Major news outlet to audit all of Princess Kate’s photos after editing scandal

Royal pic scandal makes it to the White House

Source: X/The Recount

In a dramatic escalation of the Princess of Wales’ so-called “photogate” scandal, a major US news network has announced it will be “reviewing” all handout photos previously provided by Kensington Palace.

The decision this week by multinational news channel CNN came after Kate, 42, apologised for “confusion” from her editing of a family photo released by Kensington Palace to mark Mother’s Day in the UK.

In a post on social media under the KensingtonRoyal handle, Kate admitted that “like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing”.

CNN was quick to respond.

“The photograph was disseminated for editorial purposes and media organisations expect those images to be accurate,” it said.

“CNN is now reviewing all handout photos previously provided by Kensington Palace.”

In explaining its decision, CNN said that in “editorial photography, photojournalists and editors commonly adjust a photograph’s exposure or colour balance in order to more accurately reflect the scene”.

It said it was “unacceptable to move, change or manipulate the pixels of an image. To do so would alter the reality of the situation the image is intended to document”.

Why the audit?

The photo of Kate with her three children, George, 10, Charlotte, 8, and Louis, 5, was credited to her husband, William, Prince of Wales, and was said to have been taken last week in Windsor.

US news and photo agency The Associated Press initially published the photo, but later retracted it after declaring the source had manipulated the image in a way that did not meet AP’s standards.

The photo showed an inconsistency in the alignment of Princess Charlotte’s left hand, the zipper on the lefthand side of Kate’s jacket did not appear to be aligned and she wasn’t wearing her wedding ring.

Lush greenery in the patio shot was also not characteristic of UK weather in March.

CNN explained that the family’s “amateur photographs” have been well received when posted on social media.

“But on this occasion, this photo was also released to media organisations as a handout and the palace wasn’t transparent about the fact it had been adjusted.”

Now it’s a matter of what other images have been altered?

Kate’s previous body of work is now under scrutiny as she has captured milestone moments of her and the family over the years since she and William married in 2011.

Presumably, professional photographers such as Josh Shinner and Millie Pilkington (who took birthday portraits of the children last year) will fall under this “review”, as their work was approved by the palace.

Shinner was invited to photograph the Wales for their 2023 official Christmas seasons greetings.

Two studio photographs by Shinner were released on December 10 – a black and white family photo, and a similar shot of just the three children on December 25.

Shinner’s family portrait, which has been viewed 22.5 million times,  came under the spotlight almost immediately.

Prince Louis’ middle finger appears to be missing.

Photography website, PetaPixel, was among those who scrutinised the photo: “Upon closer inspection, the editorial team concluded that there is no photo editing failure, just a series of artistic decisions that led to it looking a bit strange.”

Shinner has been contacted for comment.

While the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, are no longer working royals after moving to the US in 2020, they also didn’t escape scrutiny for alleged photoshopping photos despite a friend reportedly saying that Kate’s editing error was “isn’t a mistake Meghan would ever make”.

The Sun called out Harry and Meghan, revealing a previous photo of a pregnant Meghan “was heavily doctored”.

‘Likely … assessing all royal handouts’

The release of the first official photo of Kate with her children followed weeks of gossip on social media and conspiracy theories about her disappearance following planned abdominal surgery in January.

She hadn’t been seen publicly since Christmas Day.

When this photo dropped, digital experts speculated Kate’s face had been swapped for an old photo from a 2016 Vogue cover, suggesting she was in no condition to make a public appearance and was under pressure to do so.

CNN says many media organisations “will likely be assessing all royal handouts” as trust and transparency with the palace has been “damaged”.

“The editing storm has undermined the existing relationship and when public interest over any possible cover up escalates, as it has done recently, many news outlets will now have take that speculation more seriously.”

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