The Kate Middleton Vogue Cover Theorists Think Is Behind Her Photoshop Scandal

Kensington Palace tried to put a stop to wild theories about Kate Middleton's disappearance from the public eye by releasing a family photo. Unfortunately for the royal couple, the plan backfired, much like Prince William's first attempt to respond to the theories

In celebration of Mother's Day in the U.K. on March 10, the Prince and Princess of Wales released a family photo of Kate and the children on their official Instagram page with a snap supposedly taken by William. "Thank you for your kind wishes and continued support over the last two months," said the caption, signed "C" for Catherine. Almost immediately, media outlets noticed that the snapshot appeared to have been altered. "The photo shows an inconsistency in the alignment of Princess Charlotte's left hand," The Telegraph wrote. This resulted in the pic being pulled from multiple publications, and more theories about the status of Kate's health circulated.

The following day, Kate apparently issued an excuse for the photo controversy. "Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing," said a March 11 statement attributed to Kate from Kensington Palace on X, formerly Twitter. Not everyone was satisfied with this explanation. "[A]re we seriously supposed to believe that kate middleton has Adobe Creative Cloud subscription[?]" one user wrote.

Another person on X theorized that not only was the snap slightly altered, but that an old picture of Kate was used from a previous magazine photoshoot.

Fans debate the Vogue theory

Another possible twist hit in the Kate Middleton conspiracy saga when X user Ruby Naldrett presented evidence that the altered Mother's Day photo may have used Kate's face from a 2016 Vogue photoshoot. "[M]y analysis of the kate middleton photo saga is that they took her face from the vogue cover she did years ago and edited it in," Naldrett tweeted on March 11, attaching the family photo and the Vogue cover. 

The tweet went viral and many would-be royal prognosticators weighed in. "It's the sloppiness that surprises me. If true, this is amateur work," one replied. Still, several were skeptical of the Vogue photoshop theory. "Wait ... are you saying a photo of Kate Middleton looks like another photo of Kate Middleton?" one X user sarcastically commented.

As the theories were debated online, even Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were dragged into the photo controversy. After Kate seemingly came clean on the snap being photoshopped, a source close to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex mocked the sloppily edited picture. "This isn't a mistake that Meghan would ever make ... she has a keen eye and freakish attention to detail," the insider told Page Six on March 11, while adding that Harry and Meghan had stricter protocol. "The same rules do not apply to both couples."

A couple days later, Harry and Meghan reportedly responded to the claim that they chimed in on the photoshop blunder. "With respect to Page Six, that did not come from us," a rep from the Archewell Foundation told Newsweek on March 13.