Kensington Palace no longer a “trusted source” after Kate Middleton photo debacle, top photo agency claims

Irreparable damage may have been done to Kensington Palace’s reputation among leading photo agencies in the wake of the scandal involving the image of Kate Middleton released to celebrate Mother’s Day in the UK.

That’s according to the world’s foremost photo agency, which has reportedly relegated Kensington Palace to its blacklist, claiming it’s no longer “a trusted source”.

The photo in question – depicting Kate and her three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis – spread like wildfire last weekend, only to be withdrawn by multiple photo agencies including Getty and the Associated Press over concerns that it had been “manipulated”.

Scrutiny over the British Royal Family has neared unprecedented levels of late, fueled in no small part by the mystifying circumstances relating to Kate’s January hospitalization and subsequent period of recovery.

The Palace initially outlined that Kate was undergoing a “routine abdominal procedure”, but the lack of information offered since then has paved the way for a veritable firestorm of conjecture.

Thus when the first official picture of the Princess of Wales was released to celebrate Mother’s Day in the UK, it should have heralded a moment when royal fans the world over could finally breath a sigh of relief: Kate is well, it was intended to reinforce, and her total absence from the spotlight simply a byproduct of a hardworking public figure recovering on her own terms.

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Of course, that all changed when the image was swiftly removed over fears it had been edited. Journalists were even served with “kill notices” usually reserved for propaganda images that warp reality and are associated with dictatorships such as North Korea and Iran.

In any case, it’s now beyond doubt that the Royal Family’s reputation as a transparent, trustworthy institution has taken a hit in the eyes of many. As per the Daily Mirror, photo agency Agence France-Presse (AFP) has confirmed that the palace is no longer a source it can trust.

AFP’s global news director Phil Chetwynd revealed on BBC Radio 4’s “The Media Show” that the agency had often worked with the palace, considering it a “trusted source” prior to Sunday.


LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – OCTOBER 17: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends the Earthshot Prize 2021 at Alexandra Palace on October 17, 2021 in London, England. The Earthshot Prize, created by Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and The Royal Foundation, is an environmental prize awarded to the most inspiring and innovative solutions to environmental challenges facing the planet. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

What’s more Mr. Chetwynd also highlighted the rather extreme move taken by certain photo agencies to issue a “kill notice”, describing its as a rare event and a “big deal” that only happens maybe once a year.

When asked directly if the palace remained a trusted source after Sunday’s fiasco, he replied: “No. Absolutely not. Like with anything, when you’re let down by a source, the bar is raised and we’ve got major issues internally.”

He added: “It’s actually not even very well photoshopped. There are clearly a lot of issues with the photo. It shouldn’t have been validated. I think as soon as it was, all of the photo editors at all of the major agencies immediately saw there was a problem and got together and spoke about it and said ‘what do we do?’”

Kate Middleton herself issued an apology for the edited image, claiming that she was responsible for the changes made to the original picture. Even so, it’s highly likely the whole saga will continue to be debated for some time yet.

What do you think to the speculation regarding Kate Middleton and the infamous Mother’s Day photo? Let us know in the comments.


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