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Palace says Princess Kate edited Mother’s Day family photo, apologizes 'for any confusion'

“Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing,” Kate said in a post on the Kensington Palace social media accounts.
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LONDON — Kensington Palace said Monday that Kate, the Princess of Wales, had edited a family photo that was released Sunday and apologized "for any confusion."

The image, the first official photo of Kate since she had unspecified abdominal surgery in January, was pulled by multiple news agencies over its apparent manipulation.

A statement posted Monday morning to an account on X for Kate and her husband, Prince William, said: "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."

The "C" suggested that it was written by Kate, whose full name is Catherine.

Leading photo agencies initially offered the image — featuring Kate and her three children — to their media clients when it was released Sunday morning to mark Mother's Day in the U.K.

But The Associated Press, Reuters, Getty Images and Agence France-Presse all issued "kill notices" for the picture, a signal that it should not be used.

“At closer inspection it appears that the source has edited the image,” the AP said, referring to the royal family, who took and released the image.

Press Association, a U.K. wire agency, initially held off, but it said before the Kensington Palace statement Monday that it would also withdraw the image from its picture service.

Kate, 42, was hospitalized for almost two weeks in January to undergo abdominal surgery for unspecified reasons, and Kensington Palace said she would step back from official royal duties entirely until at least after Easter.

The lack of explanation for her surgery and subsequent long recovery have led to widespread speculation and a slew of online conspiracy theories.

Royal enthusiasts noticed last week that the army website was advertising Kate’s involvement in Trooping the Colour, a traditional military parade, in London on June 8. But the reference on the British army’s website has since been deleted.

Britain’s Defense Ministry referred questions about the ad’s removal to Kensington Palace. The palace declined to comment.

A spokesperson for Kate late last month reiterated that she is “doing well.”

“Kensington Palace made it clear in January the timelines of the Princess’ recovery and we’d only be providing significant updates. That guidance stands,” the spokesperson said.