Kate Middleton photographer responds to editing allegations

Harry and Meghan have also addressed the backlash.
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Days after it came to light that the first official photo of Kate Middleton since her surgery had been altered, another image is now under scrutiny.

WATCH: William’s cheeky comment to Kate caught on camera

Hours after photo agencies issued the kill order, the Princess of Wales was pictured leaving Windsor Castle with Prince William. Speculation then arose that this image had also been doctored, due to potential inconsistencies with the brick wall in the background.

However, the photo agency responsible for the image, Goff, has denied editing the picture, telling E! News that it has been “cropped and lightened” but “nothing has been doctored”.

The photographer Jim Bennett further clarified to PEOPLE that light levels are only adjusted “if necessary”.

“Car shots are unpredictable at the the best of times and with some reflection on the glass it can be difficult,” he said.



Kate was spotted in March leaving Windsor castle. (Credit: Goff)

Meanwhile, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have also spoken out following the scandal.

After “sources close to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex told Page Six that the editing mishap was “a mistake that Meghan would ever make” as she “has a keen eye and freakish attention to detail”, a spokesperson from the couple’s Archewell Foundation denied having any association with the statement.

“With respect to Page Six, that did not come from us,” they said.

The Page Six source also told the publication that if Harry and Meghan had been in Kate’s shoes, they “would have been annihilated”.

“The same rules do not apply to both couples.”

The first official photo released of Kate since her surgery. (Credit: Instagram)

The original photo that caused the controversy – featuring Kate, 42, Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, eight, and Prince Louis, five – was shared via the Prince and Princess of Wales’ Instagram account on Monday March 11.

“Thank you for your kind wishes and continued support over the last two months,” the accompanying caption read. “Wishing everyone a Happy Mother’s Day. C.”

Far from quelling speculation about Kate, the photo – taken by Prince William – became the centre of controversy when major photo agencies announced it had been manipulated.

What was the kill order for the photo of Kate Middleton?

After the photo of Kate was distributed widely, wire services including the Associated Press (AP), Agence France-Presse (AFP), Reuters, and Getty Images, retracted the image from their respective libraries, issuing a kill order and warning clients not to use it.

“At closer inspection it appears that the source has manipulated the image,” read the kill notification from the AP. Meanwhile, the AFP cited “modifications” to the image that were in “violation of the ethical standards” of the international news agency.

Kate’s last official royal engagement was in December 2023, for the Christmas Morning Service. (Credit: Getty)

How was the image of Kate Middleton edited?

It hasn’t been confirmed how exactly the image was modified; however, the AP said “the photo shows an inconsistency in the alignment of Princess Charlotte’s left hand”.

Others noticed different potential alterations, including the blurring of Kate’s right hand and a missing wedding ring.

The leaves on the tree in the background also caused confusion, due to the time of year in the UK.

Daily Mirror employee Ruby Naldrett, who works in social media, even suggested that Kate’s face had been edited into the image from her 2016 Vogue cover shoot. 

While the Princess of Wales admitted to manipulating the photo, she did not confirm how specifically it was edited.

One royal fan compared the latest photo of Kate to her 2016 Vogue cover shoot. (Credit: Josh Olins/British Vogue)

What has Kate Middleton said about the edited photo?

Amid the online discourse, an official response from Princess Catherine was shared to the Prince and Princess of Wales’ Instagram story.

“Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing,” the statement read.

“I wanted to express my apologies for any confusion the family photograph we shared yesterday caused.”

What are the Kate Middleton conspiracy theories?

As she recovers from her operation, the Princess of Wales has become the topic of many conspiracy theories from those who aren’t convinced that the royal had planned abdominal surgery.

Some speculation has been light-hearted, suggesting the royal is a Masked Singer contestant, while some is sinister, theorising that Kate is really missing.

A royal spokesperson made a statement in wake of the speculation.

“Kensington Palace made it clear in January the timelines of the princess’ recovery and we’d only be providing significant updates,” the representative told Page Six“That guidance stands.”

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