Princess of Wales edited photo

Catherine, Princess of Wales and her children. Image: Kensington Palace

Image of Kate Middleton and kids retracted by agencies for digital alterations

First “official” picture of Princess post-surgery has been pulled from news agencies because it had been digitally altered.

Princess of Wales edited photo

Catherine, Princess of Wales and her children. Image: Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace has not responded to UK news agencies who retracted the first “official” picture of Kate Middleton following her absence from the public eye since her reported abdominal surgery in January.  


The image, which was posted by the Prince and Princess of Wales account on X on Sunday evening, 10 March, was accompanied by a “Happy Mother’s Day” message.

While Mother’s Day is celebrated on 10 March in the UK, the authenticity of the image is being questioned after news agencies picked up a number of digital alterations.

Four major news agencies, the Associated Press, Getty Images, Reuters and AFP cited a number of discrepancies in the image, some of which included, Princess Charlotte’s sweater sleeve, Kate’s boot, Kate’s blurry hand holding Prince Louis, amongst others.

In a statement, the Associated Press said the agency did not use altered or digitally manipulated images.

“AP’s editorial standards state that images must be accurate.

Changes in density, contrast, colour and saturation levels that substantially alter the original scene are not acceptable. Backgrounds should not be digitally blurred or eliminated by burning down or aggressive toning. The removal of “red eye” from photographs is not permissible. 

When AP determined the photo appeared to have been manipulate, it issued what is known as a photo kill, an industry term that retracted the image and instructed clients to remove the photo from their systems.”


The fake image has reignited concerns over Kate Middleton’s whereabouts as the Princess was last seen in public in December 2023.

Kate Middleton was reportedly admitted to hospital for abdominal surgery on 16 January, and the Palace’s last update regarding her recovery came on the 29th January, when the Princess returned home after two weeks in hospital.

Kensington Palace has not responded to news that their image, which was reportedly taken by Prince William has been retracted.

The image is still on the Palace’s social media.