Kate Middleton and Prince William Spotted Leaving Windsor Castle Amid Photo Controversy

Hours after Kate Middleton apologized for "any confusion" caused by her edited family picture, the Princess of Wales was photographed leaving Windsor Castle alongside husband Prince William March 11.

By Jess Cohen Mar 11, 2024 5:38 PMTags
Watch: Kate Middleton Steps Out Amid Photo Controversy

Kate Middleton is sticking to her schedule.

Shortly after issuing an apology over her edited family photo, the Princess of Wales was spotted leaving Windsor Castle alongside husband Prince William March 11. In photos published by the Daily Mail, the couple was seen sitting next to each other in the backseat of a car as Kate—who is recovering from abdominal surgery—looked out of her window.

At the time they were photographed, William was en route to Commonwealth Day services at London's Westminster Abbey while Kate was heading to an appointment, according to multiple reports.

Earlier in the day, Kate reacted to the controversy over the Mother's Day U.K. portrait she shared on her and William's social media accounts March 10. 

"Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing," the 42-year-old wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. "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."

Kate Middleton & Prince William's Best Moments

The photo in question, which featured her kids Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5, was pulled from photo agencies amid accusations it had been manipulated. 

"The Associated Press initially published the photo, which was issued by Kensington Palace," AP said in a statement to NBC News March 10. "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."

Karwai Tang/WireImage

This incident has only continued to fuel social media conspiracy theories, which have been running rampant amid Kate's time out of the public eye. In fact, the family photo was supposed to mark the first official portrait of Kate since her operation, though it has now made headlines for other reasons. 

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

Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images

Since announcing Kate's health news in early 2024, the Palace has maintained that she will remain out of the spotlight until Easter March 31. 

"The Princess of Wales wishes to apologize to all those concerned for the fact that she has to postpone her upcoming engagements," their Jan. 17 statement noted. "She looks forward to reinstating as many as possible, as soon as possible."

Kate herself even addressed royal fans in her Mother's Day message. "Thank you for your kind wishes," she captioned the family portrait, "and continued support over the last two months."

To revisit the latest royal family news, including King Charles III's own health journey, keep reading...

Kate Middleton Focusing on Health

Nearly two months after the Princess of Wales went public with her cancer diagnosis, a spokesperson for Kensington Palace said the royal has no immidiate plans to return to her public-facing duties.

"The princess is not expected to return to work," the rep said in a May 21 statement to BBC, "until it's cleared by her medical team."

New Role for Prince William

On May 13, King Charles III bestowed the title of Colonel-in-Chief of the Army Air Corps to his oldest son, sparking controversy as many royal watchers believed the title would be more suited for Prince Harry, who trained and served in the military branch.

Kin Charles III Returns 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!

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