Kate Middleton Apologizes for “Confusion” Over Photo: “I Do Occasionally Experiment With Editing”

The British royals had tried to calm concern and battle conspiracy theories about the health of Kate Middleton, the Princess of Wales, with a photo shared by Kensington Palace on Sunday. But it ended up being pulled by four major news agencies over fears the image, which shows Middleton with her three children, Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 9, and Prince Louis, 5, was “manipulated.”

Now the palace had to react to new speculation created by the photo’s publication. The Kensington Palace X account posted the following message from Middleton on Monday: “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 original photo was also signed by her. “Thank you for your kind wishes and continued support over the last two months,” the caption for the picture posted Sunday read. “Wishing everyone a Happy Mother’s Day. C.”

The BBC reported that Kensington Palace said Prince William had taken the photo in Windsor last week.

The agencies posted the photo before later pulling it after analyzing it more closely when social media users pointed to the sleeve of Princess Charlotte’s arm not lining up and the lack of focus on Prince George’s right hand as possible signs of photo manipulation. PA Media, the U.K.’s biggest news agency, through which the royal family regularly releases its official information, did not kill the picture on its service.

The whereabouts of the Princess of Wales have been the subject of often wild speculation in recent weeks after she underwent a planned abdominal surgery in London on Jan. 16. After the surgery, Kensington Palace revealed that the procedure was a success and that the princess would remain in the hospital to recover for 13 days. The palace also emphasized that Middleton would be stepping back from public duties until after Easter while she recovered.

Despite repeated statements attempting to calm the waters, speculation and conspiracy theories continued, with some suggesting that the princess could be in poorer health than the palace was willing to admit.

The palace had hoped the picture posted Sunday would quell some of these rumors about the princess, but the use of a supposedly manipulated image ended up fueling more speculation.

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