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Royal expert delivers a tragic verdict on Kate Middleton, accusing the palace of failing to protect her.

The photo posted on Mother’s Day by Kate Middleton is still causing a stir after it was unpublished shortly due to editing issues.

“Professional photographer here. Look closely at Princess Charlotte’s wrist. This is what happens when you composite layers in Photoshop. I’m not speculating on why the photo was edited like this, but it’s weird,” portrait photographer Martin Bamford wrote on X.

The Princess took responsibility for manipulating the photo. On her and William’s official X account, she wrote, “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.”

Kensington Palace later confirmed it “would not be reissuing the original unedited photograph of Kate and her children.”

The Associated Press, Reuters, Getty Images, and Agence France-Presse all issued “kill notices,” advising against using the photo.

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)

“It appears that the source has manipulated the image,” the Associated Press notification read. They also released a statement saying, “The Associated Press initially published the photo, which was issued by Kensington Palace. The AP later retracted the image because, upon 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.”

“What’s so major in all of this is that four international picture agencies have killed this image. That’s really rare,” Nicholl said. “I can’t think of a time since I’ve been doing this job for the best part of 15 years where a royal image has been recalled. So that’s highly unusual. It might force Kensington Palace’s hand.”

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.

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

“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.

He added that kill notices are usually reserved for sources like North Korea. “To kill something on the basis of manipulation is rare. We do it maybe once a year, hopefully less. The previous kills we’ve had have been from the North Korean news agency or the Iranian news agency,” Chetwynd explained.

“One thing that’s really important is you cannot distort reality for the public. There’s a question of trust. The big issue here is the lack of trust and the falling trust of the general public in institutions and the media. So, it’s extremely important that a photo broadly represents the reality it’s depicting,” he concluded.

The issue with the edited image has only fueled more controversy because both Kate and the Palace have already been accused of not providing information regarding her health and whereabouts.

Arthur Edwards, The Sun’s royal photographer, said the Princess of Wales has learned a “tough and very public lesson” about breaking the “golden rule.”

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

“It’s a golden rule that while you can crop a picture, you never, ever interfere with the image itself. Kate shouldn’t have done it, and she was right to quickly admit her mistake,” Edwards said, adding that social media has been overflowing with “disgusting bile and hateful comments about her.”

“Now the conspiracies are flying thick and fast—these cheap shots at Kate will be upsetting for her.”

According to some experts, including Edwards, the Palace could have put a stop to the speculation by releasing the unedited version of the photo.

“But of course this comes amid all the speculation about what’s happening with Kate, who, bar a brief picture yesterday and last week, none of us has seen since December. Many people, myself included, have been eager for an update on the Princess of Wales’s health since she underwent abdominal surgery in January.”

Edwards added, “Although the photo was botched, I still think it’s a delightful image. Kate looks radiant and proud on Mother’s Day, surrounded by her loving kids. It’s full of uplifting love and emotion.”

Zac Goodwin – Pool/Getty Images

Speaking to Fox, royal expert Hilary Fordwich said the palace is responsible for what she calls “yet another public relations disaster.”

“A ‘slimmed down monarchy’ means fewer are guiding the royals and those who are, aren’t as media savvy as they need to be,” Fordwich said. “In our fast-paced world with tech-savvy media outlets, the palaces need to hire the best and brightest in such fields.

“While this certainly isn’t ‘business as usual’ nor what we would expect from a royal household… it shows great humility to admit one’s mistakes,” Fordwich continued. “Others might have remained silent or tried to blame another. Kate issued a straightforward apology. Many could learn a lesson from that.”

The question arises whether the Palace is doing enough to protect Kate Middleton. According to royal expert and author Tom Bower, they are not.

“People around the world want to bring her down because it gives them pleasure. When she did, they should have hired a professional photographer to ensure there were no issues like this,” Bower told The Sun.

Shirlaine Forrest/Getty Images

He continued: “She’s undergone a very serious operation. She needs a long time to recover. I fear she has been under terrible pressure to perform and instead of protecting her, her staff at Kensington Palace failed to provide the support and protection she needs.”

Further, Bower believes that the Palace’s main focus should be helping Kate recover completely instead of releasing more images.

“There are republicans and mischief-makers who want to destroy the monarchy and Britain as it is today. They don’t share our values and see Kate as an easy target to undermine British values and traditions,” he added.

On March 22, Kate Middleton finally put a stop to the conspiracy theories when she posted a video revealing that she is receiving treatment for cancer.

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