Royal Expert Shares Tragic Verdict On Kate Middleton – Accusing Palace Of Not Protecting Her

Kate Middleton's Mother's Day photo continues to generate controversy as it was promptly taken down for editing shortly after being posted. 

"Professional photographer here. Take a close look at Princess Charlotte’s wrist. This is a typical outcome of layer compositing in Photoshop. I won't delve into the reasons behind the photo's editing, but it's certainly unusual," remarked portrait photographer Martin Bamford on X.

The Princess accepted responsibility for editing the photo.

Using their official X account, she expressed, "Similar to many amateur photographers, I occasionally explore editing techniques. I want to apologize for any confusion arising from the family photograph we posted yesterday. I hope everyone celebrating had a joyful Mother’s Day. - C."

Kensington Palace later confirmed that they "would not be releasing the original, unedited photograph of Kate and her children."

The Associated Press, Reuters, Getty Images, and Agence France-Presse all opted to issue "kill notices," advisory alerts advising against the use or removal of a particular photo.

“It appears that the source has manipulated the image,” the Associated Press notification read.

DERBY, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 06: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visits students at the University of Derby to hear how the pandemic has impacted university life and what national measures have been put in place to support student mental health on October 6, 2020 in Derby, England. (Photo by Arthur Edwards – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

They also issued a statement, explaining, "The Associated Press initially distributed the photo provided by Kensington Palace. However, upon closer examination, it became evident that the image had been altered in a manner inconsistent with AP's photo guidelines. Specifically, there was a discrepancy in the alignment of Princess Charlotte’s left hand."

Royal expert Katie Nicholl suggested that the Palace would face considerable pressure in the aftermath of the photo incident.

"What's particularly significant in all of this is that four major international picture agencies have decided to retract this image. That's quite uncommon," remarked Nicholl.

"In my fifteen years of covering this beat, I can't recall a single instance where a royal image has been recalled. That's highly unusual. It could potentially compel Kensington Palace to take action," remarked Nicholl.

During an appearance on BBC Radio 4's Media Show, Phil Chetwynd, AFP's global news director, remarked that Kensington Palace is now viewed as an unreliable source.

"No, absolutely not. Just as with any situation where trust is breached, our standards become even more stringent... We've instructed all our teams to exercise utmost vigilance regarding the content we receive — even from what we traditionally consider trusted sources," he stated, as reported by Deadline.

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

He added that kill notices are usually reserved for sources such as North Korea.

"To retract an image due to manipulation is uncommon. We typically encounter such situations perhaps once a year, hopefully less. Previous retractions we've made were from sources like the North Korean news agency or the Iranian news agency," Chetwynd added.

"One crucial aspect is the integrity of portraying reality to the public accurately. It boils down to a matter of trust. The significant issue at hand revolves around trust, or rather the erosion of it, within both institutions and the media. Hence, it's of utmost importance that a photograph accurately reflects the reality it portrays," he concluded.

The controversy surrounding the edited image only exacerbated existing concerns, as both Kate and the Palace have faced accusations of withholding information regarding her health and whereabouts.

Arthur Edwards, The Sun’s royal photographer, commented that the Princess of Wales has learned a "difficult and highly public lesson," having broken the "golden rule."

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

"It's an unwritten rule that while cropping a picture is acceptable, altering the image itself is a line you don't cross. Kate shouldn't have done it, and she was correct to promptly acknowledge her mistake," remarked Edwards, noting the flood of "disgusting bile and hateful comments about her" on social media.

"The conspiracy theories are spreading rapidly — as if these individuals needed any further encouragement. These unwarranted attacks on Kate are bound to upset her."

According to experts, including Edwards, releasing the unedited version of the photo could have quelled the speculations coming from the Palace.

"However, this situation arises amidst ongoing speculation about Kate's well-being. Apart from a brief picture yesterday and last week, none of us has seen her since December. Many people, myself included, have been eagerly awaiting an update on the Princess of Wales's health since her abdominal surgery in January."

Edwards further remarked, "While the attempt at photo manipulation may have been flawed, I still find it to be a delightful image. Kate appears radiant and filled with pride on Mother’s Day, surrounded by her adoring children. It exudes a sense of heartwarming love and emotion."

Zac Goodwin – Pool/Getty Images

In a conversation with Fox, royal expert Hilary Fordwich asserted that the palace is accountable for what she dubs "yet another public relations disaster."

"The reality is that a 'slimmed-down monarchy' translates to fewer individuals guiding the royals, and those in charge may not possess the media savvy necessary," Fordwich remarked. "In today's fast-paced world with tech-savvy media outlets, the palaces must recruit the most skilled and knowledgeable professionals in these areas."

"While this isn't 'business as usual' or what we typically anticipate from a royal household, it demonstrates great humility to acknowledge one's mistakes," Fordwich continued. "Others might have chosen to stay silent or attempted to shift the blame onto someone else. Kate issued a straightforward, no-nonsense apology. There's a lesson to be learned from her approach that many could benefit from."

The question that arises is whether the Palace is taking sufficient measures to safeguard Kate Middleton, and according to royal expert and author Tom Bower, they are falling short.

Shirlaine Forrest/Getty Images

"People around the world seem to derive pleasure from trying to tear her down. And when she acknowledged her mistake, they should have brought in a professional photographer to ensure there were no hiccups like the ones that have now occurred," Bower told The Sun.

He continued, "She's undergone an incredibly serious operation. She requires ample time to recuperate. I'm concerned that she has been subjected to tremendous pressure to fulfill her duties, and rather than shielding her, her staff at Kensington Palace have failed to provide the support and protection she requires."

Furthermore, Bower believes that the Palace's primary focus should be on aiding Kate in her complete recovery rather than releasing more images.

"There are republicans and troublemakers who are eager to dismantle the monarchy and undermine Britain as it stands today. They do not share our values and perceive Kate as a vulnerable and convenient target—an opportunity to undermine British values and traditions," he added.

We sincerely hope that Kate Middleton will soon make a public appearance, putting an end to all the controversy surrounding her.

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