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Royal family-released photo of Kate Middleton withdrawn by major news agencies over ‘image manipulation’ allegations

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Three major international news agencies — Reuters, the Associated Press, and Agence France-Presse — have withdrawn an official photograph of Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, citing irregularities with the image. The photograph, which showed Kate Middleton, informally known as Kate, sitting outdoors with her three children, was reportedly taken by Prince William to mark U.K. Mothers Day.


The image was initially published on the royal couple’s official social media pages before being issued to select press agencies for syndication. However, within hours, all three agencies had issued “kill” notifications, requesting that clients who had licensed the photograph also remove it from their publications. The Associated Press stated that the source had manipulated the image in a way that did not meet their photo standards.


This incident has sparked intense interest as it was the first time the Duchess had been seen in public since Christmas Day. In January, Kensington Palace issued a statement saying she had undergone “planned abdominal surgery” which would require a further 10-day hospital stay. The palace declined to specify the reason for the operation.





The release of the photo followed weeks of gossip on social media about Kate’s whereabouts since she left the hospital. Rather than thwart rumors about her whereabouts, the photo has caused more people to engage in them. Online commentators soon identified a number of discrepancies, such as an inconsistency in the alignment of Princess Charlotte’s hand and skirt and the zip on Kate’s sweater.


The Duchess has since responded saying that she was the one who editing the family photo: “I occasionally experiment with editing.”


Her medical leave has come at a particularly tricky time for the British Royal Family after her father-in-law King Charles was also recently diagnosed with cancer. The royal family has been under more scrutiny than usual in recent weeks, because both Kate and King Charles III can’t carry out their usual public duties due to health problems.


This incident raises questions about the transparency of the royal family and the authenticity of the images they share. What are your thoughts on this? Do you believe  this was just a misunderstanding, or is there more to this than meets the eye? Share your views in the comments below.



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Top image: Arthur C James | Dreamstime.com

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