Kate Middleton Apologizes for ‘Confusion’ Over Edited Family Photo

Catherine, Princess of Wales, is acknowledged that a photo of her released March 10 by Kensington Palace had been altered.

The former Kate Middleton on March 11 released an apology statement, via the Kensington Palace X accountexplaining she had edited the image — the first photo of the princess released since she underwent unspecified abdominal surgery in January — as a photography “experiment.”

“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,” she wrote.

Mother’s Day is celebrated March 10 in the United Kingdom.

The royal family portrait featured the princess sitting in a chair as she posed with her three children: Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5.

In the caption of the post, the princess expressed gratitude to the public for its outpouring of support following her planned abdominal surgery in January.

“Thank you for your kind wishes and continued support over the last two months,” the caption reads. “Wishing everyone a Happy Mother’s Day.”

The photo was taken by Prince William last week in Windsor, according to a statement from Kensington Palace.

After the palace released the family photo, multiple news agencies put out notices to the media advising not to use the image because it appeared to have been “manipulated,” according to NBC News.

The Associated Press, Reuters, Getty Images and Agence France-Presse all issued “kill notices,” an advisory to remove or not use a photo, according to messages on their imaging websites and email notifications from some of the agencies, NBC News reported.

In a statement to NBC News, the AP said: “The Associated Press initially published the photo, which was issued by Kensington Palace. The AP later retracted the image because on 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.”

Reuters issued an editor’s note about the photo, saying it was “withdrawn following a post publication review.”

The photo of the Princess of Wales came amid online speculation about her whereabouts and her health since her surgery.

Kensington Palace said in a statement in January that Kate, whose last public appearance before the surgery was on Christmas Day in 2023, would remain in the hospital for 10 to 14 days after her surgery and then return to her home to recover.

The palace specified that Kate would not likely make public appearances until after Easter, according to the statement.

In a follow-up statement on Jan. 29, the palace confirmed that Kate had returned home to recover from surgery at Windsor.

But as social media rumors about Kate’s health amped up the following month, a spokesperson for the princess issued a statement on Feb. 29 reminding the public of the princess’s anticipated recovery “timeline.”

“Kensington Palace made it clear in January the timelines of the Princess’ recovery and we’d only be providing significant updates,” the spokesperson said at the time. “That guidance stands.”

Earlier this month, Kate was photographed for the first time since her surgery while riding as a passenger in an SUV driven by her mother, Carole Middleton, near Windsor Castle. The palace declined to comment on the photos.