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Kate Middleton has apologised over the photo, saying she does "occasionally experiment with editing". Instagram
A Royal Mess

White House says it doesn't digitally alter Biden photos, wishes Kate Middleton 'speedy recovery'

Several photo agencies on Sunday issued a ‘kill notice’ for a photo of Kate Middleton and her three children released by Kensington Palace.

THE WHITE HOUSE has said it does not digitally alter photos and that is wishes Kate Middleton a “speedy recovery”. 

When asked at a press briefing if the White House ever digitally alters photos of US President Joe Biden, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said: “Digitally altered? Not that I know of, I would say no.

“Why would we digitally alter photos? Are you comparing us to what’s going on in the UK? Why does the Monarch have to do anything with us? No, that is not something that we do here.”

When later asked if Biden is “worried” about the Princess of Wales, Jean-Pierre said: “I think when we originally heard about her health situation, obviously we offer her a speedy recovery, I don’t have anything else to add beyond that. 

She added: “I’m just going to leave it there, I don’t have anything else to share, I have not spoken to the President about this.”

It had been announced on 16 January that Middleton was undergoing abdominal surgery at the London Clinic.

Speculation about her condition has been rife over the last few weeks despite the official assurances that Middleton is recovering well, with rumours focusing not just on the 42-year-old’s health, but also the status of her marriage.

On Sunday, Kensington Palace issued the first official photo of Middleton since her surgery. The photo was posted on social media to mark Mother’s Day.

However, Reuters, AFP and and AP all separately removed the image from their services within a few hours and instructed client news agencies to remove the image from their publications.

The kill notification issued by AP stated that the concerns stem from evidence that the “source has manipulated the image”.

One section of the image in particular has been cited as the main indicator that the image has been manipulated.

The sleeve of one of the children in the photo, Charlotte, appears transparent on closer inspection, indicating the image has been altered from its original. 

The Princess of Wales subsequently personally apologised for confusion over the family photograph saying: “Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing.”

Kensington Palace has since said it will not be reissuing the unedited photograph.

Last week, the princess was photographed while travelling in a car with her mother after weeks of rumours about her whereabouts in the wake of surgery in January.

She was also photographed by the press in a car with her husband, Prince William, on Monday afternoon.

The Mother’s Day picture of the princess was the first official photograph released since she was admitted to the London Clinic – the private hospital where Britain’s King Charles underwent treatment for an enlarged prostate – for a planned operation on 16 January.

Middleton left the hospital on 29 January – almost two weeks later – and returned to Adelaide Cottage in Windsor.

Details of Middleton’s condition have not been revealed but Kensington Palace previously said it was not cancer-related and that she wished her personal medical information to remain private.

Prior to her surgery, she was last pictured in public during a Christmas Day walk in Sandringham, Norfolk.

She is not expected to return to official duties until after Easter.

With reporting by David MacRedmond and Press Association

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