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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Kate, UK’s Princess of Wales, apologises for ‘any confusion’ photo edit

On its face, the cheery image seemed to suggest the princess was healthy and happy after she virtually disappeared from public view in late December.

The family photo might have helped ease concerns and questions about Kate, the Princess of Wales — but then viewers noted irregularities in the image, and a flurry of new questions emerged. And now the princess has acknowledged that the photo she released on Sunday was manipulated.

“Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing,” the princess said on social media Monday. “I wanted to express my apologies for any confusion the family photograph we shared yesterday caused.”

Read more: Kate, UK’s Princess of Wales undergoes abdominal surgery

Acknowledgment of the doctored photo came after several news agencies retracted the photo. The Associated Press, for instance, noted the odd “alignment of Princess Charlotte’s left hand with the sleeve of her sweater” and stated, “At closer inspection it appears that the source has manipulated the image.”

The photo was released on the U.K.’s Mother’s Day, showing Kate (Princess Catherine) seated in a chair, sharing a hug with her children: Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis and Prince George. In the post, Kate credited her husband, Prince William, with taking the picture.

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“Thank you for your kind wishes and continued support over the last two months,” Kate wrote.

On its face, the cheery image seemed to suggest the princess was healthy and happy after she virtually disappeared from public view in late December. Kensington Palace had shared scant details about Kate, 42, saying that after having “successful” abdominal surgery in January, she spent nearly two weeks in the hospital.

But then the questions arose, growing from rumor to full retraction. In its discussion of the photo, the AP noted that its standards prohibit substantial editing of an image, as well as the removal of “red eye” effects.

The doctored photo led to a social media frenzy and fueled conspiracy theories over Kate’s health and wellbeing.

Robert Hardman, a royal biographer and the author of The Making of a King, told NPR that although the royal family is a public-facing institution, Kate’s absence is understandable given her recent health condition.

“Most of us, if we’ve had surgery or some medical issue, that takes a bit of time to recover,” he said. “So I totally get why for her, this is a private matter.”