Home Europe Kate Middleton photo killed by media agencies over suspicions it was doctored

Kate Middleton photo killed by media agencies over suspicions it was doctored

by editor

Get the tinfoil hats out!

A new royal family photo featuring Kate Middleton has been pulled offline by the world’s top media agencies amid concerns it was manipulated.

Kensington Palace posted the portrait, of the Princess of Wales embracing her three smiling children, to celebrate the U.K.’s Mother’s Day on Sunday, amid growing speculation about Kate’s health following abdominal surgery earlier this year.

“Thank you for your kind wishes and continued support over the last two months,” Kate wrote on social media to accompany the picture. “Wishing everyone a Happy Mother’s Day. C”

Kate’s prolonged absence from the public eye has fueled conspiracy theories about her whereabouts. Kensington Palace attempted to quash rumors in late February, telling news organizations that Kate continued to do “well,” while reiterating that only “significant updates” would be provided on her recovery.

But Sunday’s picture — the first official photo of the princess since she underwent surgery — sparked more fevered online speculation, with digital sleuths pointing out editing issues with the snap.

Late Sunday, the Associated Press (AP), Reuters, Getty Images and Agence France-Presse (AFP) withdrew the photo as it “appeared to have been manipulated.”

“Close study of the image revealed inconsistencies that suggested it had been altered, for instance in the alignment of Princess Charlotte’s left hand with the sleeve of her sweater,” AP wrote.

The AFP issued a “mandatory kill notice,” saying that the image could not be used as it had been “altered,” while Reuters said it had deleted the image “following a post-publication review.”

Kensington Palace declined to comment, AP reported.

U.K. Security Minister Tom Tugendhat told Times Radio on Monday that it’s not unusual for families to “slightly” improve pictures of themselves and their children. But “it is important that we record what we put out is honest and that we record situations accurately,” he added.

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