After months of speculation regarding the whereabouts of Kate Middleton, the Princess of Wales, and future Queen of England, the Royal Family released a highly controversial image. The image in question appears to have been heavily edited, leading to rare kill notifications from reputable news sources such as the Associated Press and Reuters. The ineptitude of the editing is astonishing, and rather than reassuring the public about Middleton’s whereabouts, the image has instead caused a significant backlash.

Upon first glance, the image is unsettling. Every individual in the photo is smiling so brightly that they appear almost cartoonish, resembling a filter commonly seen on social media platforms like Snapchat. Middleton is seated in the image, which is understandable considering she underwent an undisclosed abdominal procedure in January. However, upon closer inspection, the perspective of the image seems off. Questions arise about the length of Middleton’s arms, suggesting that the image may have been manipulated with editing software. The longer one stares at the photo, the more apparent it becomes that something is amiss, akin to reading a children’s magazine at the dentist’s office.

The release of this edited image comes after months of Middleton being absent from public view, fuelling conspiracy theories regarding her health and the reasons for her disappearance. Instead of addressing these concerns directly, the Royal Family opted to release a questionable image on Mother’s Day in the UK. This lack of transparency has only added fuel to the fire, as public scrutiny of the image grows more intense. For the British monarchy, maintaining a positive public image is paramount, as illustrated in Prince Harry’s memoir, Spare. The book delves into the lengths the royal family goes to in order to manage their public perception, often at the expense of individual family members.

The act of managing the royal family’s image dates back to Queen Elizabeth’s coronation, which was broadcast live for the entire world to see. Being photographed and appearing in media outlets is a crucial aspect of the royal family’s role, and the British press plays a significant role in shaping their public image. The Royal Rota system, established to cover royal events and engagements, highlights the close relationship between the palace and the press. However, not all members of the royal family are willing to adhere to these traditions, as seen with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Harry and Meghan, who opted to step back from their royal duties, including interactions with the Royal Rota.

The controversy surrounding the edited image of Kate Middleton sheds light on the complexities of managing the royal family’s public image. As allegations of poor Photoshop skills and manipulation surface, it is evident that maintaining transparency and authenticity is crucial in a world where public perception can make or break reputations. The royal family’s careful balance of tradition and modern media scrutiny showcases the challenging nature of navigating public relations in the digital age.


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