New Photograph of Kate Middleton and Her Children Recalled by Major Picture Agencies

New Photograph of Kate Middleton and Her Children Recalled by Major Picture Agencies

When Kensington Palace released a photograph of Kate Middleton and her three children this morning it was clearly intended to send a positive message about her recovery following weeks out of the spotlight.

However, within 12 hours, mystery surrounded the new image as major picture agencies took the astonishing step of recalling it, with one claiming it appears to have been manipulated.

Picture agencies Associated Press, Associated Foreign Press, Reuters and Getty have all made the image of Kate, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Princess Louis unavailable. The agencies have cited an "editorial issue" and "post-publication review" amongst the reasons. Agency Associated Press issued the most detailed description, saying that "at closer inspection it appears that the source has manipulated the image. No replacement will be sent." All of the agency kill notifications were posted online by ITV's Royal Editor Chris Ship.

The astonishing and unprecedented move came after hours of speculation online that the image had been photoshopped. One of the issues most pointed out was that Princess Charlotte's left sleeve appeared out of line with her hand.

Kensington Palace has not commented on the furor, but the image remains live on their social channels where they released it at 9 a.m. along with a personal message from Kate. The picture is the first time that she has been seen officially since undergoing abdominal surgery on January 16. Last week, a paparazzi picture showed her in a car alongside her mother Carole.

Social media has gone into overdrive in recent weeks when it comes to speculation on Kate as she recovers from major surgery. This evening it was very clear that this latest development has made things worse as people took to X to discuss the recalling of the images.

Journalist Catherine Mayer, who has written a book on Prince Charles, posted, "Extraordinary how everything the royal comms team does to dampen speculation increases it." And royal reporter Richard Palmer described it as a "real controversy."

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