Meghan, Harry accused of hypocrisy after alleged comments on Kate Middleton's edited photo

Meghan and Harry have spoken out as the scandal over the Princess of Wales' manipulated Mother's Day photo rages on.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex issued a statement through their Archewell Foundation after the British press reported yesterday the pair would "have been annihilated" if they had given out photoshopped images to media.

A source had told US website Page Six: "The same rules do not apply to both couples. This isn't a mistake that Meghan would ever make - she has a keen eye and freakish attention to detail."

But a spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess told Newsweek they deny those comments, saying: "With respect to Page Six, that did not come from us."

On Monday (NZT) the now infamous photo of the Princess of Wales was withdrawn by news agencies including The Associated Press (AP) and Reuters after they realised it had been edited. The picture of Kate Middleton posing with her three children was released officially in the UK on Sunday (local time) as speculation continued about her health following surgery in January.

Now Meghan and Harry are being called hypocrites for their alleged comments by royal  biographer Angela Levin. She posted angrily on social media that the pair had manipulated their own images for years.

"A tree was doctored in their photograph to create a special backdrop so how dare their camp say anything about Catherine's?"

The "special backdrop" referred to a black and white photo taken by Misan Harriman of Harry and Meghan supposedly reclining in a meadow with trees around them when they revealed the news they were expecting Princess Lilibet.

The picture showed the couple against the backdrop of a massive willow tree, said to be the tree of life. Harriman revealed he had taken the picture from thousands of kilometres away with an iPad, and the tree was added in later. 

It was released by the Sussexes with no indication that it had been altered.

In a 2022 interview about the snap, Harriman said: "It's amazing what you can do with technology. They were lost in their love, at home, in their garden, comfortable, celebrating new joy."

He also told Vogue magazine: "With the tree of life behind them and the garden representing fertility, life and moving forward, they didn't need any direction, because they are, and always have been, waltzing through life together as absolute soulmates."

Harry and Meghan have not responded to the comments about their own photos, released via their own social media, which is not affiliated with Buckingham Palace.