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Top News agencies recall released photos of Kate Middleton over manipulation of image

Top News agencies recall released photos of Kate Middleton over manipulation of image
Kensington Palace

In a move that has sent ripples through the media landscape, several prominent news agencies have retracted an image of Catherine, the Princess of Wales, and her children, citing concerns over potential manipulation.

The photograph, which was distributed by Kensington Palace, is the first official image of the Princess released since her abdominal surgery in January.

The Associated Press, along with other agencies, issued mandatory kill notices on the photo, an industry term used to retract an image. Closer inspection by these agencies suggested that the source might have manipulated the image, leading to its withdrawal from circulation.

The released image, intended to mark Mother's Day in the United Kingdom, showed the Princess with her children, capturing a seemingly intimate family moment.

However, discrepancies, particularly in the alignment of Princess Charlotte's left hand, raised alarms about the authenticity of the photograph.

Reuters and the AP pointed to the sleeve of Princess Charlotte as an area that sparked concerns of manipulation. Reuters stated that the sleeve did not line up properly, suggesting the image had been altered.

They could not immediately determine how, why, or by whom the alteration was made.This incident has highlighted the challenges faced by news organizations in the digital age, where rapid advances in generative AI have made it increasingly easy to produce convincing fake photographs and videos.

As a result, news agencies are employing specialist software to scrutinize photographs for evidence of manipulation.

The retraction of the images by major news agencies has created a public relations dilemma for Britain’s royal family, which was already grappling with intense public speculation and social media conspiracy theories following the Princess's surgery.

Kensington Palace had previously announced that the Princess is unlikely to return to public duties until Easter at the end of March.

The palace has not commented on the specifics of the Princess's surgery but assured that it was noncancerous. Amidst this backdrop, the controversy surrounding the Mother’s Day photograph has added another layer of complexity to the royal family's public image and the scrutiny they face.