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Do we have the right to see Kate's original photo? Poll of the week

The Princess of Wales sharing an edited image has further fuelled speculation about her wellbeing, but how much are the public entitled to know?

Yahoo UK's poll of the week lets you vote and indicate your strength of feeling on one of the week's hot topics. After 72 hours the poll closes and, each Friday, we'll publish and analyse the results, giving readers the chance to see how polarising a topic has become and if their view chimes with other Yahoo UK readers.

https://twitter.com/KensingtonRoyal/status/1766750995445387393
The Princess of Wales's family photo, taken by her husband William, appears to have fuelled speculation about their lives. (X/@KensingtonRoyal)

Kensington Palace has resisted calls for the original version (or versions) of a photo showing the Princess of Wales and her children to be released.

The future queen shared the image on X, formerly Twitter, with a Mother's Day message thanking members of the public for their "kind wishes and continued support", having recently undergone abdominal surgery.

Having been out of the public eye since her surgery in January, a number of unfounded conspiracy theories had been swirling on social media about Kate's whereabouts and her wellbeing. The release of a picture showing Kate smiling with Prince George, Prince Louis and Princess Charlotte at their home in Windsor should have helped put this wild speculation to bed – at least in theory.

However, keen-eyed observers were quick to pick up on some details in the photo that didn't seem right, for example, a section of Charlotte's skirt appearing where her sleeve should be. The flaws were enough to persuade Associated Press, Agence France-Presse, EPA, Getty, Reuters and PA – all major news and picture agencies – to issue a recall over concerns of "manipulation".

On Monday Kate said she likes to "experiment with editing", and apologised for "any confusion" the doctored family photograph had caused, but the slip-up has only given rise to even more speculation to swirl around online.

Some have argued that releasing the original photo would be a way of indicating greater transparency for the taxpayer-funded royal family, while others have cautioned that adding new information might only serve to prolong what is an already uncomfortable situation for the Prince and Princess of Wales.

Come back on Friday to read the results and analysis via the link below

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There has long been tension over how much the public, who fund the royal family to the tune of £86.3 million in 2022/23, should be updated on their private lives.

On one hand, Kate appears to have made an effort to set the record straight, telling her followers on X: "Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing.

"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. C."

She should also, some have argued, be treated sensitively given she is still recovering from major abdominal surgery. Buckingham Palace have declined to say what condition she was treated for, but previously said it was not cancer-related.

"We don’t need a running commentary, it doesn’t help Kate, it doesn’t help the royal family, it doesn’t help Britain," royal biographer Tom Bower told LBC Radio on Monday. He suggested Clarence House had played the situation "very badly" by allowing "a very sick woman to start organising the photos", especially after so much speculation on social media.

However, others have suggested that if all Kate has done is made some minor adjustments, then sharing the original photograph shouldn't be a big deal and would go a long way to winning back the public's trust.

PR expert Mark Borkowski told MailOnline: 'It's plausible she's at home playing with the computer and using an AI tool, but if they're really going to regain any sort of trust they should release the unedited photo, it can't be that bad if they just made a few tweaks."

Writing for the Daily Mail, royal columnist Richard Kay said that while the Waleses may have had "good intentions" in trying to release a photo to signal Kate's recovery was going well, part of public's adoration for the royals "rests on them being told the truth".

Graham Smith, CEO of anti-monarchy group Republic, goes one step further, suggesting secrecy is "in the royal blood" and is the family's "modus operandi". He told Metro how a number of academics, authors and journalists are concerned by the palace's "resistance to opening up their archives and committing to transparency".

A poll by Savanta, released just one day before Kate's photo, suggesting the majority of Brits do not think the royals are being transparent about their lives, suggest the concern goes far beyond academic circles.

Reported in the i newspaper, the survey found that 54 per cent believe the royals are either ‘not very transparent’ (35 per cent) or ‘not at all transparent’ (19 per cent). Just six per cent said they were ‘very transparent’.

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