Britain’s Princess Kate Apologizes for ‘Confusion’ over Official Photo

    11 March 2024

    Kate, Britain's Princess of Wales, apologized Monday for "any confusion" caused by a photo released over the weekend. The official photo was the first image of the princess since she had a medical operation nearly two months ago.

    Kensington Palace released the photograph on social media on Sunday. It showed the 42-year-old Kate looking healthy and sitting and smiling in a chair surrounded by her three children. The photo was credited to Kate's husband, Prince William, and was said to have been taken earlier in the week in Windsor.

    In a message on X, Kate wrote, "Thank you for your kind wishes and continued support over the last two months." Her message also wished people a "Happy Mother's Day," as Britain celebrated the holiday on Sunday.

    FILE - Britain's Kate, Princess of Wales smiles during her visit to Sebby's Corner in north London, Friday, Nov. 24, 2023. Princess Kate apologized Monday for
    FILE - Britain's Kate, Princess of Wales smiles during her visit to Sebby's Corner in north London, Friday, Nov. 24, 2023. Princess Kate apologized Monday for "confusion" caused by her editing of a family photo released by the palace. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, Pool, File )

    But shortly after the photo was published, some royal observers online began raising questions about whether the picture had been changed in some ways with image editing tools.

    After close examination, several major news organizations withdrew the photo, saying it did in fact appear to have been edited in some way. Because of these changes, the picture did not meet the requirements set by those news organizations.

    After the questions about the image were raised, Kate issued another message on X. She wrote, "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."

    Among the news agencies withdrawing the photo were The Associated Press, Reuters, the French news agency AFP, Getty Images, and Britain's Press Association.

    Photo editors for Reuters said their examinations of the image showed the left arm of Kate's daughter, Princess Charlotte, did not seem to line up naturally with her body in the picture. This suggested that editing changes had been made to the photo.

    Different news agencies have different policies regarding how much an image can be changed before being released. Both Reuters and the AP said the changes violated their editorial rules. Most news organizations generally only permit minor photo editing, such as cropping and making light and color changes.

    The picture had already drawn widespread media attention online. This is because it was the first official image of Kate since she spent two weeks in the hospital after undergoing an abdominal operation in January. Her exact condition was not identified.

    Kate's office had said during her absence that she was recovering well and was not expected to return to her public duties until after Easter, which is March 31.

    I'm Bryan Lynn.

    The Associated Press and Reuters reported on this story. Bryan Lynn adapted the reports for VOA Learning English.


    Words in This Story

    edit – v. to prepare a piece of writing, music, art, etc. by adding to it or removing material

    amateur – adj. doing something for fun and not as your job

    confusion – n. a state in which someone does not understand what is happening or what they should do

    abdomen – n. the lower part of a person or animal's body that contains the stomach and other organs