AFP News Agency Says Kensington Palace Isn’t ‘Trusted Source’ After Princess Kate Photo Scandal

Kate Middleton
Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Agence France-Presse (AFP), one of the biggest news agencies in the world, announced that Kensington Palace is no longer a “trusted source” for photos following the Kate Middleton photo scandal that’s been dominating headlines this week.

The organization’s global news director Phil Chetwynd told BBC Radio 4’s Media Show that AFP would closely scrutinize any future submission from the Prince and Princess of Wales, per Deadline

When “Media Show” host Ros Atkins asked specifically if Kensington Palace was a trusted source, Chetwynd said, “No, absolutely not. Like with anything, when you’re let down by a source the bar is raised … We sent out notes to all our teams at the moment to be absolutely super more vigilant about the content coming across our desk — even from what we would call trusted sources.”

The news director went on to explain how rare it is to retract a photo, saying a retraction is usually issued for images sent from Iran or North Korea. The Mother’s Day photo from Middleton was so extensively edited that AP and Reuters issued “kill” notices over the weekend.

“One thing that’s really important is you cannot be distorting reality for the public,” Chetwynd said. “There’s a question of trust. And the big issue here is one of trust, and the lack of trust and the falling trust of the general public in institutions generally and in the media. And so it’s extremely important that a photo does represent broadly the reality that it’s seen in.”

Kate Middleton has been taking a break from royal duties following her abdominal surgery in January. Kensington Palace announced she wouldn’t be participating in events until Easter. 


Her extended absence, coupled with the edited photo, has led to fans and followers coming up with conspiracy theories about why Kate has been away so long. The Duchess was photographed by paparazzi in a car with her mother recently, though British newspapers boycotted the image. She was captured again in a car with her husband by other photographers, but only the back of her head was visible. Due to all the speculation about Kate’s whereabouts, some fans have wondered if those images were doctored, too.

The Princess of Wales made her last official public appearance at Christmas.

The Kensington Palace X account issued a short apology for the edited photo but refused to release the original.

“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,” the post said. It was signed, “C.”  

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  AFP News Agency Says Kensington Palace Isn’t ‘Trusted Source’ After Princess Kate Photo Scandal