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Kate Middleton Conspiracies Given New Lease Of Life After Major News Agencies Pull Family Photo Amid Concerns It Was “Manipulated”

It was meant to be a wholesome image to celebrate Mother’s Day in the UK, but a photo of Kate Middleton and her children has ended in controversy for the Prince and Princess of Wales.

Four major news agencies — Associated Press, Getty Images, Reuters, and AFP — have pulled the photo from their libraries amid concerns it was manipulated by Kensington Palace.

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AP issued a “kill notification” for clients, telling those who use its service that on “closer inspection it appears that the source has manipulated the image.” Reuters said it was deleting the picture after a post-publication review.

As of Sunday evening UK time, Kensington Palace had not commented.

The Prince and Princess of Wales released the photo on Sunday, wishing followers a happy Mother’s Day. The image was purportedly taken by Prince William this year.

Royal commentators initially said the image would combat weeks of fevered speculation about Middleton’s health after she disappeared from public life following abdominal surgery in January.

But the image has further fueled conspiracies after eagle-eyed social media users spotted defects in the photo that suggested it had been altered.

Chris Ship, ITV News’ royal editor, said there were “serious questions” for Kensington Palace after it appeared that elements of the image, including Princess Charlotte’s sleeve, were doctored.

The issue looks set to make front-page news in the UK on Monday.

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