Kate Middleton and Queen Elizabeth II

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Image Credit: Oli Scarff – WPA Pool / Getty Images

Will “#KateGate” ever end? Princess Kate‘s Photoshop saga continues, now that a Getty Images rep revealed that the image agency discovered “inconsistencies” in a picture that the 42-year-old took of the late Queen Elizabeth II surrounded by her grandkids. The photo was posted to social media in April 2023 in honor of what would have been the 97th birthday of the U.K.’s longest-reigning monarch.

The portrait featured the queen sitting on a green couch surrounded by Kate and Prince William‘s children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, and their royal cousins.

“Today would have been Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s 97th birthday,” Buckingham Palace’s caption read. “This photograph — showing her with some of her grandchildren and great grandchildren — was taken at Balmoral last summer.”

In a new statement to The Telegraph, a Getty Rep noted, “Getty Images has reviewed the image in question and placed an editor’s note on it, stating that the image has been digitally enhanced at source.” Pointing to “several inconsistencies,” the spokesperson highlighted a line by the late queen’s skirt as well as a digital duplication of Mia Tindall’s hair.

News of the photo manipulation comes just one week after Kate’s Instagram Mother’s Day post ignited a fiasco. The Princess of Wales shared a picture of her with her kids in honor of the U.K.’s day celebrating moms, and the Associated Press alerted news publications and journalists that the picture was “manipulated” by its “source.”

“At closer inspection, it appears that the source has manipulated the image,” the AP wrote in its notification to news outlets. “No replacement photo will be sent. Please remove it from all platforms, including social, where it may be visible.”

Additionally, Instagram added the “altered photo/video” label to Kate’s Instagram post.

As a result of the controversy, followers of the royal family speculated that amid Kate’s public absence, there were AI-generated snaps of her circulating online. However, the Princess of Wales promptly issued an apology via X and to her Instagram Stories last week, admitting to “editing” the picture.

“Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing,” Kate explained. “I wanted to express my apologies for any confusion the family photograph we shared yesterday caused. I hope everyone celebrating had a very happy Mother’s Day.”

The worldwide interest in Kate’s whereabouts comes amid her recovery from a “planned abdominal” procedure, which took place earlier this year. Although Kensington Palace assured fans that she was recovering and would not return to public engagements until after Easter (Sunday, March 31), the Agence-France Presse (AFP) said that the palace was “absolutely not” a “trusted source” anymore.

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