Omid Scobie: Princess Kate’s Photoshop Scandal Exposes Just the Tip of the Iceberg of “Years of Deceit, Coverups, and Lies”

His comments come after news agency AFP said Kensington Palace is no longer a "trusted source."

Royal family in 2020
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Royal biographer Omid Scobie is certainly not mincing words when it comes to the Mother’s Day photo controversy that the Princess of Wales is currently embroiled in.

Scobie, author of the controversial book Endgame: Inside the Royal Family and the Monarchy’s Fight for Survival (released last November) and the 2020 Prince Harry and Meghan Markle biography Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family, said that the Photoshop scandal is just the tip of the iceberg, The Mirror reports. 

On the heels of the global news director of Agence France-Presse (AFP)—one of the world’s biggest news agencies—telling the BBC that Kensington Palace is no longer a “trusted source,” Scobie weighed in.

“There are dozens of pages of reporting and detailed statements to support this in my book, Endgame,” he said. “This is not just about one poorly managed photo release. It is years of deceit, coverups, and lies.” 

When asked on BBC Radio 4’s “Media Show” whether Kensington Palace can be viewed as a “trusted source,” AFP’s global news director, Phil Chetwynd, emphatically replied “No, absolutely not,” per Page Six. “Like with anything, when you’re let down by a source, the bar is raised.”

He added “We sent out notes to all our teams at the moment to be absolutely, super, more vigilant about the content coming across our desk, even from what we would call trusted sources,” Chetwynd said. “To kill something on the basis of manipulation [is rare. We do it] once a year maybe, I hope less. The previous kills we’ve had have been from the North Korean news agency or the Iranian news agency. One thing that’s really important is you cannot be distorting reality for the public. There’s a question of trust. And the big issue here is one of trust, and the lack of trust and the falling trust of the general public in institutions generally and in the media. And so, it’s extremely important that a photo does represent broadly the reality that it’s seen in.”

Princess Kate apology

Kate apologized for the gaffe on social media Monday

(Image credit: Courtesy of the Prince and Princess of Wales / Instagram)

Heretofore, Kensington Palace has refused to release the original, unedited photo of Kate alongside her three kids Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis. Since its release on Sunday, Instagram has added red text at the bottom of the image declaring it an “altered photo.”

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.