Kate Middleton's New Picture Pulled From Photo Agencies for Being "Manipulated"

Photo and news agencies, such as AP, have removed from their offerings a new official pic of Kate Middleton, the first shared by Kensington Palace since she underwent abdominal surgery.

By Corinne Heller Mar 11, 2024 12:10 AMTags
Watch: Kate Middleton’s First Photo Since Abdominal Surgery Retracted Amid Manipulation Concerns

Is Kate Middleton the victim of a Photoshop fail?

Just hours after Kensington Palace released its first official pic of the Princess of Wales since her abdominal surgery in January, the Associated Press, Reuters, Getty Images and Agence France-Presse pulled it from their databases and issued "kill notices," or advisories to editors and clients to remove or not use a pic.

The photo, which was shared the morning of March 10 on Kate and husband Prince William's Instagram and X pages in honor of U.K.'s Mother's Day, featured Kate surrounded by their kids Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5.

"The Associated Press initially published the photo, which was issued by Kensington Palace," the news wire said in a statement to NBC News. "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."

Kate Middleton & Prince William's Best Moments

Meanwhile, Reuters noted that the photo "has been withdrawn following a post publication review," while AFP cited an "editorial issue," with the pic in a notice on their site, NBC News reported.

Getty Images said in its own message, "For editorial reasons, please remove the following image(s) from your system and do not use in any manner."

E! News has reached out to Kensington Palace for comment and has not heard back.

Chris Jackson/Getty Images

The picture was released about a week after Kate was photographed riding in a car alongside her mother Carole Middleton near Windsor, marking the first image of her since she, William and their kids' appearances at the royal family's public Christmas walk in December 2023, weeks before she underwent her surgery in a private hospital in London.

The Palace had said in January that "based on the current medical advice," Kate is "unlikely to return to public duties until after Easter." Amid the speculation about her, a spokesperson for the princess told E! News on Feb. 29, "Kensington Palace made it clear in January the timelines of the princess' recovery and we'd only be providing significant updates. That guidance stands."

(E! and NBC News are part of the NBCUniversal family.)

Read on for more about the latest royal family news, including King Charles III's cancer battle. 

Returning to Public Duties

On April 26, nearly three months after sharing his cancer diagnosis, Buckingham Palace announced that Charles will return to public-facing duties

Queen Camilla Attends Royal Maundy Service

The queen consort attended the Royal Maundy Service on March 28 in place of King Charles III, making her the first spouse of the Monarch to continue the ancient tradition.

Kate Middleton Shares Cancer Diagnosis

In a March 22 video message, the Princess of Wales shared that she'd been diagnosed with cancer after undergoing abdominal surgery in January.

"It was thought that my condition was non-cancerous. The surgery was successful," she said before noting that tests after the operation found cancer had been present. "My medical team therefore advised that I should undergo a course of preventative chemotherapy and I am now in the early stages of that treatment."

Kate Middleton Apologizes for Edited Family Photo Controversy

After photo agencies pulled the picture Kensington Palace shared of Kate since having her abdominal surgery on March 10, the Princess of Wales addressed claims the photo was doctored. 

"Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing," she tweeted on March 11. "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."

Lady Kitty Spencer Privately Welcomes Baby

Princess Diana's niece celebrated Mother's Day in the U.K. by sharing she and her husband Michael Lewis privately welcomed their first baby.

“It’s the joy of my life to be your mummy, little one. I love you unconditionally," she captioned her March 10 Instagram post. "Happy Mother’s Day to those who celebrate today."

Queen Camilla Takes a Break

After keeping up her full slate of engagements in the wake of her husband's cancer diagnosis, the palace cleared Camilla's schedule.

The Times pointed out March 2 that the 76-year-old didn't have any engagements on her calendar until March 11, when she'd be due at Westminster Abbey to observe Commonwealth Day.

Thomas Kensington Dies at 45

The husband of Lady Gabriella Windsor and ex-boyfriend of Pippa Middleton, was found dead Feb. 25. Days later, a coroner's inquest found that he died by suicide.

King Charles Diagnosed With Cancer

While King Charles III was in the hospital for his benign prostate enlargement procedure, the royal family member was diagnosed with cancer.

"His Majesty has today commenced a schedule of regular treatments, during which time he has been advised by doctors to postpone public-facing duties," Buckingham Palace said Feb. 5. "Throughout this period, His Majesty will continue to undertake State business and official paperwork as usual.The King is grateful to his medical team for their swift intervention, which was made possible thanks to his recent hospital procedure. He remains wholly positive about his treatment and looks forward to returning to full public duty as soon as possible."

Sarah Ferguson Is Diagnosed With a Second Type of Cancer

The Duchess of York's rep said in a statement on Jan. 21 that Sarah was recently diagnosed with malignant melanoma, an aggressive form of skin cancer. Several months prior, she underwent a single mastectomy to treat breast cancer.

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark Abdicates the Throne

On Jan. 14, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark made history as she officially abdicated the throne, handing the crown over to her son, now known as King Frederik the 10th

Kate Middleton Is Hospitalized

Kensington Palace announced on Jan. 17 that Kate Middleton underwent planned abdominal surgery and was set to remain in the hospital for 10 to 14 days.

"Based on the current medical advice," the Palace said, "she is unlikely to return to public duties until after Easter."

Prince William Adjusting His Schedule

Amid Kate's recovery, Prince William postponed a number of engagements as he supported his family, including the couple's three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

King Charles III Undergoing Treatment

Shortly after Kate's hospitalization was made public, Buckingham Palace shared that Charles "has sought treatment for an enlarged prostate."

"His Majesty's condition is benign and he will attend hospital next week for a corrective procedure," the statement added. "The King’s public engagements will be postponed for a short period of recuperation."

Luxembourg Welcomes a New Baby

Princess Claire and Prince Felix of Luxembourg welcomed son Balthazar Felix Karl on Jan. 7, the first royal baby of the New Year!

For the latest breaking news updates, click here to download the E! News App