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New photo of Prince Louis released to mark 6th birthday

Prince William returns to royal duties
Prince William makes first public appearance since Princess Kate cancer news 01:18

A new photo of Prince Louis was released Tuesday to mark the young British royal's 6th birthday. It is the first image released by the family since the photo-editing scandal erupted last month.

In the photo, Louis, who is the fourth in line to the British throne behind his father and two older siblings, can be seen lying on a blanket while grinning at the camera. The photo is said to have been taken by his mother Catherine, the Princess of Wales. Kensington Palace has assured that this picture has not been edited.

"Happy 6th Birthday, Prince Louis! Thank you for all the kind wishes today," said the post accompanying the image shared on Kensington Palace's social media accounts.

The family has typically released photos of the young royals to mark birthdays to news outlets in advance, but this year, with both Kate and her father-in-law King Charles III undergoing cancer treatment, they took a slightly different approach, posting the image of Louis directly on their official social media accounts on his birthday. 

William and Kate, who have requested privacy as they deal with the family's medical issues, thanked people for their well-wishes in a short message posted with the photo of Louis.

Last month, a controversy erupted after Kensington Palace released a family photo of Kate and her three children on Britain's Mother's Day that was edited in numerous places, raising concerns over transparency and honesty. 

International photo agencies withdrew the image from their platforms, some even removing Kensington Palace from their list of trusted sources. Kate admitted to editing the photo in a subsequent social media post.

It came at a time when Kate had been out of the public eye for months, recuperating from what the palace said was planned abdominal surgery in January. 

In late March, as rumors swirled about her health, Kate announced in a video message that cancer was discovered following her operation and she is undergoing preventative chemotherapy on the advice of her medical team. She did not say what kind of cancer it was or share additional details about her diagnosis. 

"This of course came as a huge shock, and William and I have been doing everything we can to process and manage this privately for the sake of our young family," Kate said in the video message. "As you can imagine, this has taken time. It has taken me time to recover from major surgery in order to start my treatment. But, most importantly, it has taken us time to explain everything to George, Charlotte and Louis in a way that is appropriate for them, and to reassure them that I am going to be OK."

The family kept a low profile over the Easter school holidays, but William resumed official duties last week.

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