The photo shared by Kate Middleton on Mother’s Day continues to stir controversy as it was promptly unpublished due to editing concerns.

Photographer Martin Bamford, known for his portraiture work, pointed out a noticeable anomaly in the photo involving Princess Charlotte’s wrist, suggesting potential Photoshop layer compositing. While Bamford refrained from speculating on the reason behind the editing, he found it peculiar.

Princess Charlotte took responsibility for the manipulated photo, acknowledging her experimentation with editing techniques commonly practiced by amateur photographers. She extended apologies for any confusion caused by the family photograph and wished everyone a happy Mother’s Day.

Despite inquiries about reissuing the original unedited photograph, Kensington Palace confirmed its decision not to do so. Major news agencies like the Associated Press, Reuters, Getty Images, and Agence France-Presse issued “kill notices,” advising against the use of the edited photo due to apparent manipulation.

In response to the controversy surrounding the photo, the Associated Press released a statement explaining their decision to retract the image. Initially published by the AP and issued by Kensington Palace, the photo was later withdrawn due to concerns about manipulation that did not align with the AP’s photo standards. Specifically, an inconsistency was noted in the alignment of Princess Charlotte’s left hand.

Royal expert Katie Nicholl emphasized the significance of the situation, highlighting the rarity of four international picture agencies retracting an image. Such actions, she noted, put considerable pressure on Kensington Palace, suggesting potential implications for the Palace’s handling of the matter.

Phil Chetwynd, AFP’s global news director, expressed a loss of trust in Kensington Palace as a reliable source. He stated that the incident raised the bar for vigilance among AFP teams, even with content from traditionally trusted sources.

Chetwynd further highlighted the rarity of issuing kill notices for manipulated images, noting that such actions are typically reserved for sources like North Korea. He emphasized the importance of maintaining trust and accuracy in media representation, particularly given the declining trust in institutions and the media among the general public.

The controversy surrounding the edited image compounded existing criticisms directed at Kate Middleton and Kensington Palace. They have previously faced accusations of withholding information about Middleton’s health and whereabouts.

Arthur Edwards, The Sun’s royal photographer, remarked that Middleton had learned a “tough and very public lesson,” breaking what he referred to as the “golden rule” in image management.

“It’s a golden rule that while you can crop a picture, you never, ever interfere with the image itself. Kate shouldn’t have done it, and she was right to put her hand up and admit to her mistake so quickly,” remarked Edwards. He expressed concern over the flood of “disgusting bile and hateful comments” directed at Middleton on social media.

“Now the conspiracies are flying thick and fast — not that these people need any encouragement. These cheap shots at Kate will be upsetting for her.”

Royal expert shares tragic verdict on Kate Middleton – accusing palace of not  protecting her

According to Edwards and other experts, releasing the unedited version of the photo could have quelled speculations. “But of course this comes amid all the speculation as to what’s happening with Kate, who, bar a brief picture yesterday and last week, none of us has seen since December. So many people — myself included — have been eager for an update on the Princess of Wales’s health since she underwent abdominal surgery in January.”

Despite the controversy, Edwards found the image delightful. “A bodged attempt at photographic manipulation may have been, but I still think it’s a delightful image. Kate looks radiant and so proud on Mother’s Day, surrounded by her loving kids. It’s full of uplifting love and emotion.”

Kate Middleton's parenting regret with Prince George, Princess Charlotte  and Prince Louis | HELLO!

Royal expert Hilary Fordwich, speaking to Fox, criticized the palace for what she termed “yet another public relations disaster.”

“The certainty is that a ‘slimmed down monarchy’ means fewer are guiding the royals and those who aren’t as media savvy as they need to be,” Fordwich remarked. “In our fast-paced world with tech-savvy media outlets, the palaces need to hire the best and brightest in such fields.

Royal expert shares tragic verdict on Kate Middleton – accusing palace of not  protecting her

“While this certainly isn’t ‘business as usual’ nor what we would expect from a royal household… it shows great humility to admit one’s mistakes,” Fordwich continued. “Others might have either remained silent or tried to blame another. Kate issued a straight-up, no-nonsense apology. Many could learn a lesson from such.”

The question that arises is whether the Palace is doing enough to protect Kate Middleton, and according to royal expert and author Tom Bower, they are not.


“People around the world just want to bring her down because it gives them pleasure. And then, when she did, they should have got a professional photographer in to make sure there were no hiccups like has now occurred,” Bower told The Sun.

He continued: “She’s undergone the most very serious operation imaginable. She needs a long time to recover. And I fear that she has been under terrible pressure to perform and instead of protecting her, her staff in Kensington Palace failed to give her the support and protection she needs.”

Further, Bower believes that the Palace’s main focus should be helping Kate recover completely instead of releasing more images.

“There are republicans and mischief makers who want to do everything now, to destroy the monarchy, to destroy Britain as it is today, who don’t share our values and see Kate as a soft target, an easy target, and another target to seek to undermine British values and British tradition,” he added.

We truly hope that Kate Middleton will soon appear in public so that all the controversy surrounding her stops.