The latest Kate Middleton conspiracy theory has been debunked. After fans speculated that pictures taken of the Princess of Wales in the back of a car on Monday, March 11, were Photoshopped, the photo agency behind the images weighed in.

“[The images] have been cropped and lightened,” Goff Photos said in a statement to E! News. “[But] nothing has been doctored.” 

Kate, 42, was pictured leaving Windsor Castle with husband Prince William in the back of a Range Rover on Monday. However, many fans theorized that the image was altered, alleging that the bricks in the background of the photo didn’t “match” and claiming that Kate’s look closely resembled one of her past public appearances.

The questions came after Kate appeared in her first official photo of 2024 on Sunday, March 10. After weeks of keeping out of the public eye following a “planned abdominal surgery” on January 16, the princess shared a picture of herself with her three kids in honor of Mother’s Day in the United Kingdom. However, fans quickly pointed out evidence of Photoshop in the image and questioned whether the photo was actually taken this year. Speculation intensified after the picture was pulled from news and photo agencies due to concerns of manipulation. 

Amid the online chatter, Kate addressed the situation the following day. “Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing,” the royal wrote on Kensington Palace’s official X account. “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. C.”

After Kate had her surgery, the palace confirmed that she had a long period of recovery ahead of her and said she would not be returning to her public duties until after Easter (March 31). It was also made clear that updates on Kate’s medical condition would be kept private.

“[Kate] hopes that the public will understand her desire to maintain as much normality for her children as possible; and her wish that her personal medical information remains private,” the family’s statement said. “Kensington Palace will, therefore, only provide updates on Her Royal Highness’ progress when there is significant new information to share.”

When Kate was discharged from the hospital on January 29, a second statement confirmed that she was making “good progress” in her recovery. However, weeks of silence followed, and Kate’s absence from the public eye led to the internet being flooded with conspiracy theories about what was actually wrong with her.

“Kensington Palace made it clear in January the timelines of the princess’ recovery and we’d only be providing significant updates,” a rep said on February 29 in response to the speculation. “That guidance stands.”

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