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Kate Middleton’s Photo of Queen Elizabeth With Grandchildren Was Altered, Too

The Associated Press and several leading international photo distribution agencies issued a kill notice on an unlikely image last week: the beaming Kate Middleton, surrounded by her three children as they celebrated Mother’s Day. The notice was issued after it became clear the photo had been manipulated; the following day, an apology was issued via the Princess of Wales’ social media for her alleged Photoshop work.

Now it’s come to light that another photo purportedly taken by Kensington Palace, if not Middleton herself, has also been Photoshopped. A photo released in 2023 to celebrate what would have been Queen Elizabeth II’s 97th birthday came under scrutiny as media outlets and people on social media have found clear signs of alterations, edits and manipulation.

The photo in question was released in April 2023. At the time, Kensington Palace explained that the photo was taken by the Princess of Wales the year before, while the family was on a trip at Balmoral, the queen’s favorite of her homes. The photo features Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, as well as grandchildren Mia, Lena, Lucas, Savannah, Isla, James and Lady Louise.

The Guardian’s Sunday paper, The Observer, noted several instances in which the photo was digitally altered. It seems Prince Louis, the Prince and Princess of Wales’ youngest child, was moved back in the frame, and the hair of Zara Tindall’s daughter has been copied and pasted.

The outlet posed a question that sums it up well: “How could the news agencies possibly protect their reputations if they did not respond last week to mounting amateur claims that the image was not trustworthy?”

By many counts, Kensington Palace is becoming an increasingly distrusted source, something that was unimaginable only weeks ago. Conspiracy theories about Middleton’s prolonged absence were already operating at a steady hum; the release of the clearly altered photo on Mother’s Day threw those into overdrive.

Manipulation of the Balmoral photo was also called out on Twitter/X, where user Le__Katerina wrote, “Did the late Queen ever pose with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren? Seems like no. This photo, taken by Kate Middleton, was edited at least in nine places. Now the mass media are reporting about it, too. A little thread.”

She then proceeded to point out several inconsistencies and mistakes throughout the editing the photo, some of which appear to suggest some of the children were not actually in the photo at all.

At the heart of the conversation surrounding Middleton and Kensington Palace is a breakdown trust between the royals and the public — a public that funds the very existence of the monarchy through the Sovereign Grant. In 2023, that amount tallied up to £86.3 million, “£51.8 million which funds official travel, property maintenance and the operating costs of The Sovereign’s household.”

The main question surrounding the edited photos and secrecy surrounding Middleton’s whereabouts and well-being is simply, why? Why go to such great lengths to alter and manipulate images, and why not clear up speculation, confusion or concern with a video release or press conference of some sort?

It seems clear that the palace misjudged a public that has the time and interest to dig into conspiracy theories and suss out the truth, a public that has dealt with politicians insisting whole elections were stolen, and a world in which it’s startlingly easy to fake nude photos of one of our biggest pop stars.

Maybe the palace really didn’t think people would care enough about Middleton’s prolonged absence from the public eye to question it, or maybe they’re relying on an outdated approach to the monarchy in general, one that harkens back to an earlier time when the monarchy could count on the public to buy the line they’re being fed.

Either way, it’s clear there is still some explaining to do.

The post Kate Middleton’s Photo of Queen Elizabeth With Grandchildren Was Altered, Too appeared first on TheWrap.