Kensington Palace declines to comment on row over ‘manipulated’ royal photo


Several top news agencies on Sunday retracted a photo of Kate, the Princess of Wales, issued by Kensington Palace after flagging concerns about the image being manipulated, amid ongoing speculation and rumours about the health and whereabouts of the British royal.
The image in question that was recalled by agencies.
Key facts
  • According to the BBC, Kensington Palace “declined to comment” on the issue after the image was pulled from circulation by the wire services.
  • At the time of publishing, the photo remained up on the Palace’s official social media handles, although the X post featuring the image was hit with a community note stating: “This photo is believed to be digitally altered.”
  • The Associated Press said after closer inspection, it “appeared the source had manipulated the image,” adding the photo “shows an inconsistency in the alignment of Princess Charlotte’s left hand.”
  • Charlotte is Kate and William’s daughter, and Reuters also noted that part of her cardigan’s sleeve “did not line up properly, suggesting that the image had been altered.”
  • The photo was the first one of Kate publicly released by the palace since she underwent abdominal surgery in January, and the accompanying message on social media thanked people for their “kind wishes and continued support over the last two months.”

PA Media, the U.K.’s top news agency and a key source of news releases from the country’s royal family, has not pulled the picture from circulation. A video story featuring the image continues to remain online on the agency’s official X account. 

According to Sky News, the agency has sought “urgent clarification from Kensington Palace” over the manipulation concerns.

News Peg

According to the BBC, Sunday’s photo was taken by Prince William. Under standard protocol, a professional portrait photographer or a member of the national press is called to take photos of private royal events.

However, due to Kate’s recent surgery, the number of people coming in close contact with her has been limited. BBC report added that the image would have then likely undergone some editing by the social media team at Kensington Palace, which likely caused the issue.

Most news agencies, however, have stringent guidelines on using images that have been digitally altered in any way and usually require an accompanying disclaimer for the same.

This article was first published on and all figures are in USD.

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