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Kate Middleton, Princess of Wales: News outlets recall photo citing tampering concerns

Kate Middleton, Princess of Wales: News outlets recall photo citing tampering concerns



CNN

Several major news agencies have withdrawn a photo distributed by Kensington Palace, showing Catherine, Princess of Wales, and her children, saying they believe the photo has been doctored.

The picture is The first official photo of the princess Since undergoing abdominal surgery in January, it comes after weeks of intense public speculation and growing conspiracy theories on social media about her whereabouts and health.

The photo was published on Sunday with a message from the princess thanking the public for its support during the celebration of Mother's Day in the United Kingdom.

CNN is reviewing the image and has reached out to Kensington Palace for comment.

The Associated Press noted that “upon closer examination it appears that the source may have manipulated the image.”

Agence France-Presse said it had withdrawn the photo due to an “editorial problem.” The image “may no longer be used in any way. Please remove it immediately from all your online services,” AFP said.

Both Reuters and the Associated Press pointed to Kate's daughter Charlotte's sleeve as an area that has raised concerns about tampering.

Reuters said the sleeve did not line up correctly, suggesting the image had been altered. She said the agency could not immediately determine how or why the change was made or who made it.

The AP also noted “inconsistency in the alignment” of the daughter's hand, saying the photo had been doctored “in a way that does not meet AP standards for images.”

Most photo agencies and news organizations have strict rules against publishing excessively edited or manipulated photos. Reuters says it only allows Photoshop to be used in “very limited” ways, such as cropping, resizing or balancing images.

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It is strictly forbidden to remove elements from the image or add to it because it weakens confidence in the image.

News agencies are also often used Specialized software To verify the images for evidence of tampering. Rapid advances in generative AI in recent years have made it increasingly easy for bad actors to produce convincing fake images and videos. Create further verification Difficulties facing news organizations

The removal of the photos by major news agencies has created a new PR headache for Britain's royal family at a time when they are trying to quell some of the wilder speculation that has exploded online in the wake of Kate's surgery.

Kensington Palace announced last January that the 42-year-old princess He is unlikely to return to public duties until Easter At the end of March. The palace did not reveal the purpose of her surgery, but said it was not cancerous.

Her long disappearance from the public eye sparked angry online rumors and international media coverage. Some of this faded somewhat after a photo surfaced in early March of Kate in a car being driven by her mother. She is seen wearing dark sunglasses and sitting in the front passenger seat.

But speculation has continued largely online, especially on social media, fueled by other incidents within the royal family — such as Prince William pulling out of an important family gathering earlier this month without a public explanation.

The palace has faced increasing pressure to share more information about the future queen, without compromising her medical privacy.

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In February, the palace took a rare step to respond to the rumours, saying that it had “clarified in January the timelines for the princess's recovery and we will only provide important updates.” This guidance stands.”

This is a breaking news story and will be updated.