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Kate's photo of Queen Elizabeth II with her grandkids flagged by Getty news agency as "enhanced at source"

Inconsistencies in royal family portrait
Inconsistencies found in the altered photo of Queen Elizabeth and her grandchildren 01:22

London — A 2023 photo of the late Queen Elizabeth II and her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, credited to Catherine, the Princess of Wales, has been flagged as "digitally enhanced at source" by international photo agency, Getty. The move came after a more recent image, a British Mother's Day photo released by Kensington Palace in March, was found to have been digitally altered.

The older image was released by Buckingham Palace on April 21, 2023 to mark what would have been the queen's 97th birthday. Like the photo Princess Kate has now admitted to "editing" of her and her children, the 2023 image was credited to the princess herself, who's said she enjoys photography as a hobby.

"Getty Images is undertaking a review of handout images and in accordance with its editorial policy is placing an editor's note on images where the source has suggested they could be digitally enhanced," a Getty spokesperson told CBS News on Tuesday.

CBS News has circled several parts of this image, originally shared by Buckingham Palace in April 2023 but said to have been taken the previous year by Catherine, the Princess of Wales, with discrepancies that appear to indicate photo editing or manipulation. Buckingham Palace/CBS News

The photo was said to have been taken at the royal family's Balmoral Castle, in Scotland, in August 2022. A number of inconsistencies are visible upon inspection, including an apparent distortion of the queen's plaid skirt, several parts of a sofa with misalignments, and a blurred edge along the neck of Prince Louis (at right in the image above).

Getty's new editorial note came amid speculation over Kate's health, which was fueled by the discovery of the edits to the March image of her and her children.

In January, Kensington Palace said Kate would be undergoing planned abdominal surgery and taking time to recover in private at least until Easter, on March 31. It said there would be no updates on her health as she recuperated, but then on Britain's Mother's Day in March, the couple released the photo of Kate and her three children that had clearly been doctored. 

Kate admitted in a social media post to editing the image, but Kensington Palace has refused to release an original, unedited version.

Manipulated royal photo draws global scrutiny 05:16

British tabloids reported Sunday that Kate was spotted in public for the first time since she disappeared.

The Sun tabloid newspaper said Kate and her husband Wiliam, the Prince of Wales, were seen at a farm shop near her family's home in Windsor, west of London, on Saturday. The tabloid quoted onlookers as saying she appeared "happy, relaxed and healthy." A grainy video clip of the couple walking out of the shop later emerged.

The Sun also reported on Sunday that Kate and William had been seen watching their children play sports, but no images had surfaced of that outing as of Tuesday.

"I think the fact Kate has been seen looking happy, healthy and active will hopefully dampen speculation," Royah Nikkhah, the royal editor for Britain's Sunday Times newspaper, told CBS News. "Whether or not she chooses to walk to church on Easter Sunday, she may or may not. But I think they're still expecting her to resume public duties mid April."

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