Kate photo: Princess of Wales apologises 'for any confusion' after 'editing' Mother's Day picture

The Princess of Wales has apologised "for any confusion" after she admitted to "editing" a controversial Mother's Day image of her with her three children.

In a statement released this morning, Kate, 42, 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."

Kensington Palace said it would not be reissuing the original unedited photograph.

Read more: What led to palace admission over 'manipulated' photo of Kate

Royal sources said the Princess of Wales made "minor adjustments" and that Kate and Prince William - who took the photo - wanted to offer an informal picture of the family together for Mother's Day.

"The Wales family spent Mother's Day together and had a wonderful day," the source added.

Reuters, Associated Press (AP), Getty Images, Agence France-Presse (AFP) and the Press Association told media outlets to "kill" the photo from their systems and archives after the image was circulated on Sunday.

AP told Sky News the photo shows an "inconsistency in the alignment of Princess Charlotte's left hand".

Kensington Palace had initially refused to comment after the image was pulled.

The picture in question was released on Sunday morning to celebrate Mother's Day and shows Kate surrounded by her and Prince William's children - Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

The caption said the photo was taken in 2024 by Prince William.

Earlier, AP had told Sky News in a statement: "The Associated Press initially published the photo, which was issued by Kensington Palace.

"The AP later retracted the image because at closer inspection, it appears that the source had manipulated the image in a way that did not meet AP's photo standards."

'Extraordinary manipulation'

Graham Smith, of the anti-monarchy group Republic, earlier said: "The manipulation of an image that the palace says was taken by William is extraordinary.

"If true it is a deliberate attempt to deceive the public."

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He added: "This kind of dystopian behaviour you might expect from Soviet Russia, not modern Britain.

"The monarchy has always sought to manipulate and manage its image, but if they have tried to fake a photograph to silence online conspiracy theories, that is disgraceful."

'Family wouldn't do any touch-ups'

Kate's uncle Gary Goldsmith also weighed in on the image row earlier this morning, claiming the family would not have been responsible for altering the image.

The Celebrity Big Brother evictee said: "Obviously the family wouldn't be the ones to do any touch-ups, so if that's gone through some filter before it's gone out to the broader world, but they wouldn't be doing photoshopping themselves."

He told Good Morning Britain: "The smiles on faces said it all for me, I thought it was beautiful."

Mr Goldsmith added: "And this whole 'sleevegate' thing, just leave it alone."

Apology comes ahead of Commonwealth Day service

The controversy looked set to overshadow the Commonwealth Day service, one of the key royal events of the year.

Prince William and the Queen will gather with the Royal Family in Westminster Abbey later today in the absence of the King, who is continuing treatment for cancer.

The photo was the first official image released since Kate, 42, had abdominal surgery in January.

US celebrity news outlet TMZ did publish an unofficial paparazzi shot of the princess last week. It said she was spotted in a car driven by her mother Carole Middleton near Windsor Castle.

Kate was last seen in public on Christmas Day when she joined other members of the Royal Family for the annual church service and walk.

There has been widespread speculation online about the Princess of Wales' health in recent weeks but the palace has said she is not expected to return to official duties until after Easter.