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Kate Middleton under intense pressure and ‘fragile’ – royal expert issues ‘bullying’ warning amid photo mishap

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Kate Middleton and the royal family are in a very tough spot after it was confirmed that the latest picture of the Princess of Wales and her children was photoshopped. Several news agencies decided to pull the image from their websites, and conspiracy theories about how Kate is actually doing are growing by the minute. 

Meanwhile, Kate apologized for editing the picture of her and her children, and on Monday, she was spotted in a car leaving Windsor with William. However, considering all the drama associated with the edited photograph, not everyone is convinced that it was actually her.

While experts have advised Kate Middleton to take it easy and rest as she recovers from her “planned abdominal surgery,” the controversy surrounding the latest picture has put a lot of stress on the princess. Now, a royal expert is handing out a warning to Kate — which could have dire consequences if she doesn’t follow.

On Mother’s Day this past Sunday, Kensington Palace finally released a picture of Kate. The questions about her health amid the planned abdominal surgery she underwent in January have been plentiful. With that, virtually every social media has been swarmed with conspiracy theories regarding her well-being.

Kate Middleton – backlash over ‘photoshop’ picture

In the new photo, the Princess of Wales was seen sitting on a patio surrounded by her three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis, which many took as a sign that she was doing well following her surgery in January.

“Thank you for your kind wishes and continued support over the last two months. Wishing everyone a Happy Mother’s Day,” the caption on the Prince and Princess of Wales’ official Instagram account read. It was signed “C,” meaning Kate herself had written it.

At first, royal fans were filled with joy. The picture was sent to global news agencies, and many sent Kate their best wishes. It was a sign that Kate was doing well, and most likely, Kensington Palace did post it to end speculations and the many bizarre conspiracy theories surrounding her health.

However, it took only hours before everything had changed – and the conspiracy grew bigger than ever.

On social media, photography and image-editing experts quickly questioned the picture’s authenticity. Many details appeared to have been manipulated, with some clearer than others.

“Professional photographer here. Look closely at Princess Charlotte’s wrist. This is what happens when you composite layers in Photoshop. I’m not speculating on why the photo was edited like this, but it’s weird,” portrait photographer Martin Bamford wrote on X.

There were several significant details social media users became obsessed with analyzing, including Charlotte’s half-missing sleeve and blurred skirt and Kate’s misplaced zip.

News agencies says picture of Kate Middleton and children were “manipulated”

Charlotte’s knee and Kate Middleton’s hand around Louis were “blurry,” and her wrist and jumper sleeve were accused of being manipulated.

Many social media users claimed the photo had “editing fails,” including Kate’s left hand not having a wedding ring and even her chin being photoshopped. Meanwhile, Kate Middleton’s hair on the right was blurry, while George’s sweater behind her was not. Also, Louis’ sweater was mismatched on his right arm.

It was clear that something, or many things, was wrong.

“The more you look at this, the worse it gets. the hands, the fact some parts are so blurry and some so sharp, the way Charlotte is apparently balancing in that position, there is literally a crease in the step, the reflection in the window doesn’t match,” one user wrote on X.

It didn’t take long before news agencies began investigating the picture. The Associated Press, Reuters, Getty Images, and Agence France-Presse all decided to issue “kill notices,” which are advisory notices to remove or not use a specific photo.

“It appears that the source has manipulated the image,” the Associated Press notification read.

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They also released a statement, saying, “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. The photo shows an inconsistency in the alignment of Princess Charlotte’s left hand.”

In an interview with GB News, Dr Hany Farid, a professor of computer sciences, said the work on Princess Charlotte’s sleeve looked like a “bad Photoshop job.”

“I clearly see what is being referenced here, with respect to her sleeve. It looks like a bad Photoshop job. I know we talk a lot about AI lately but it is still possible to use traditional photo-editing tools,” Farid said.

Kate Middleton took the blame for editing mishap

The professor added, “What you would be worried about here is if Kate wasn’t in this photo and had been digitally inserted. This would be a dramatic manipulation.”

The fact that Kate Middleton’s wedding ring wasn’t visible in the picture further fueled speculation about something being hidden from the public. But according to Kensington Palace, there was a reason for that.

Speaking to ITV News, Kate’s office responded that she wasn’t wearing the ring because she was “at home” when the photo was taken and dismissed speculations about her marriage with William by stating, “It was her husband who took the photo.”

Initially, Kensington Palace decided not to comment on the alleged manipulation of the Kate photo. However, on Monday morning, Kate Middleton took to the Prince and Princess of Wales’ official X account to explain what had happened.

The image was indeed edited – and Kate claimed she had done it.

“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,” the post read.

Kate Middleton
Samir Hussein/WireImage

That several news agencies decided to pull the picture from their sites was huge. It usually doesn’t happen, and the fact that it, this time, was a photo of royal family members that also was edited by a future queen made it even more remarkable.

“The photo may have even been from before her medical incident”

So what really happened? According to British broadcaster Jonathan Sacerdoti, it isn’t surprising that the royal family members edit photographs they have taken themselves. However, the fact that it wasn’t done reasonably will have consequences, he says.

“This photo was always going to be intensely scrutinized, so it’s no surprise that people looked for clues and hints which might fit the theories they had about the princess’ health. That we’ve been told so little about her condition has meant speculation has been enormous. These days, conspiracy theories spread around the world faster than ever,” Sacerdoti told Fox.

“Any sign of manipulation risks encouraging further speculation and conspiracy theorizing,” Sacerdoti continued. “Either way, the photo may have even been from before her medical incident, as it is simply a generic family snap.”

As mentioned, Kate Middleton said she was solely responsible for editing the picture of her and her children. Meanwhile, some argue that the fact that she is doing it seems strange as the palace has many experts in graphic design and/or communication and that it is a big question mark over the fact that Kate posted it herself, without anyone looking at it.

But even so, royal reporter Neil Sean argues that even though the palace would have had a different opinion about posting the photo in the first place, Kate Middleton most likely had the final say no matter what. His theory is that Kate “was probably in the rush” and most likely didn’t look closer at the details.

Kate Middleton
Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

“I believe someone else did the Photoshop 100%. And I think that she’s being very gracious in accepting the blame,” Neil Sean told Fox. “I think she is humiliated in some respects but doesn’t really understand what this fuss is about,” he said.

Royal expert says news agencies try to “bully” Kate by removing picture

The royal reporter continued, “A lot of those particular agencies have been looking for slip-ups for years, because remember, before they would sell the rights to that picture. Catherine and William have bypassed it by doing their own picture. Now, it could be that they’ll have to revert back, at least for the next couple of pictures, to alleviate any claims of any misdemeanor type stuff. It’s going to be a mess for a while.”

Moreover, Neil Sean claims that the only reason why the big news agencies such as AP and Getty removed the picture is that they were “trying to bully” Kate into giving them more details about her health status.

“I think Catherine and the team genuinely thought, ‘Put a picture out on Mother’s Day, that will stop people nagging about where she is, why isn’t she speaking, all that sort of stuff.’ And what happened was the picture that they put together, they thought, ‘Well, we’ll just clean that up, make it look a little bit fresher.’ And now suddenly you’ve got a furor,” he concluded, adding that the best thing the Prince and Princess of Wales could do at this point is to release a video that’ poking fun of the photo mistake.

Kate Middleton has been recovering from her abdominal surgery since mid-January. The initial statement read that she wouldn’t be back to royal duty until after Easter, and as her recovery began, many experts laid out their thoughts on how she could do it the best way.

Karwai Tang/WireImage

Not only did she have to take it easy for her stitches to heal correctly, but she also had to not stress about her return to royal duty.

Kate Middleton in ‘fragile mental state,’ expert says

Sadly, with all that has been going on, royal expert Jennie Bond claims that even though Kate is apart from what has happened, she is now “under intense pressure,” facing a threat of “bullying.”

A picture posted by the Daily Mail on Monday appears to portray Kate sitting beside William in a car leaving Windsor. It was reported that she was going to a “private” appointment. But with all that has happened, Bond says, people will judge Kate whenever she is seen in public.

“The pressure has doubled and redoubled. I think she’s in a fragile mental and physical state. We should lay off her,” Jennie Bond told GB News.

“I do think we are in danger of bulling a lady who is trying to recover from a very serious operation. I think of how she must be feeling this morning. Absolutely miserable. I think her Mother’s Day was obviously ruined by this row.”

The royal expert added that the picture of her sitting in the car with William clearly showed that she “didn’t look that happy.”

Time will tell whether we will see her smile again.

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