Queen Elizabeth II photo was 'digitally enhanced,' photo agency says

A photograph of the late Queen Elizabeth II was manipulated, according to Getty Images. 

The picture agency said the image was "digital enhanced at source," according to its handout. 

"Getty Images can confirm that in accordance with its editorial policy, it has placed an editor’s note on a handout image stating the image has been digitally enhanced at source," the company confirmed to FOX Television Stations.


Photo of royal family taken in 2022. (Credit: Catherine, Princess of Wales, via Getty Images)

The photo was shared on April 21, 2023, and was taken by Kate Middleton, the Princess of Wales in 2022, according to the agency.

Queen Elizabeth II photo follow’s Kate Middleton Mother’s Day photo

The decision by Getty follows their recent "kill notice" for a photo released on Mother’s Day of Kate.

A photo of Kate was posted on March 10 on the official Instagram account she shares with her husband. The 42-year-old is shown seated outdoors, smiling and surrounded by their three children. 

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"Thank you for your kind wishes and continued support over the last two months. Wishing everyone a Happy Mother’s Day. C," the post wrote, referring to the first initial of her full name, Catherine. The photo was the first one released publicly of Kate since she had abdominal surgery in January

The Associated Press initially published the photo, which was issued by Kensington Palace. But AP later retracted the image because they said upon further inspection it appeared the source had manipulated the image in a way that did not meet their photo standards. 

The AP said the photo showed an inconsistency in the alignment of Princess Charlotte’s left hand.

Getty Images, Reuters, and AFP followed suit, removing the photo from their libraries. 

Kate issues apology over Mother’s Day photo

Kate apologized about the Mother’s Day photo and admitted that the image shared online had been edited.

The future queen took to social media to issue a statement, writing, "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."

Manipulated photos cause conspiracy theories on social media

Amid manipulated photos, a flurry of conspiracy theories have emerged on sites like X, formerly known as Twitter, and TikTok, with users speculating about Kate’s whereabouts and her health condition. 

Social media users have speculated that Kate may not even be in the photos or videos that have been posted online in recent weeks, with search terms like "Kate Middleton’s health" and "Where is Kate Middleton?" spiking recently.

This story was reported from Los Angeles.