The photo of Queen Elizabeth was altered too

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The Associated Press and several leading international photo distribution agencies issued a kill notice on an unlikely image last week: the beaming Kate Middleton, surrounded by her three children as they celebrated Mother’s Day.
The notice was issued after it became clear the photo had been manipulated; the following day, an apology was issued via the Princess of Wales’ social media for her alleged Photoshop work.
Now it’s come to light that another photo purportedly taken by Kensington Palace, if not Middleton herself, has also been Photoshopped.
A photo released in 2023 to celebrate what would have been Queen Elizabeth II’s 97th birthday came under scrutiny as media outlets and people on social media have found clear signs of alterations, edits and manipulation.
The photo in question was released in April 2023.
At the time, Kensington Palace explained that the photo was taken by the Princess of Wales the year before, while the family was on a trip at Balmoral, the queen’s favorite of her homes.
The photo features Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, as well as grandchildren Mia, Lena, Lucas, Savannah, Isla, James and Lady Louise.
The Guardian’s Sunday paper, The Observer, noted several instances in which the photo was digitally altered.
It seems Prince Louis, the Prince and Princess of Wales’ youngest child, was moved back in the frame, and the hair of Zara Tindall’s daughter has been copied and pasted.
The outlet posed a question that sums it up well: “How could the news agencies possibly protect their reputations if they did not respond last week to mounting amateur claims that the image was not trustworthy?”By many counts, Kensington Palace is becoming an increasingly distrusted source, something that was unimaginable only weeks ago.
Conspiracy theories about Middleton’s prolonged absence were already operating at a steady hum; the release of the clearly altered photo on Mother’s Day threw those into overdrive.
Manipulation of the Balmoral photo was also called out on Twitter/X, where user Le__Katerina wrote, “Did the late Queen ever pose with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren?
Seems like no.
This photo, taken by Kate Middleton, was edited at least in nine places.
Now the mass media are reporting about it, too.
A little thread.”Did the late Queen ever pose with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren?
Seems like no.
🤔 This photo, taken by Kate Middleton, was edited at least in 9 places.
Now the mass media are reporting about it too.
A little thread👇 pic.twitter.com/Sx9XjOBr1J — Katerina 🇺🇦 (@Le__Katerina) March 17, 2024She then proceeded to point out several inconsistencies and mistakes throughout the editing the photo, some of which appear to suggest some of the children were not actually in the photo at all.
What’s this black thing behind George’s neck?
It’s too dark to be a shadow.
pic.twitter.com/5oN2dUAJgz — Katerina 🇺🇦 (@Le__Katerina) March 17, 2024At the heart of the conversation surrounding Middleton and Kensington Palace is a breakdown trust between the royals and the public — a public that funds the very existence of the monarchy through the Sovereign Grant.
In 2023, that amount tallied up to £86.3 million, “£51.8 million which funds official travel, property maintenance and the operating costs of The Sovereign’s household.”The main question surrounding the edited photos and secrecy surrounding Middleton’s whereabouts and well-being is simply, why?
Why go to such great lengths to alter and manipulate images, and why not clear up speculation, confusion or concern with a video release or press conference of some sort?
It seems clear that the palace misjudged a public that has the time and interest to dig into conspiracy theories and suss out the truth, a public that has dealt with politicians insisting whole elections were stolen, and a world in which it’s startlingly easy to fake nude photos of one of our biggest pop stars.
Maybe the palace really didn’t think people would care enough about Middleton’s prolonged absence from the public eye to question it, or maybe they’re relying on an outdated approach to the monarchy in general, one that harkens back to an earlier time when the monarchy could count on the public to buy the line they’re being fed.
Either way, it’s clear there is still some explaining to do.

Last week, a kill notice was published by the Associated Press and multiple top international photo distribution agencies on an unlikely image: a happy Kate Middleton with her three kids celebrating Mother’s Day. Following the revelation that the photo had been altered, a notice was published. The next day, the Princess of Wales apologized on social media for her purported use of Photoshop.

It has now been revealed that at least one other allegedly taken by Kensington Palace, if not by Middleton herself, has also been Photoshopped. A 2023 photo that was shared to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II’s 97th birthday came under fire after it was discovered by media outlets and users of social media to have been altered, edited, and manipulated.

April 2023 saw the release of the aforementioned picture. The Princess of Wales took the picture the year before while the family was visiting Balmoral, the queen’s favorite home, according to Kensington Palace’s explanation at the time. Along with their grandchildren Mia, Lena, Lucas, Savannah, Isla, James, and Lady Louise, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis are shown in the picture.

The Sunday edition of The Guardian, The Observer, pointed out multiple instances where the image was Photoshopped. It appears that the youngest child of Prince and Princess of Wales, Prince Louis, has been shifted back into the frame, and Zara Tindall’s daughter’s hair has been cut and pasted.

The query that the outlet put out nicely captures the essence of the situation: “How could the news agencies possibly protect their reputations if they did not respond last week to mounting amateur claims that the image was not trustworthy?”.

It seems like only a few weeks ago that Kensington Palace would not be regarded as a source to be trusted any more. After the obviously altered photo was released on Mother’s Day, conspiracy theories regarding Middleton’s protracted absence began to pick up steam.

Le__Katerina, a Twitter user, called attention to the manipulation of the Balmoral photo, writing, “It seems that the late Queen never posed with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. There are at least nine editing locations on this Kate Middleton photo. The mainstream media is now covering it as well. A brief discussion. “.

It seems unlikely that the late Queen ever took a picture with her great-grandchildren and grandchildren. 🤔 At least nine edits were made to this Kate Middleton photo. Currently, it is also being covered by the major media.

A short thread 👇 pic . twitter . com/Sx9XjOBr1J — Katerina 🇺🇦 (@Le__Katerina) March 17, 2024.

She continued by pointing out various errors and inconsistencies that had been made during the photo’s editing, some of which seemed to indicate that some of the kids weren’t even in the picture at all.

Something dark and unidentifiable behind George’s neck—what could it be? — Katerina 🇺🇦 (@Le__Katerina) March 17, 2024. pic . twitter . com/5oN2dUAJgz.

An erosion of public confidence in the royal family, which is responsible for funding the monarchy’s continued existence through the Sovereign Grant, lies at the core of the discourse surrounding Middleton and Kensington Palace. That total came to £86.3 million in 2023, “£51.8 million which funds official travel, property maintenance, and the Sovereign’s household’s operating expenses.”. “.

The primary query regarding the altered photos and the lack of information regarding Middleton’s whereabouts and safety is, quite simply, why? Why go to such extreme measures to modify and edit images, and why not dispel any doubt, uncertainty, or anxiety with a press conference or video release of some kind?

The public has experienced politicians claiming entire elections were rigged, a world where it is shockingly simple to fabricate naked pictures of our biggest pop stars, and a public that has the time and curiosity to investigate conspiracy theories and discover the truth. It appears evident that the palace misjudged this public.

The palace may have been operating under the assumption that the public would not be bothered to question Middleton’s protracted absence from the public eye, or they may have been operating under an antiquated theory that dates back to a period when the monarchy could rely on the populace to swallow its line.

In either case, it’s obvious that more needs to be explained.

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