Princess Kate Issues Apology for Edited Mother's Day Photo "Confusion"

She admitted to using editing software.

Royal fans notice Kate Middleton isn't wearing a wedding ring in the first photo released since her surgery.
(Image credit: Instagram: @princeandprincessofwales)

Princess Kate has issued an apology via Instagram Stories following "confusion" over a Mother's Day photo released on Sunday.

The Princess of Wales wrote on Monday morning, "Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing. I wanted to express my apologies for any confusion the family photograph we shared yesterday caused.

"I hope everyone celebrating had a very happy Mother's Day."

She signed the message "C" for Catherine.

Princess Kate apology

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

This whole situation emerged after Prince William and Princess Kate released a family photo featuring the princess and their three children—Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis—to mark U.K. Mother's Day on March 10.

This was the first official photograph of Kate released following her abdominal surgery in mid-January, with the princess not having stepped out publicly since Christmas Day (TMZ did release a picture of her in the car with her mother Carole Middleton last week, but this doesn't count as a public outing).

A post shared by The Prince and Princess of Wales

A photo posted by princeandprincessofwales on

Speculation as to Kate's whereabouts was already running rampant on social media before this picture was released, and as expected, royal fans, amateur sleuths, and serious reporters alike analyzed the photo with a fine-toothed comb.

Many Twitter users pointed out areas in the photo that looked edited, such as Charlotte's hand not lining up with her wrist, Kate's hair looking like it was pieced together from two different photos, and Charlotte's skirt not looking like it was sitting on her waist (though others have pointed out that this could just be a pocket sticking out).

Others tried to make sense of Kate's decision not to wear her wedding ring for the photo, and of the three children appearing to cross their fingers.

Then came a blow much bigger than any social media rumors could ever be: Multiple agencies—namely Getty, Reuters, AP, and AFP—pulled the image from their platforms, with AP stating, "At closer inspection it appears that the source has manipulated the image."

This move is likely what prompted Kensington Palace to issue a response.

While the Palace admitting to editing the photo is unlikely to appease the public, it seems that their underlying message in doing so is to indicate that Kate was just taking some creative license with family photos, rather than hiding anything untoward.

Marie Claire will provide updates on the situation as they emerge.

Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of British Vogue, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29 and SELF. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.