These false photos circulating about the royal family

Kate Middleton has publicly apologized for releasing a "retouched" image.

These false photos circulating about the royal family

Kate Middleton has publicly apologized for releasing a "retouched" image. Fake photos or videos of the royal family are becoming a serious topic.

On the occasion of Mother's Day in the United Kingdom, the Princess of Wales, Kate Middleton, posted a photo of herself surrounded by her three children. This photo is the princess's first public appearance since her operation last January. In the caption, she sent thanks for the get well soon messages she has received since her procedure.

However, news agencies Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters all decided to remove the image from their publications after suspicions of manipulation. The AFP said in part: "It has emerged that the image provided by Kensington Palace today (Sunday) of Kate and her children has been altered. As a result, it has been removed from the AFP service and should no longer not be used in any way". On Sunday, the royal family declined media invitations to respond.

It was only this Monday, March 11 in the morning that Kate Middleton responded to this controversy. On the official Instagram and X accounts of the Prince and Princess of Wales, the latter apologized for the “confusion” caused by the photo posted this Sunday. She clarified that the alterations, which were very real, were carried out by her. She explained: "Like many amateur photographers, I sometimes experiment with editing."

This is not the first time that a photo of the royal family has caused controversy. Such is the fascination surrounding royalty that it is a much-covered topic in the British and even foreign media. A similar situation had already surrounded a photo posted by the Prince and Princess of Wales. The facts date back to the Christmas period of 2023. On December 9, 2023, the couple posted a photo on their Instagram account with their three children as a Christmas card. In the image the parents stood next to each other with their daughter Charlotte sitting on a chair in front of her parents and surrounded by her two brothers. On X, very attentive Internet users were perplexed. Most of the attention was on Prince Louis whose left hand was resting on the armrest of the chair where Princess Charlotte is sitting. The position of his hand made his middle finger invisible. For some Internet users, this detail was a sign that the photo had been retouched.

Another photograph of Kate Middleton, alone this time, caused controversy in 2022. This photo was on the cover of the Daily Mirror, a very popular tabloid in the United Kingdom, on November 14, 2022. The image represented the Princess of Wales during its participation in Remembrance Day, Sunday 13 November, in honor of the victims of the First World War. On the cover of the magazine, the photo taken of Kate Middleton appeared very retouched, making her look much older. The image then caused public outrage.

During her lifetime, Queen Elizabeth II was not spared from this type of practice either. In December 2020, after his Christmas speech, the British channel Channel 4 published a video produced using AI. The fake video depicts the Queen dancing on the desk where she had sat for her official speech broadcast earlier on the BBC.

These images also sparked strong indignation among royal fans who denounced a lack of respect for the queen and her family.

Added to these images are thousands, created by artificial intelligence software, circulating on social networks or on the dark web. Photographs of a pornographic nature were even taken, by doctoring the images, to make members of the royal family appear completely illegally. The images are tracked by royal family lawyers to avoid any harm, but the false images circulating today are still too perfect to be confused with real photos. But technology and pirates are progressing.

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