Kate Middleton Pic ‘Killed’ By News Agencies Over Sizeable Claims It’s Been Manipulated

The Kate Middleton conspiracy saga continues after a photo of the Princess of Wales shared by the official Instagram page for the royal couple was recalled by four of the world’s biggest photo agencies over concerns that the image had been manipulated.

On Sunday, the Prince and Princess of Wales’ official Instagram account shared a photo of Kate, 42, with her three kids Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, eight, and Prince Louis, five, in celebration of Mother’s Day in the UK. Sweet and cute, no?

(Image: Instagram)

After a royal shares pics like this through their official channels, they often get picked up by photo agencies. It’s their job to distribute the photos to media outlets. However, just 12 hours after the photo landed on sites like Getty Images, Reuters, Agence France-Presse (AFP) and The Associated Press, the agencies sent out alerts stating that they would not continue the distribution of the images and encouraged media outlets not to use the images.

“At closer inspection, it appears that the source has manipulated the image. No replacement photo will be sent,” The Associated Press’ notice read.

Getty Images sent out a similar notice.

A kill notice means that publications cannot use the image and it must be deleted from picture libraries. (Image: Nine News)
Dramatic? Yes, 100%. (Image: Nine News)

The caption of the Instagram post even referenced the ongoing discourse about Kate and claimed the photo was taken in 2024, by her husband William, the Prince of Wales. A Kensington Palace spokesperson even told the Washington Post that the pic was taken “earlier this week”.

“Thank you for your kind wishes and continued support over the last two months,” the IG post read.

“Wishing everyone a Happy Mother’s Day. 📸 The Prince of Wales, 2024.”

When the picture was initially posted on Sunday local time, online sleuths felt like something didn’t add up. Many theorised that Kensington Palace had just found an old pic from the archives and chucked it online to stop the whispers.

Others questioned why Kate wasn’t wearing her wedding ring in the picture, and why the grass was so lush and green during the middle of the British winter.

Some even believed that the woman in the centre of the pic wasn’t even Kate at all, just a stand-in with her face imposed over the top.

The conspiracy theories surrounding Kate Middleton and her whereabouts kicked off in February when royalists and theorists online realised that Kate hadn’t been seen in public since Christmas Day.

Although Kensington Palace had issued a statement saying that she had gone through abdominal surgery on January 16 and wouldn’t return to her duties until after Easter, it wasn’t enough to squash the chitchat.

Some fans speculated that Kate was undergoing cosmetic procedures like a facelift or a Brazillian Butt Lift, while others suspected that this was a huge cover-up for a divorce — or worse — that she’s actually dead.

On March 1, Kensington Palace issued another statement about her whereabouts and wellbeing to squash the rumours but nothing seems to stifle the fans and their theories.

All the rumours surrounding Kate have been kind of hilarious. Not only because of the incredible memes the strange scenario has inspired online but just the bonkers nature of the whole thing.

While the Photoshop scandal is most likely a matter of the Royal Family’s intern doing a dodgy FaceTune job (it wouldn’t be the first time), I think it’s going to be very hard for Kensington Palace to squash those rumours now until Kate makes a very, very public appearance in the flesh.