Kensington Palace Is No Longer a “Trusted Source” After Kate Middleton Edited Photo, AFP Says

After a March 10 photo of Kate Middleton was pulled from agencies for being doctored, AFP global news director Phil Chetwynd revealed his agency no longer views Kensington Palace as a "trust source."

By Leah Degrazia Mar 14, 2024 11:13 PMTags
Watch: Agency Says Kensington Palace Is No Longer a “Trusted Source”

The royal family is on thin ice. 

In light of photo agencies pulling a photo of Kate Middleton on March 10 for being "manipulated," the global news director of Agence France-Presse (AFP) Phil Chetwynd revealed that his publication will no longer view Kensington Palace as a "trusted source."

"At this moment in time, AFP's trust in handout pictures from the [Kensington] Palace has been compromised," Chetwynd shared in a March 14 statement to E! News. "We cannot say they are a trusted source for handout pictures. We still require further explanations."

But that's not to say the agency will no longer use photos provided by the family. As Chetwynd explained, it simply means the submissions will "be subject to heightened scrutiny and editing checks."

He added, "We would hope we could rebuild this trust over time."

Chetwynd went on to admit that the portrait of Middleton—which was posted to her and husband Prince Williams' official Instagram account in honor of U.K. Mother's Day and featured the Princess of Wales with kids Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5—was originally published without close inspection because the agency had worked with palace for years and "never had issues before." However, realizing the palace had distributed a "doctored photo available for distribution to the world's media" has made Chetwynd re-evaluate the relationship.  

Kate Middleton's Best Looks

"When a source lets you down, it would be normal journalistic practice to be skeptical about future interactions," he shared. "I think it is fair to say that any handout images we receive from the Palace in the future will be treated with extreme prudence."

As for Middleton, the 42-year-old—who has not made a formal public appearance since undergoing abdominal surgery in January—did not remain quiet following the Photoshop controversy. One day after it was pulled from agencies, Kensington Palace released her explanation as to why the snapshot was altered. 

Chris Jackson/Getty Images

"Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing," read a March 11 message posted 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."

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

Keep reading to catch up on news from royal families across the world. 


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