CNN to review all image handouts from Kensington Palace after Kate Middleton photo editing scandal

CNN says it will now review all images supplied by Kensington Palace as the fallout continues from the manipulated Mother's Day picture of Kate Middleton and her children.

In an analysis piece posted on their website, CNN (which shares Newshub's parent company Warner Bros. Discovery) said the picture was "disseminated for editorial purposes and media organisations expect those images to be accurate".

Experts say there were some 16 manipulations of the picture in Photoshop, from issues with patterns on sweaters to a moving hand on her daughter. The picture was said to be taken by Prince William before Kate edited it with other images and allowed it to be distributed in celebration of Mother's Day. 

Kate released a statement the day after the picture was pulled by news organisations globally, admitting she had edited the image.

In her apology she said: "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."

But CNN now said the central issue was that the image had been given to them by the palace itself which was not "transparent" about the edits.

"In the past, the family's amateur photographs have been well received when posted on social media. But on this occasion, this photo was also released to media organisations as a handout and the palace wasn't transparent about the fact it had been adjusted.

"That will have damaged the trust between the palace and media organisations - many of which, like CNN, will likely be assessing all royal handouts. 

"The editing storm has undermined the existing relationship and when public interest over any possible cover up escalates, as it has done recently, many news outlets will now have to take that speculation more seriously."

While Kate apologised for editing the photo, at the time of writing, it is still visible on the Kensington Palace social media accounts.

The image has become the subject of countless memes and bizarre theories such as one claiming Kate's face from a 2016 Vogue magazine cover was photoshopped onto the picture.

Nearly a week ago, Prince William addressed the rampant conspiracy theories regarding the public absence of his wife Kate Middleton following her abdominal surgery in January. 

She had not been seen in public since her hospitalisation, with Kensington Palace saying she would not return to work until Easter as she recovered.

"His focus is on his work and not on social media," a spokesman for the Prince of Wales told People in a short statement. 

Rumours had been rife that Kate was in a coma after William cancelled a planned appearance at the last minute without warning. 

Two days prior to William's rejection of the rumours, Kate was seen for the first time in public when she was photographed in the passenger seat of a car with her mother Carole in pictures published on celebrity gossip website TMZ.