For releasing the altered photo of herself with her three children—Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis—on Mother’s Day, Kate Middleton has come under fire.

Since it was clear that the photo had been altered, news organizations chose to remove it. The Princess of Wales faced backlash for the edited image as well as the fact that neither she nor the palace had declined to address concerns about her health or release an updated photo that would have put an end to rumors about her whereabouts.

Although she has faced criticism for her recent choice, a number of royal experts have defended her, accusing her husband and the palace of failing to do enough in the days following the picture’s publication.

The altered photo of Kate Middleton and her kids, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis, that appeared on the Prince and Princess of Wales’ official Instagram account on Mother’s Day drew criticism for the royal family.

After Kate Middleton’s photo mistake, the director of the news agency claims that Palace isn’t a reliable source.

It took several hours for social media users and photography professionals to analyze the photo, pointing out several mistakes and poor retouching techniques. The Associated Press and Getty were among the news organizations who sent out “kill notice,” which are advising notices to remove or not use a certain photo.

Renowned news organization Agence France-Presse (AFP) was another to use a “kill notice.”

The worldwide news director of AFP, Phil Chetwynd, stated that Kensington Palace is no longer a reliable source while appearing on BBC Radio 4’s Media Show.

“No, absolutely not. Like with anything, when you’re let down by a source the bar is raised … We sent out notes to all our teams at the moment to be absolutely super more vigilant about the content coming across our desk — even from what we would call trusted sources,” he said, as reported by Deadline.

Chetwynd went on to say that on Sunday, a number of news outlets enquired as to whether Kensington Palace could supply the original image. He claims, though, that the picture was removed from the agencies after they did not hear back.

Furthermore, according to Chetwynd, sources like North Korea are typically the targets of kill notices.

“To kill something on the basis of manipulation [is rare. We do it] once a year maybe, I hope less. The previous kills we’ve had have been from the North Korean news agency or the Iranian news agency,” Chetwynd added.

 “One thing that’s really important is you cannot be distorting reality for the public,” he said in closing. “There’s a question of trust. And the big issue here is one of trust, and the lack of trust and the falling trust of the general public in institutions generally and in the media. And so it’s extremely important that a photo does represent broadly the reality that it’s seen in.”

Kate Middleton broke ‘golden rule’ with Mother’s Day picture, expert says

Middleton faced backlash, particularly after disclosing that she had taken, edited, and shared the photo herself.

Conspiracy theories have been more intense, meanwhile, as a result of Kensington Palace’s silence regarding the photo incident—particularly regarding their failure to provide a new image of Kate to reassure the public that she is okay.

Since there have been no noteworthy developments regarding the Princess of Wales since February, there have been growing conspiracies, but they have recently intensified.

In the meanwhile, it’s possible that Kate’s own photo editing wasn’t the worst thing. Breaking the “golden rule” has taught the Princess of Wales a “tough and very public lesson,” according to Arthur Edwards, royal photographer for The Sun.

“It’s a golden rule that while you can crop a picture, you never, ever interfere with the image itself. Kate shouldn’t have done it, and she was right to put her hand up and admit to her mistake so quickly,” Edwards said, adding that social media have been overflowing with “disgusting bile and hateful comments about her.”

“Now the conspiracies are flying thick and fast — not that these people need any encouragement. These cheap shots at Kate will be upsetting for her.”

As previously stated, a large number of professionals and members of the public have demanded that Kensington Palace share a fresh image of Kate, or better yet, the unaltered Mother’s Day photo.

“Eager for an update”

Arthur Edwards, a royal photographer, concurs that it is unexpected that the palace hasn’t made the original image public because it might be used to “draw a line” under the incident.

“But of course this comes amid all the speculation as to what’s happening with Kate, who, bar a brief picture yesterday and last week, none of us has seen since December. So many people — myself included — have been eager for an update on the Princess of Wales’s health since she underwent abdominal surgery in January.”

Edwards added, “A bodged attempt at photographic manipulation may have been, but I still think it’s a delightful image. Kate looks radiant and so proud on Mother’s Day, surrounded by her loving kids. It’s full of uplifting love and emotion.”

It seems that the public still overwhelmingly supported the princess prior to the incident, despite the fact that some may not be happy with how Kate and The Firm handled the matter.

According to a recent Ipsos survey conducted on behalf of The Evening Standard, Kate Middleton is the most favored royal in the UK. Before the contentious Mother’s Day photo was released, the journal conducted a study in which it found that 38% of British people thought highly of Kate Middleton, the most popular member of the royal family.

As to the survey, women hold a higher degree of popularity for the Princess of Wales—44 percent—than men do—with 32 percent. Also, Kate was cited as their favorite by half of those between the ages of 55 and 75.

Palace is accused by royal specialists of failing to protect Kate Middleton

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s popularity fell by three points in the same poll; Harry is currently at 11% and Meghan is at 7%.

Numerous royal experts have contended that Kate ought to accept accountability for her deeds. Hilary Fordwich, a royal specialist, told Fox at the same time that the palace is to blame for what she refers to as “yet another public relations disaster.”

“The certainty is that a ‘slimmed down monarchy’ means fewer are guiding the royals and those who are aren’t as media savvy as they need to be,” Fordwich said. “In our fast-paced world with tech-savvy media outlets, the palaces need to hire the best and brightest in such fields.”

The royal expert noted that despite her apology, Kate Middleton shown “integrity.”

“While this certainly isn’t ‘business as usual’ nor what we would expect from a royal household… it shows great humility to admit one’s mistakes,” Fordwich continued. “Others might have either remained silent or tried to blame another. Kate issued a straight-up, no-nonsense apology. Many could learn a lesson from such.”

Tom Bower, a royal specialist and novelist, went one step farther and charged that the palace was failing to safeguard Kate at all.

He claimed that the Princess of Wales is not surrounded by intelligent people and that Kensington Palace’s professional personnel ought to have taken care of the photo.

“People around the world just want to bring her down because it gives them pleasure. And then, when she did, they should have got a professional photographer in to make sure there were no hiccups like has now occurred,” Bower told The Sun.

“She has been under terrible pressure to perform”

He continued: “She’s undergone the most very serious operation imaginable. She needs a long time to recover. And I fear that she has been under terrible pressure to perform and instead of protecting her, her staff in Kensington Palace, failed to give her the support and protection she needs.”

According to Tom Bower, Kate Middleton committed a “honest mistake,” which is really not that big of an issue. He recommended the royal family to put Kate’s recovery first and hold off on releasing any additional images.

“There are republicans and mischief makers who want to do everything now, to destroy the monarchy, to destroy Britain as it is today, who don’t share our values and see Kate as a soft target, an easy target and another target to seek to undermine British values and British tradition,” he added.

This contentious photo incident involving Kate Middleton is not the first scandal involving the royal family. The Princess of Wales hasn’t been directly involved in any of the various events that have fundamentally upended the royal family over the years, but she still knows how to learn from her error.

ITV conducted an interview with Prince William and Kate in 2011 following the announcement of their engagement. The princess was questioned over her handling of criticism.

“I think the people around home are very supportive of us, and those are the people who really matter to us: our close friends and close family. I think if they feel you are doing the right thing you can only be true to yourself and you sort of have to ignore a lot of what’s said, obviously take it on board, but you have to be yourself really and that’s how I have stuck by it really.”

In addition, Kate Middleton disclosed that getting married into the royal family was “nerve-wracking” and discussed the backlash she experienced following her engagement to William. But she would be “willing to learn quickly and work hard.”

“It’s obviously nerve-wracking, because I don’t know the ropes really, William is obviously used to it, but I’m willing to learn quickly and work hard. I really hope I can make a difference, even in the smallest way. I am looking forward to helping as much as I can.”

Kate Middleton is aware of how she is handling this difficult circumstance to the best of her ability. Until we see Kate Middleton in public again, at least, it is evident that more doubts are being raised every day.

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