Monday, April 15, 2024

Second Doctored Photo? Princess Kate’s Picture of Queen Raises Questions

HomeEntertainmentSecond Doctored Photo? Princess Kate's Picture of Queen Raises Questions

The royal family’s photo editing controversy took a new turn this week, as a leading photography agency confirmed that a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II and her great-grandchildren released last year had been digitally altered.

The image in question showed the late Queen surrounded by 10 of her young relatives at Balmoral Castle in Scotland months before her death in September 2022. It was said to have been taken by Catherine, Princess of Wales and distributed through official channels by Kensington Palace.

However, an analysis by Getty Images revealed extensive digital enhancements and inconsistencies throughout the photograph, ranging from misaligned clothing and furniture to duplicated strands of hair and blurred body parts. The agency labelled the image as “digitally enhanced” in an editor’s note.

“Getty Images is undertaking a review of handout images and in accordance with its editorial policy is placing an editor’s note on images where the source has suggested they could be digitally enhanced,” a company spokesperson told CNN.

The revelation comes just days after the Princess publicly apologized for doctoring an official Mother’s Day portrait of herself and her three children released earlier this month. That image, supposedly taken by her husband Prince William, displayed obvious editing inconsistencies that sparked a media firestorm.

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In her apology last week, the Princess claimed she likes to “experiment” with photo editing, but did not explain why Kensington Palace did not disclose the manipulations to news outlets and photo agencies that licensed the images.

The latest controversy threatens to severely undermine the royal family’s relationship with major media companies and raises questions about their trustworthiness as an official source of photographs and information. Leading agencies like Getty have long-standing rules prohibiting excessive digital alterations to maintain journalistic standards.

“By secretly manipulating their pictures in various places, the royals have painted themselves as potential distributors of misinformation,” writes CNN’s analysis.

The scandals have unfolded during a period of intense scrutiny over Catherine’s health and public absence following an unspecified abdominal surgery in January. After weeks of media speculation, the Princess was spotted on Saturday shopping with Prince William near their home, easing concerns about her condition.

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However, the spiraling photo editing saga has quickly overshadowed her recent reemergence and cast yet another cloud of controversy over the royal family’s media operations.

Several British newspapers and royal commentators have condemned the deceptive editing practices as a serious breach of trust. Veteran royal photographer Arthur Edwards described the incidents as a “shocking lapse” for the typically camera-savvy Princess.

“Catherine is usually so good with photographs and, along with William, has managed to change the way the royalamily shares personal images in the modern age,” Edwards told The Daily Mail. “So to be embroiled in not one but two photoshop scandals is deeply embarrassing for her.”

In an article for The Telegraph, royal expert Camilla Tominey wrote that the scandals risk undoing years of careful image curation and management by the younger generation of royals.

“After the Princess of Wales’ much-vaunted ‘rebrand’ of the Royal family’s visual output, these apparent Photoshop fails represent a major own goal,” said Tominey. “Where the Waleses led the way in candidCamera portraiture, they now risk accusation of trying to control and construct their image to an ultimately insincere degree.”

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For a family already facing criticism over racism allegations, Prince Harry’s memoir, and King Charles III’s cash-for-honors scandal, the latest self-inflicted wounds only compound the public relations challenges ahead.

Some royal watchers believe the controversies may force a reset in how Kensington Palace manages its media strategy and partnerships moving forward.

“I don’t think many publications would want to run pictures from the Palace in future in case they had been doctored,” photographer Glenn Gratton told The Mirror. “The days of the Palace being able to control the narrative are over.”

Whether intentionally deceptive or not, the editing missteps have clearly backfired on a royal brand that has long prioritized visual storytelling and airbrushed glamour. As the digital past haunts the modern monarchy, a messy reckoning may be unavoidable – forcing the Windsor family to finally embrace a new era of unvarnished authenticity.

Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee is a prolific author who provides commentary and analysis on business, finance, politics, sports, and current events on his website Opportuneist. With over a decade of experience in journalism and blogging, Mezhar aims to deliver well-researched insights and thought-provoking perspectives on important local and global issues in society.

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