Kate Middleton ‘may never release a photo again’ after Mother’s Day picture scandal, expert says

Kate Middleton’s manipulated picture on Mother’s Day has sent the royal family into chaos. Not in the way that it is a big scandal, but rather that people – and even news agencies – can’t trust what they say. Meanwhile, a senior boss at the news agency AFP put the palace on the same shelf as North Korea – and conspiracy theories surrounding Kate are growing bigger by the day.

Kate Middleton said she was the one who had edited the photo and even issued an apology about it. It’s no secret that the Princess of Wales has had a massive passion for photography, starting when she was a young child. Over the years, she has gained more and more fans, and even a senior royal member wanted her to take a professional photograph for a magazine.

Kate Middleton finds herself in a very tough spot as her photo editing has become quite controversial. While many have loved her photos, a royal expert now predicts the worst about the future queen’s big hobby.

Kate Middleton’s picture for Mother’s Day, which turned out to have been manipulated, caused a lot of anger among royal fans and experts. Just a day after it was published, the Princess of Wales apologized.

“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. I hope everyone celebrating had a very happy Mother’s Day. C,” Kate said through the Prince and Princess of Wales’ social media platforms.

It took a few hours before photography experts and social media users began analyzing the picture, finding several errors and examples of bad editing.

Kate Middleton – Mother’s Day picture ‘killed’ by news agencies

Several news agencies, including the Associated Press and Getty, sent a “kill notice” (an advisory notice to remove or not use a specific photo).

Another news agency that used a “kill notice” was the well-renowned Agence France-Presse (AFP). Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Media Show, Phil Chetwynd, AFP’s global news director, said that Kensington Palace is no longer a trusted source.

“No, absolutely not. Like with anything, when you’re let down by a source the bar is raised … We sent out notes to all our teams at the moment to be absolutely super more vigilant about the content coming across our desk — even from what we would call trusted sources,” he said, as reported by Deadline.

Chetwynd continued by revealing that several news agencies asked Kensington Palace Sunday if they could provide the original picture. However, according to him, the agencies did not receive a reply, and the image was pulled.

Moreover, Chetwynd said kill notices are usually reserved for sources such as North Korea.

“To kill something on the basis of manipulation [is rare. We do it] once a year maybe, I hope less. The previous kills we’ve had have been from the North Korean news agency or the Iranian news agency,” Chetwynd added.

Arthur Edwards – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Just like everyone else, even though she is royal, Kate Middleton has hobbies of her own. Besides being involved with several organizations close to her heart, for example, breaking the stigma on mental health, she has previously been revealed to be a very good piano player.

Kate Middleton – passion for photography

Moreover, photography has always been a big passion for the Princess of Wales, and she has proven very talented. For many years, Kate has taken pictures of her three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis. However, this is, to our knowledge, the first time she edited them in a way that could have been better.

So, how did her passion for taking pictures begin? Kate had already found an interest in photography when she was a child, inspired by her paternal grandfather, Peter Middleton.

“Her grandfather was a very good photographer,” Claudia Acott Williams, Collections Curator at Historic Royal Palaces, said, per Express. “When she was a child, he would show her his slides. It was him who taught her how to take photographs.”

When she was growing up, Kate began working alongside her parents for her family’s company, Party Pieces, and became the person responsible for taking photos of the stock catalog and website. Once she started dating William, it was evident that the late Queen Elizabeth II also learned of Kate’s passion for photography.

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Even though it was a small gesture, it was, of course, huge for Kate when the queen allowed her to take photos at Balmoral when she first visited in 2009.

In her book, Kate: The Future Queen, royal expert and author Katie Nicholl wrote: “Until now the Queen had met Kate only fleetingly at the wedding of Peter and Autumn Phillips, but she went out of her way to make her feel welcome, giving her permission to take pictures at Balmoral.”

Kate Middleton, William
Shutterstock.com

“As a woman who has lived her entire life in the public eye, the Queen rarely lets her guard down, and very few apart from her family and closest friends get to see the real Elizabeth,” Nicholl added.

“I sort of learn on the way”

As William and Kate tied the knot, royal life was very different from the life Kate Middleton was used to living. Meanwhile, her passion for photography followed her.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Princess of Wales launched the project Hold Still with the National Portrait Gallery, demonstrating the “power of photography” during a very challenging time—not only for the country but for the world.

“We’ve all seen some incredible images out there and heard some amazing stories — some desperately sad stories, but also some really uplifting ones as well,” Kate said during an appearance on the UK television show This Morning. “I really hope that through a project like this, we might be able to showcase some of those stories and to document and share a moment in time, I suppose, that we’re all experiencing.”

Just as in the apology a few days ago, later in the This Morning interview, Kate called herself an “amateur” and gave the viewers some advice.

“I sort of learn on the way, but actually during this time [in lockdown], I spent lots of time picking up my camera and taking photos of the children because they’re always around us when we’re doing stuff together,” she continued.

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

“One of the fantastic things about photography is really capturing that moment so it’s not staged; it’s not setting it up perfectly; it’s not clearing your house away so you got a perfect studio setup but it’s really capturing those moments that feel real to you.”

Kate Middleton took Queen Camilla’s magazine cover photo

Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis obviously enjoy their mother taking their picture. Meanwhile, other members of the royal family, including Queen Camilla, have been really impressed with Kate’s skills.

In 2022, when she was to be on the cover of UK magazine Country Life, Camilla asked for Kate Middleton to be the photographer.

“She immediately replied, ‘Oh I’d quite like Catherine to do it.’ I spent the next three or four minutes desperately racking my brain trying to think of a professional photographer called Catherine,” Mark Hedges, editor of Country Life, said in a statement. “Then suddenly, I grasped what she meant — one of the most amazing things that could happen. I found it one of the easier things to nod my head at.”

The shoot was to celebrate Queen Camilla’s 75th birthday. Afterward, she sure was happy about Kate’s work.

“She did very good pictures and she does it sort of naturally. We had a lot of fun doing it. It was very relaxed and, of course, very kind of the [ Princess of Wales ]. She came with her camera and she’s an extremely good photographer,” she said, as per the Mirror.

Queen camilla, Kate Catherine Princess of Wales
Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images

The list of fans of Kate Middleton’s skills continues. Arthur Edwards, who has photographed the royal family for over 50 years, once said he is a “great admirer.”

“The picture that I love most that she’s done is William and the three children on the swing,” he said of the 2020 picture, celebrating Prince William’s 38th birthday. “I would have killed to have taken that picture.”

Royal expert says Kate might never put out another picture again

He continued, “Everybody’s laughing at their mum, and you know that only a mother or a father could get that picture, and it’s an absolute winner. Charlotte with her arm around daddy, you know, ‘daddy’s girl.’ It’s a lovely picture, I was so full of praise for her on that.”

Although Kate is undoubtedly a talented photographer, she is now getting a lot of criticism for editing the Mother’s Day picture. The Princess of Wales is, according to royal expert Jennie Bond, “in a fragile mental and physical state,” and moving forward, her passion for photographing and sharing it with royal fans worldwide might have come to an end.

Speaking on The Royal Beat podcast, Russell Myers, royal editor at the Daily Mirror, says that Kate’s Mother’s Day picture might be the last one she shows the world.

“They put the picture out and I suppose they will have to have a review of this process. What I think is going to be the biggest shame of all, is Kate may never put a picture out again,” he said.

“And we’ve had years of her putting out pictures of the children on their birthday, Louis’ first day at school, their Christmas card. If she doesn’t do that, that’s such a massive shame for her,” he added.

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Several royal experts have argued that Kate needs to take responsibility for her actions. At the same time, royal expert Hilary Fordwich told Fox that the palace is responsible for what she calls “yet another public relations disaster.”

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

“The certainty is that a ‘slimmed down monarchy’ means fewer are guiding the royals and those who are aren’t as media savvy as they need to be,” Fordwich said. “In our fast-paced world with tech-savvy media outlets, the palaces need to hire the best and brightest in such fields.”

“It shows great humility to admit one’s mistakes”

Although Kate had to apologize, the royal expert pointed out that Kate Middleton showed “integrity.”

“While this certainly isn’t ‘business as usual’ nor what we would expect from a royal household… it shows great humility to admit one’s mistakes,” Fordwich continued. “Others might have either remained silent or tried to blame another. Kate issued a straight-up, no-nonsense apology. Many could learn a lesson from such.”

Royal expert and author Tom Bower took it a step further, accusing the palace of not protecting Kate at all.

He said that the Princess of Wales isn’t surrounded by wise people and that the picture should have been handled by professional staff at Kensington Palace.

“People around the world just want to bring her down because it gives them pleasure. And then, when she did, they should have got a professional photographer in to make sure there were no hiccups like has now occurred,” Bower told The Sun.

He continued: “She’s undergone the most very serious operation imaginable. She needs a long time to recover. And I fear that she has been under terrible pressure to perform and instead of protecting her, her staff in Kensington Palace failed to give her the support and protection she needs.”

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