• Saturday, May 18, 2024


Princess of Wales apologises for editing Mother’s Day photograph

Princess of Wales was captured last week, almost two months of her ‘disappearance’ (Photo credit: @KensingtonRoyal)

By: Vibhuti Pathak

The first officially released photograph of the Princess of Wales, following her abdominal surgery two months ago has sparked controversy as some of the world’s major picture agencies, including Associated Press, Agence France-Presse, and Reuters, have recalled it amid claims of manipulation.

The image, intended to commemorate Mother’s Day in the UK, features the Princess of Wales sitting on a chair with her three children and is the first authorised picture since Christmas.

Shortly after its release by Kensington Palace, concerns over potential editing prompted four major photo agencies to issue “kill notices,” retracting the photograph.

Post-release, the photograph was retracted by the agencies due to alleged manipulation. The Associated Press issued a notice citing an inconsistency in the alignment of Princess Charlotte’s left hand upon closer inspection. A spokesperson for AP mentioned, “The photo shows an inconsistency in the alignment of Princess Charlotte’s left hand.”


Reuters, in a statement, acknowledged withdrawing the picture after a post-publication review. They pointed out that part of Princess Charlotte’s cardigan sleeve did not align correctly, indicating possible image alteration. Reuters, however, couldn’t immediately determine how, why, or by whom the alteration had been made.

PA news agency expressed its intention to seek clarification from Kensington Palace about the concerns raised regarding manipulation but hadn’t withdrawn the picture from its service at that time.


Princess of Wales immediately went on to apologise for the edited photo, she shared it on her social media platform as well.

In response to the controversy, Associated Press later mentioned its news values, stating that minor edits such as cropping, toning, and colour adjustment are acceptable for clear and accurate reproduction. However, changes that substantially alter the original scene or backgrounds through digital manipulation are not permissible.

Speculation and conspiracy theories have circulated during Princess’s recovery from the planned abdominal operation in January, with little information about her condition provided.

The photograph, posted on social media accounts of the Prince and Princess of Wales, was accompanied by a message expressing gratitude for well-wishes and support over the past two months.

The image, taken by the Prince of Wales in Windsor earlier in the week, raised questions about the authenticity of its portrayal, prompting the picture agencies to take swift action. (With inputs from Reuters and AFP)


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