News agencies recall image of Catherine, Princess of Wales, citing manipulation concerns

Mar 10, 2024, 7:46 PM

News agencies recall image of Catherine, Princess of Wales. (Prince of Wales/Kensington Palace, AP)...

News agencies recall image of Catherine, Princess of Wales. (Prince of Wales/Kensington Palace, AP)

(Prince of Wales/Kensington Palace, AP)

(CNN) — Several major news agencies have withdrawn an image distributed by Kensington Palace showing Catherine, Princess of Wales, and her children, saying they believe the photo has been manipulated.

The photograph was the first officially released image of the princess since she underwent abdominal surgery in January, and came after weeks of intense public speculation and mounting social media conspiracy theories as to her exact whereabouts and health.

The image was released on Sunday with a message from the princess thanking the public for its support while marking Mother’s Day in the United Kingdom.

The Associated Press noted that “at closer inspection it appears that the source has manipulated the image.”

AFP said it had withdrawn the photo due to “an editorial issue.”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

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

Kensington Palace had said in January that the princess, 42, is unlikely to return to public duties until Easter at the end of March. The palace did not reveal what her surgery was for, but said that it was noncancerous.

Her long disappearance from the public eye sparked wild rumors online and international media coverage. Some of this speculation died down somewhat after a photograph emerged in early March of Kate in a car driven by her mother; she was seen wearing dark sunglasses and sitting in the front passenger seat.

But the speculation largely continued raging 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 public explanation.

The palace faced mounting pressure to share more information about the future Queen, without compromising her medical privacy.

In February the palace made the rare move of pushing back against the rumors, saying it had “made it clear in January the timelines of the Princess’ recovery and we’d only be providing significant updates. That guidance stands.”

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News agencies recall image of Catherine, Princess of Wales, citing manipulation concerns