News agencies retract image of Princess of Wales and children on manipulation concerns

Daily News
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News agencies retract image of Princess of Wales and children on manipulation concerns

Catherine, Princess of Wales, Princess Charlotte of Wales, Prince George of Wales, Prince William, Prince of Wales, Prince Louis of Wales and Mia Tindall attend Christmas Morning Service at Sandringham Church on December 25, 2023 in Sandringham, Norfolk. 

Samir Hussein | Wireimage | Getty Images

International news agencies withdrew a picture of the U.K.’s Princess of Wales and her three children, saying it failed to meet their editorial standards.

The image of Kate, Princess of Wales, surrounded by her children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, was issued earlier on Sunday by Kensington Palace, the name of the family’s offices.

Associated Press, Getty Images, AFP and Reuters released a so-called “kill notification” for the image, indicating they would not continue to publish it and that it should not be circulated more widely.

“At closer inspection it appears that the source has manipulated the image. No replacement photo will be sent,” AP said at 8:19 p.m. London time Sunday.

Photo editors at Reuters said part of the sleeve of Princess Charlotte’s cardigan and wrist did not line up properly, suggesting the image had been altered. Major agencies do not distribute news photographs that have been “overly edited,” according to Reuters.

Online commenters had raised questions about other details in the image, including part of the background wall that did not appear to line up correctly, and the leaves on the tree in the background.

As of Monday morning, the image remained posted to the Prince and Princess of Wales’s account on social platform X.

The post includes a caption expressing good wishes for Mother’s Day and stating that the photograph was taken by the Prince of Wales in 2024. Kensington Palace said the photograph was taken by Prince William at the family’s home in Windsor earlier in the week.

An image shared by Kensington Palace that was retracted by AP and other news agencies Sunday, after signs of digital alteration were noted.

The Princess of Wales is currently on a break from royal duties following abdominal surgery in January. Further details about the surgery have not been provided.

Kensington Palace previously announced that she was unlikely to return to public engagements until after Easter, at the end of March.

The image and the social media post were her first message since then, and were viewed by some as a response to social media speculation about her whereabouts and health. Her office earlier this month said it would only provide “significant updates.”

King Charles has also paused royal duties while undergoing treatment for an unspecified form of cancer.

Kensington Palace has not released comment regarding the image’s withdrawal by news agencies. NBC News has approached Kensington Palace for comment.

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