Everything ‘wrong’ with Kate Middleton’s Mother’s Day photo as princess admits it was edited

Princess of Wales has now personally apologised as she admitted to editing the picture

Tara Cobham
Friday 15 March 2024 07:19 GMT
Royal photographer speaks out after Kate Mother's Day photograph pulled

A family photo released for Mother’s Day is at the centre of a royal row sparked over concerns it had been “manipulated”.

The picture of Kate Middleton and her three children, George, Charlotte, and Louis, was released on Sunday but then pulled by news agencies after apparent errors in the image were spotted.

Initially, the palace refused to comment, but on Monday the Princess of Wales apologised as she admitted to editing what was the first official picture of her since she underwent abdominal surgery in January. Said to have been taken by Prince William in Windsor this week, the photo shows the mother smiling surrounded by her children.

A family photo released by the Princess of Wales to mark Mother’s Day led to widespread speculation over editing failures before it was pulled by major news agencies citing fears of manipulation (EPA)

However, within hours of it being posted on social media, royal fans pointed out several editing errors, including that the sleeve of Princess Charlotte’s cardigan did not line up.

In an Instagram post on Monday morning, the princess 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. C.”

However, the princess has not confirmed what edits were made and Kensington Palace said it would not be reissuing the original unedited photograph despite her apology.

Here, we take a look at the glitches that have been spotted in the photo.

Areas of concern cited by picture agencies

The Associated Press (AP), Agence France-Presse (AFP), EPA, Getty, Reuters and the UK’s leading news agency PA are among those that have so far recalled the photo.

Concerns have been raised over the sleeve of Princess Charlotte’s cardigan, which does not appear to line up in the photo (EPA)

News agencies AFP and AP both told The Independent that concerns raised over the sleeve of Princess Charlotte’s cardigan –which does not appear to line up in the photo – contributed to the decision to withdraw the picture.

Eric Baradat, photo director for AFP, said that “it is clear to any experienced digital image professional that it has been doctored”, adding: “It has been done in a very amateurish way.”

Mr Baradat also highlighted Kate’s zip, which does not appear to line up in the photo, and claimed there had also been edits to the princess’s face, sweater, hair, and skirt. He also pointed out apparent “alterations” to the sweaters worn by Prince Louis and George.

Kate’s zip does not appear to line up in the photo (EPA)

Mr Baradat said he spotted copy and pastes, as well as blurring, calling the edits “very gross and visible”.

In its advisory issued to media on Sunday, AP said: “At closer inspection, it appears that the source has manipulated the image. No replacement photo will be sent.”

Editing failures suggested by royal fans

Royal fans have pointed out that the princess’ wedding ring does not appear to be on her finger (EPA)

There has been a huge amount of speculation online from royal fans suggesting other potential issues with the picture.

It has been pointed out that the princess’s wedding ring does not appear to be on her finger, while Louis’s fingers appear to be in an unusual position.

The trees in the background appear to be in full bloom when it is only March, others have pointed out.

Others have queried the white skirting behind the family in the bottom left of the image, which seems to be wonky.

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