What has been edited in 'digitally enhanced' photo of Queen and grandkids?

The Palace said the photo had been taken by Kate, the Princess of Wales, at Balmoral in Scotland in summer 2022.

What has been edited in ‘digitally enhanced’ photo of Queen and grandkids? Kensington Palace/STV News

A photograph of the late Queen surrounded by her grandchildren at Balmoral was “digitally enhanced at source”, according to Getty Images.

The picture agency added an editor’s note to the picture which had been released by Kensington Palace in April 2023 to mark what would have been Queen Elizabeth II’s 97th birthday.

STV News Graphics team has taken a look at the photograph and highlighted a number of small but clear signs of editing techniques that are commonly employed to adjust the composition of an image.

“It’s not clear if anyone has been digitally inserted or erased, just moved around a little bit to be closer to the Queen and improve the balance of the shot,” STV News graphic designer Max Joss said.

Issued on April 21, the palace said it had been taken by Kate, the Princess of Wales, at Balmoral in Scotland the previous summer.

What has been changed in the photo?

Mia Tindall’s hair and the arm of the sofa to her right have been clone-stamped as she’s been moved closer to the Queen, creating a rippling effect.

The space between the Queen and Mia and Lucas Tindall has been reduced, leaving a hard edge partially hidden by Her Majesty’s black cardigan.

The checker pattern on Prince George’s sleeve doesn’t match up neatly, and Princess Charlotte’s sleeve has been noticeably duplicated.

Prince Louis has been cut and pasted further behind the couch, evident from the perfectly crisp edge all around him, and on the arm of the couch in front.

Some of Prince Louis’ original sleeve and trousers are still visible behind the unnaturally clean edge of the couch arm.

There’s a soft border on the carpet where the table and carpet seem to have been digitally moved to fill in the background where Louis was.

Pictures fuel wild conspiracies online

Kate’s absence from public life, following abdominal surgery on January 16, has led to wild speculation on social media about her whereabouts and health.

Picture agencies issued “kill notice” for a photo taken by Kate released by Kensington Palace to mark Mother’s Day saying it had been “manipulated”.

The Princess of Wales later admitted she had edited the picture of her and apologised “for any confusion”.

The photo of Kate with her three children sparked more conspiracy theories rather than quelling them.

At the weekend, the Princess was filmed smiling alongside her husband during a visit to a farm shop in Windsor.

But social media was flooded by suggestions the figure seen alongside the Prince of Wales was not in fact his wife.

ITV News’ Royal Editor Chris Ship said Kensington Palace insisted it was taken during “private family time” and that Kate had requested privacy as she recovered from her major operation.

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