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Kate apologises for "editing" Mother's Day portrait

a group of people posing for the camera
New Mother’s Day portrait of Kate and childrencourtesy of The Prince and Princess of Wales via Instagram

This weekend, the Princess of Wales made her first public statement since her abdominal surgery in January and shared a new family portrait.

The image, which was taken in Windsor earlier this week by Prince William, was released in celebration of Mother's Day. It depicts the Princess of Wales sitting in a chair surrounded by their three children, Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, eight, and Prince Louis, five, all wearing big smiles.

However, despite it's heart-warming sentiment, the release of the portrait was overshadowed by claims that it had been Photoshopped – with several picture agencies removing the image from their feeds and issuing a 'kill notice', advising media outlets not to run it.

The princess later issued another statement, confessing that she "occasionally experiments with editing", and apologising for any confusion.

"Like may amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing," she wrote, in a statement released to the Prince and Princess of Wales' official account on X. "I want 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."

In the portrait, Kate is dressed casually in dark jeans, a navy blue turtleneck sweater, a forest green jacket, and black boots. She's smiling, with fresh, natural make-up, and her hair styled in her signature voluminous waves. Meanwhile, her sons look dapper in knit sweaters (George in blue and Louis in green) layered over collared shirts and paired with jeans, while Charlotte looks sweet in a burnt-red cardigan, plaid skirt, navy blue tights, and black boots.

In the original picture caption, Kate expressed her gratitude for the public’s support. “Thank you for your kind wishes and continued support over the last two months,” she wrote. “Wishing everyone a Happy Mother’s Day. C.”

the british royal family attend the christmas morning service
Kate was last seen in public at ChristmasSamir Hussein - Getty Images

Kate has not made a public appearance since Christmas. She was hospitalised in mid-January for a “planned abdominal surgery.” The specific reason for the operation has not been revealed.

In the initial statement announcing the news, Kensington Palace said Kate’s engagements had been postponed until after Easter, which falls on March 31 this year. They added that Kate “hopes that the public will understand her desire to maintain as much normality for her children as possible; and her wish that her personal medical information remains private,” and disclosed that they would only be providing updates of significant new information.

Radio silence from both the palace and the rest of the royals on Kate’s condition resulted in widespread speculation online about her whereabouts. The palace responded in late February with a statement shared to Bazaar that said: “We were very clear from the outset that the Princess of Wales was out until after Easter and Kensington Palace would only be providing updates when something was significant.”

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