Agency says photo of Kate, the late queen, was doctored as the princess was seen in public for the first time in months

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Princess of Wales/Kensington Palace

The photo showing the queen and 10 of her young relatives was published last year. CNN has circled areas showing visible digital anomalies.


Another official photo involving Catherine of Wales, Princess of Wales, was digitally manipulated, according to a major photo agency, sparking a second royal retouching controversy as Kate is seen in public for the first time in months.

Getty Images said the photo of Queen Elizabeth with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, taken by Kate and released by Kensington Palace last year, was “digitally enhanced”, and ranked 19 in the CNN analysis There are signs of change.

It follows a similar saga over a Mother’s Day photo of Catherine and her children, said to have been taken by Prince William, which was also retouched. Trying to calm the uproar following the first edited photo, Kate apologized and claimed last Monday that she likes to “experiment” with editing images.

Recently revealed discrepancies in the second royal photo have put Kate at the center of even more questions, and threaten to strain the royals’ relationship with major news and photography agencies.

It’s a controversy that Welsh people will not welcome, coming amid intense scrutiny over the princess’s health and condition.

On Saturday, Prince William and Kate were spotted and photographed at a farm shop near their home, easing questions over their health.

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William and Kate were seen shopping on Saturday, a rare sighting of the Princess of Wales since the palace said she had abdominal surgery in January.

Kensington Palace previously told CNN that earlier this month the princess was also photographed inside her private car as she departed Windsor Castle after she attended a private appointment on March 11.

He had stomach surgery in January, after which he was not seen in public.

The latest controversy centers on a photograph published in April 2023, in which the Queen – who died last September – is surrounded by 10 of her young relatives.

The palace said it was taken by Kate at Balmoral Castle in Scotland a few months before the queen’s death, but redactions have led to confusion over whether the image was actually stitched together from several different shots .

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Inconsistencies in the Balmoral photo include the misalignment of the Queen’s skirt and blanket and the sofa on which she is sitting. The strand of Princess Charlotte’s hair appears to have been cloned, while the strand of Prince Louis’ shoulder is blurred and appears to overlap the background. The lighting of many of the royals in the photo also does not match the overall lighting of the photo.

Getty said in an editor’s note that the image “has been digitally enhanced at the source.” CNN has contacted the agency; Kensington Palace declined to comment when contacted on Tuesday.

In a statement to CNN, the company said: “Getty Images is reviewing handout images and in accordance with its editorial policy is placing an editor’s note on images where the source has suggested they be digitally enhanced. Could.”

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In Kate’s brief apology over the Mother’s Day photo, she did not explain why she made changes to her photos, nor why Kensington Palace did not disclose her changes to photo agencies.

The rebuke from Getty and others is more than an embarrassment to the royals.


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Like countless governments and institutions around the world, the family depends on agencies to distribute their images to news outlets. But these companies have strict rules allowing only minimal editing; By secretly manipulating their photos in various locations, the royals have portrayed themselves as potential distributors of misinformation.

The Getty in particular has had a long-standing close relationship with Kensington Palace; They have often been invited to organize shoots of royals, and have sponsored royal events.

Kate is taking a break from public duties as she recovers from her surgery, a lengthy absence that has sparked conspiracy theories online and questions about her health in the British media. King Charles III has been performing light duties since announcing his cancer diagnosis in February.

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