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Four royal family photos that have 'glaring mistakes', according to an expert

Following Kate's Mother's Day controversy, several other royal images have come under scrutiny.

The Princess of Wales apologised after she said she edited a Mother's Day photograph of her and her children. (Kensington Palace)
The Princess of Wales apologised after she said she edited a Mother's Day photograph of her and her children. (Kensington Palace)

An expert has said there are ”glaring mistakes” in a number of royal photos, following the admission from the Princess of Wales that she edited her Mother's Day picture.

After being out of the spotlight for weeks, Kate gave an apparent glimpse of her recovery in a posed shot with her children earlier this month. However, it quickly became clear that the image had been digitally manipulated and Kate issued a personal apology for the “confusion”.

Royal sources said Kate made “minor adjustments” and that she and the Prince of Wales wanted to offer an informal picture of the family together for Mother’s Day.

The issue has raised concerns of trust over the taxpayer-funded royals with a number of international news agencies pulling the Mother's Day photo. Phil Chetwynd, the global news director of Agence France-Presse (AFP), declared the palace was no longer a trusted source, comparing it to the North Korean and Iranian news agencies.

The spotlight has since switched to previous photos of the Royal Family with a closer look at some pictures suggesting Kate was not necessarily the first royal to release an edited image. In fact, there are several instances of apparent editing in official shots featuring the late Queen Elizabeth and Kate’s husband, William, among others.

Yahoo News showed a series of royal photos (below) that some have raised as being potentially altered to photo editing expert Stephen Davies, who told us they “all have signs of being edited in one way or another”.

Davies, who runs The Photoshop Guy, said: “There are glaring mistakes. I do believe these have been edited by an amateur editor or they must have been extremely rushed, as a professional photo editor like myself would have noticed these mistakes and fixed them before giving them to the client or posting publicly.”

Davies said that photo editing “is very common practice” and revealed that he himself edits images for celebrities and businesses “every day”. He added: “I believe that most photos we see posted online and printed in magazines are all edited to some degree. They say the camera never lies. in this digital age, it lies every day.”

The photos under the microscope are:

The Duke of Edinburgh’s 99th birthday

PA REVIEW OF THE YEAR 2020 File photo dated 01/06/20 of Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh pictured in the quadrangle of Windsor Castle ahead of his 99th birthday on Wednesday June 10.
A picture of the late Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh was released in June 2020 ahead of his 99th birthday. (PA)

The Royal Family were previously hit by a photo editing furore when a photo was released to celebrate the late Duke of Edinburgh’s 99th birthday in June 2020. The photo, that showed the Duke standing beside the late Queen at Windsor Castle, was released while the UK was under strict COVID rules.

However, the poignancy of the photo was quickly tarnished as social media users said it had been edited in Photoshop. Some highlighted discrepancies with lighting and the Queen’s hands.

The Duke of Edinburgh at Kensington Palace

A social media user jumped on a photo of the late Duke of Edinburgh, that was posted in April 2021 following his death. The picture, released by Kensington Palace, shows the Duke with the late Queen, William and Kate and their children and was taken in 2015.

But this week the picture was thrown into the spotlight in light of the recent Mother’s Day edit. Users questioned discrepancies in the lighting, shadows and in William’s hands.

Queen Elizabeth and her grandchildren

A family portrait of Britain's late Queen Elizabeth II with some of her grandchildren and great grandchildren (back row, left to right) Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor, James, Earl of Wessex, (middle row, left to right) Lena Tindall, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Isla Phillips, Prince Louis, (front row, left to right) Mia Tindall holding Lucas Tindall, and Savannah Phillips, taken at Balmoral Castle, Britain, in this undated handout image issued by Kensington Palace on April 21, 2023, with indications by Reuters of areas which appear to have been digitally altered by the source. The Prince and Princess of Wales/Kensington Palace/Handout via REUTERS
A family portrait of the late Queen Elizabeth II with some of her grandchildren, with indications by Reuters of areas which appear to have been digitally altered by the source. The Prince and Princess of Wales/Kensington Palace/Handout via REUTERS

Several months after Queen Elizabeth died, the Princess of Wales released a touching portrait of the late monarch, surrounded by her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. It was released in April 2023 to mark what would have been the Queen’s 97th birthday. Kate took the photo herself in August 2022, just weeks before the Queen died.

However, picture agency Getty this week placed an editor’s note on the image, to say that it “has been digitally enhanced at source”. According to The Telegraph, inconsistencies in the image include misalignment on the Queen's tartan skirt and a dimple on the green sofa appearing to be digitally altered.

The note came despite the image being in the public domain for nearly a year, and a week after Kate apologised for her Mother’s Day edit.

The Prince and Princess of Wales’s Christmas card

In December 2023 Kate and William released their black and white Christmas card. The photo featured the happy couple with their three children.

However, it didn’t take long for the apparent flaws in the image to be jumped on. People replying to the post on X highlighted what appears to be a missing finger on Prince Louis. Others zoomed in to show what seems to be an extra set of legs where Louis is standing.