Kate Middleton scandal: leading photo agency announces Kensington Palace is no longer a 'reliable source'

Kensington Palace is “absolutely no longer” a “reliable source” following Princess Kate Middleton's altered Instagram photo, according to a leading photo agency.

“As with anything, when you're disappointed in a source, the bar is high,” Phil Chetwynd, AFP's global news director, explained in an episode of the BBC's “The Media Show.”

Middleton has remained out of the public eye since December 25. Buckingham Palace later revealed that the Princess of Wales had been admitted to hospital for a planned abdominal surgery on January 17, and since then she has only been seen once before the photo was published.

On Mother's Day in the UK, Middleton shared a photo of her three children with Prince William; Prince George, Prince Louis and Princess Charlotte. The photo quickly became news as it was likely intended to quell speculation about the princess's whereabouts.

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Kate Middleton looks down

Kate Middleton's photoshopped photo has landed Kensington Palace in a sticky situation with a leading photo agency. (Getty Images)

Earlier this month, a Kensington Palace spokesperson told Fox News Digital: “Kensington Palace made clear in January the timeline for the Princess' recovery, and we would only provide meaningful updates . Indications from January are that the princess is convalescing at my home in Windsor. »

The spokesperson stressed that Middleton was “doing well.”

However, Middleton's photo only fueled speculation about her health and whereabouts after it was revealed the image had been altered.


Photo of Kate Middleton with children, AP notice to be deleted

The Associated Press has removed an image of Princess Kate Middleton and her children. The Princess of Wales later apologised. (Associated Press)

Middleton Mother's Day Issues Spotted by Internet Detectives:

  • Part of Charlotte's left sleeve was missing.
  • Charlotte's hair ends abruptly over her right shoulder.
  • Louis' thumb appeared blurry on his right hand. His little finger suddenly stopped on his left hand.
  • Louis' sweater had a mismatched pattern on his right arm.
  • The zipper on Middleton's jacket doesn't line up correctly.
  • Middleton's hair appeared fuzzy on the right side.
  • The edge of the heel of Charlotte's boot was deformed.

The Princess of Wales apologized a day later and admitted the image shared online had been altered.

“Like many amateur photographers, I occasionally experiment with editing,” she wrote on social media. “I wanted to express my apologies for any confusion caused by the family photo we shared yesterday.”

“We have nothing to add,” the palace confirmed to Fox News Digital when asked for comment on the digitally altered photo.

Following Middleton's admission, Instagram put an “edited photo” label on the post for the account's 15.2 million followers.

“Independent verifiers claim that the photo or image was altered in a way that could mislead people, but not because it was shown out of context,” the warning states.

Instagram adds tag to Kate Middleton's photo

Instagram added a warning label to Kate Middleton's edited photo. (Instagram)

Instagram adds warning to edited photo of Kate Middleton

Instagram said the photo was reviewed by independent fact-checkers. (Instagram)


Before Middleton's Photoshop error, AFP's Chetwynd used Kensington Palace as a “reliable source.”

“So in the case of the Palace or Kensington Palace, these are… people that we work with all the time,” he explained on “The Media Show.”

“They would like [be a trusted source]”, because we've worked with them many times and because usually it was our own photographer doing stories with them,” Chetwynd added. “And sometimes there were photos handed out of key moments like this, which we used to deal with. So there's a certain level of trust between us and them at this point.”

Fox News Digital has contacted Kensington Palace for comment.

Kate Middleton at Christmas

Kate Middleton disappeared from public view a few months after Christmas. (Getty Images)


Fox News Digital's Tracy Wright contributed to this report.


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