Kate Middleton and Prince William’s friends ‘shocked’ over detail in manipulated Mother’s Day picture

One week has passed since Kate Middleton—and the monarchy—were caught in a massive storm. The Princess of Wales’ photo she posted on Mother’s Day was largely edited, and news agencies decided to remove it from their websites. Meanwhile, the mystery surrounding Kate is getting more puzzling by the minute, as Kensington Palace appears not to want to release any information—or pictures—of the future queen.

The edited Mother’s Day picture posted last Sunday had several significant errors. One of them showed Kate Middleton not wearing her wedding ring, which has baffled many royal fans and experts. Even though the picture has been edited, which could mean the ring has been deleted, the conspiracy theories continue growing.

While conspiracy theories are mostly shared and discussed online, they have reached Prince William and Kate Middleton’s friends. Although nothing has been confirmed, denied, or even commented on by the palace regarding the future king and queen’s relationship, the Prince and Princess of Wales’ friends are reportedly shocked by the latest development.

Kate Middleton’s picture for Mother’s Day turned out to have been manipulated. This caused a lot of anger among royal fans and experts, and just a day after it was published, the princess apologized.

“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,” Kate said in a post on the Prince and Princess of Wales’ social media platforms.

Kate Middleton – manipulated Mother’s Day picture

It took a few hours before photography experts and social media users began analyzing the picture, finding several errors and examples of bad editing.

Several news agencies, including the Associated Press and Getty, sent a “kill notice” (an advisory notice to remove or not use a specific photo).

Another news agency that used a “kill notice” was the well-renowned Agence France-Presse (AFP). Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Media Show, Phil Chetwynd, AFP’s global news director, said that Kensington Palace is no longer a trusted source.

“No, absolutely not. Like with anything, when you’re let down by a source the bar is raised … We sent out notes to all our teams at the moment to be absolutely super more vigilant about the content coming across our desk — even from what we would call trusted sources,” he said, as reported by Deadline.

Chetwynd continued by revealing that several news agencies asked Kensington Palace Sunday if they could provide the original picture. However, according to him, the agencies did not receive a reply, and the image was pulled.

Moreover, Chetwynd said kill notices are usually reserved for sources such as North Korea.

“To kill something on the basis of manipulation [is rare. We do it] once a year maybe, I hope less. The previous kills we’ve had have been from the North Korean news agency or the Iranian news agency,” Chetwynd added.

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

It’s been over a week since Kate published the photo on the Prince and Princess of Wales’ official Instagram account. Since – besides news agencies releasing a “kill notice,” – Instagram has decided to add an ‘altered photo’ notice to Kate Middleton’s edited Mother’s Day photo.

Under the Instagram post, a warning reads: “Altered photo/video. The same altered photo was reviewed by independent fact-checkers in another post.”

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