THE Princess of Wales has personally apologised for confusion over a family photograph issued by Kensington Palace saying she occasionally experiments with editing.

The photo released for Mother's Day was pulled by several international picture agencies over concerns it had been tampered with and the Palace initially refused to comment. 

But in a post, personally signed C for Catherine, the princess has now said: “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.”

It comes after Kate’s uncle Gary Goldsmith defended the Waleses and claimed they would not have been responsible for altering the image.

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Agencies including PA, AFP, Getty, Associated Press and Reuters all decided to pull the picture after it was issued by Kensington Palace online noting “inconsistencies in alignment of Princess Charlotte’s left hand”.

There has been speculation online there could also be other discrepancies in the image including the positioning of Kate's zip.

Royal sources said the Princess of Wales made “minor adjustments” and that Kate and the Prince of Wales wanted to offer an informal picture of the family together for Mother’s Day.

“The Wales family spent Mother’s Day together and had a wonderful day,” the source added.

Kensington Palace said it would not be reissuing the original unedited photograph of Kate and her children.

Republic CEO Graham Smith has said the episode - which he said could be considered "dystopian behaviour" - could do “serious damage” to the monarchy.

In a post on Twitter/X regarding the apology, the group said: "It’s not an explanation, it’s a press office attempt to say as little as possible."

It was the first official photo of the Princess of Wales since her abdominal surgery two months ago. Since then she has stayed out of the public eye.

The picture was released to reassure the public amid escalating conspiracy theories online over the state of Kate’s health in recent weeks, but the controversy – dubbed “Kategate” and “Sleevegate” – has been labelled an “extraordinary” turn of events.

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Royal photographer Ian Lloyd told BBC Radio 4 Today Programme that the situation was “very odd”.

“I’ve never seen this before where they criticize a photograph and try to withdraw it because obviously there’s some sort of inaccuracies and somebody at Kensington Palace is not terribly good at Photoshop,” he added.

Royal commentator Peter Hunt added: “This is damaging for the royals.

“They knew there would be intense interest in any picture they released of Kate.

"Their challenge is that people will now question whether they can be trusted and believed when they next issue a health update.”