News agencies retract photo of Princess Kate over concerns it was manipulated


The Associated Press and other news agencies issued mandatory kill notices on the first photo released in months of Kate Middleton, the Princess of Wales, citing concerns that the photo was manipulated.

The photo, released by Kensington Palace on Sunday, featured the princess surrounded by her three children, while Kate sat in a chair. The photo was credited to Prince William of Wales and was reported to have been taken in Windsor earlier in the week.

The photo marked the first time the public got to see the princess since she had abdominal surgery in January.  Her absence from public appearances has led to far-fetched conspiracy theories about her whereabouts and provoked concerns about her wellbeing.

The AP initially published the photo but later retracted the image “because at closer inspection, it appeared the source had manipulated the image in a way that did not meet AP’s photo standards,” according to the AP.

The AP pointed to an “inconsistency in the alignment of Princess Charlotte’s left hand,” in describing the apparent manipulation.

The AP was one of several major news agencies to demand news outlets not publish the image. According to various screenshots and media reports, Getty Images, Reuters, and Agence France-Presse (AFP) have all issued mandatory kill notices on the photo.

“At closer inspection, it appears that the source has manipulated the image,” read the official AP kill notification. “Please remove it from all platforms, including social, where it may still be visible.”

Royal reporter Chris Ship reported that the AFP agency cited an “editorial issue” with the photo in its kill notice. AFP ordered that the photo “no longer be used in any manner.”

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