‘No regrets’: Spanish royals’ Xmas photo re-emerges amid Kate scandal

Stephen Colbert mocks royal photo scandal

Source: YouTube/The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

A long-forgotten Christmas card from Spain’s royal family has re-emerged, revealing a major Photoshop fail amid the continuing fallout from the Princess of Wales’ photo scandal.

With the internet, and indeed the world, going wild over Kate’s altered Mother’s Day picture, Spanish royal expert Eugenia Garavani dug out the Spanish royals’ tricked-up seasons-greetings card from 2005.

It features former King Juan Carlos sitting next to Queen Sofia, with their grandchildren Leonor, Felipe, Victoria Eugenia, Miguel, Juan, Irene and Pablo.

Juan Carlos reigned from 1975 until his abdication in 2014.

Garavani posted the image to her 116,000 Instagram followers after the British royal family’s Photoshop bungle this week. Online sleuths were quick to point out the poor editing, including that the king seems to be missing a leg and some odd differences in the royal kiddies’ clothing.

“Royals and Photoshop,” Garavani wrote.

“This is the Spanish royal family Christmas card in 2005, for real”.

The snap’s re-emergence came after the Princess of Wales admitted to editing her UK Mother’s Day photo after the internet exploded at the weekend with accusations it had been “doctored”.

In a post on social media, Kate said that “like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing”.

“I wanted to express my apologies for any confusion the family photograph we shared yesterday caused,” she wrote.

In an unprecedented move, The Associated Press and other news agencies withdrew the photo of Kate with children George, 10, Charlotte, 8 and Louise, 5, saying it appeared to have been manipulated, in violation of their guidelines.

By contrast, the clearly edited shot of the Spanish royals – which they admitted at the time was a “compilation” – is still available to download from global photo agency Getty, almost 19 years after its release.

Not the first Spanish royal Photoshop fail

Bemused commenters reacted to Garavani’s post, pointing out the Photoshop fails.

“The funny thing is that [Princess Leonor] is in short sleeves and her [siblings and cousins] ​​are in winter clothes,” wrote one.

“Was ANYONE present for this photo in real life?” asked another.

In addition, Juan Carlos, now 86, and wife Sofia both appear to have had their hands edited out.

Then baby Princess Leonor wears a light summer smock, while the rest of the kids are decked out in winter woollies and long-sleeved shirts.

“Wow!! And no apologies and no regrets!” wrote another commenter of Garavani’s post.

At the time, a spokesperson for the Spanish royals “admitted a collage had been put together using digital editing software because not all the grandchildren had turned up for the official photo shoot”, according to a report in The Telegraph.

Five years later, in 2010, there was further embarrassment for the family when an official photo of Crown Prince Felipe appeared to have been manipulated.

Spanish press lampooned the photo and commentators “complained that it ‘devalued’ the monarchy, although Zarzuela Palace denied that the photographs were anything other than authentic”, the paper wrote.

The Wales’ photo also remains online on their social media sites, despite Kate’s admission. So far, Kensington Palace is ignoring calls from British media to release the original photograph.

“It’s a painful lesson for the monarchy perhaps about honesty control in this new age of social media,” controversial British broadcaster, Piers Morgan said.

Sunday’s release of the family pic followed weeks of gossip and conspiracy theories on social media about what had happened to the princess since she left a hospital January 29 after a nearly two-week stay following planned surgery.

She hadn’t been seen publicly since Christmas Day.

But far from putting a stop to whispers and rumours, it has sparked a further wave of online and TV commentary.

“These are all Photoshop errors and not, as many had assumed, the result of centuries of inbreeding,” US talk show host Stephen Colbert told his audience, after pointing out how editors and royal watchers had spotted the alterations.

“To put the scandal to rest, the palace has released the original image of Kate skateboarding over a tiger.”

The British royal family has been under more scrutiny than usual in recent weeks, because both Kate and the King have cancelled public royal duties due to health problems.

The King is being treated for an unspecified form of cancer. He has cancelled public engagements, although is continuing with matters of state.

Kate’s condition and the reason for her surgery have not been revealed. The Wales’ office at Kensington Palace has said only that it was not cancer-related.

She is due to resume public duties after Easter.

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