Agencies remove photo of Kate after widespread claims of photoshop

The official photo of Kate was later removed by The Associated Press and other news agencies, because it appeared to be 'manipulated'.

There are widespread claims the image has been photoshopped, leading to three news agencies to remove the image, ITV News’ Royal Editor Chris Ship reports

The first photo of the Princess of Wales since her abdominal surgeries has been removed by news agencies because of widespread claims it has been photoshopped.

The photo of Kate was issued on Sunday after weeks of speculation about her whereabouts.

But the photo was later removed by The Associated Press and other news agencies, including AFP and Reuters, because it appeared to be “manipulated”, fueling more conjecture.

The photo of Kate in a chair surrounded by her three children was credited to her husband, William, Prince of Wales and heir to the throne, and was said to have been taken earlier in the week in Windsor.

“Thank you for your kind wishes and continued support over the last two months,” Kate said on social media. “Wishing everyone a Happy Mother’s Day.”

AP initially published the photo, which was issued by Kensington Palace.

But AP later retracted the image because at closer inspection, it appeared the source had manipulated the image in a way that did not meet AP’s photo standards. The photo shows an inconsistency in the alignment of Princess Charlotte’s left hand.

Kate has been absent from official duties since her procedure in January, giving rise a to a number of conspiracy theories about the royal.

Kate is due to be off until at least “Easter” – we don’t know if that means Easter weekend or after the Easter school holidays.

There is lots of speculation about what she is recovering from, but her office, Kensington Palace, will only say “abdominal surgery”, and beyond that she is entitled to a degree of medical privacy. Kensington Palace previously said it was not cancer-related.

Kate underwent a planned operation on January 16 at the London Clinic – the same private hospital where the King underwent treatment for an enlarged prostate.

Charles, 75, visited his daughter-in-law’s bedside after being admitted himself on January 26 – the 11th day of Kate’s stay. She was also visited by William.

Kate left the hospital on January 29 – almost two weeks later – and returned to Adelaide Cottage in Windsor.

The 42-year-old future queen was last pictured in public during a Christmas Day walk in Sandringham, Norfolk, other than a more recent paparazzi photo.

William, 41, had temporarily stepped back from his royal role to juggle caring for his wife and their children, but carried out his first public engagements since her surgery in early February.

Kate’s parents, Carole and Michael Middleton, and siblings, Pippa Matthews and James Middleton, were expected to be hands-on in helping the Waleses.

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