Was Princess Kate’s Family Picture Edited?

On Sunday, Kate, The Princess of Wales, issued a truly bizarre statement that’s only fueled growing conspiracies surrounding her health and the state of her marriage to Prince William.

After the Associated Press sent out a recall order for a family photo Princess Kate shared to celebrate Mother’s Day in the U.K., the queen-to-be admitted to playing around with Photoshop before releasing the image to the press. “Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing,” she wrote. “I wanted to express my apologies for any confusion the family photograph we shared yesterday caused.”

The family photo featuring her three children with the heir to the throne, George, Charlotte, and Louis marked the first official glimpse of the Princess since her abdominal surgery last year — a procedure that’s taken her months to recover from. Soon after releasing the photo to various news agencies, the AP issued a “kill order,” stating that its editors found discrepancies that suggested the family portrait had been doctored. According to the AP, the image showed “an inconsistency in the alignment of Princess Charlotte’s left hand,” and had therefore been manipulated in a way that “does not meet AP’s photo standards.”

The photo was taken by Prince William at the family’s home in Windsor and released to agencies under the condition that it should not be altered before being published, but Kensington Palace failed to notify the press of the princess’ edits. After refusing to clarify the reason for her alterations — social media users have pointed out the odd positioning of Prince Louis’s hands and some strange alignment issues with Kate’s clothing — and failing to provide an unedited option, the AP pulled its photo and alerted other agencies.

While the Princess is known for her love of photography and has even provided images of her family to the press in the past, this misstep is worrying for fans and supporters wondering why the status of Kate’s health has been kept under wraps.

(Via The New York Times, Associated Press)