal apology for the “confusion”.

“Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing,” Kate said. “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.”

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