After Princess Kate Middleton admitted that her wholesome March 10, 2024, Mother’s Day family portrait had been edited, yet another photo of the Princess of Wales was called into question.

Just hours after Kate broke her silence regarding the manipulated photo, she was captured by onlookers in a car alongside her husband, Prince William, on March 11, 2024. Later that day, the Prince of Wales attended a church service at Westminster Abbey, and Kate was reportedly dropped off for a “private appointment,” per ​the Daily Mail.

Fans Speculate About the Legitimacy of New Paparazzi Photo of Kate Middleton

Like the Mother’s Day portrait, which was issued a kill request by major photo agencies like Reuters and the Associated Press ahead of Kate’s admission that it was edited, the new photo of Kate in a car has been subject to speculation regarding its legitimacy.

“They used a Christmas day photo,” one user wrote via X on March 11, 2024. “They erased her earring, her hat brim can clearly be seen, as can the top be seen obscuring the rectangle in the interior of the car… then they added some noise to make it harder to discern the edits… they are really bad at this!!!”

Is the New Kate Middleton Car Photo Real Inside Social Media Users' Speculation Into Legitimacy 3

“A hint that this wasn’t what they said: only one sorry, blurry snap,” another commented, in part. “No pap worth their salt wouldn’t get several then follow the car.”

Others questioned whether the person pictured in the March 11 photo was actually Kate at all. “That is definitely not Kate in that car,” a third wrote.

“This could be absolutely anyone. [face with rolling eyes],” another commented. “I can’t believe the arrogance of these people. They just keep doubling down.”

Are The Kate Middleton Car Photos Real?

One of the two freelance photographers who took the March 11 image of Kate seen around the world spoke to The Telegraph that same day about how they captured it in a stroke of “pure luck.”

The two had set out to photograph Prince William as he embarked on his journey from Adelaide Cottage in Windsor to a church service he was scheduled to attend at Westminster Abbey.

“It was about 1:50 p.m. when we saw the convoy coming towards us and we just managed to get a quick picture,” one of them told the outlet. “We had no idea that Kate was even in the car with him until we looked at it.”

On March 12, 2024, the photo agency that distributed the car images weighed in on fan conspiracy theories that the pictures were Photoshopped. The agency insisted that the photos were real. “[The images] have been cropped and lightened,” Goff Photos confirmed in a statement to E! News. “[But] nothing has been doctored.”

British Media Previously Refused to Publish Paparazzi Snap of Kate Middleton After Surgery

The publication of the March 11 photo in major British media outlets was curious to some fans, as on March 4, the British press did not publish a photo apparently taken of Kate in the passenger seat of a car.

Is the New Kate Middleton Car Photo Real Inside Social Media Users' Speculation Into Legitimacy 1

“So last week you wouldn’t post paparazzi pics of Kate until she was back in public life but now that’s exactly what you’re doing,” one noted to a major British news outlet on March 11. “Briefed by the Palace were you?”

The March 4 car picture, which marked Kate’s first time being seen in public since her surgery, was widely circulated in the United States. However, the outlet Press Gazette explained that the British media was adhering to the longstanding U.K. Editor’s Code in its decision to not publish it.

According to Press Gazette, the code states, “Everyone is entitled to respect for their private and family life, home, physical and mental health, and correspondence, including digital communications.”

In order to veto this guideline, the photo must be “justified in the public interest,” per the outlet.

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