Prince William and Kate 'embarrassed' by alleged 'Photoshop fail' in family Christmas card

Prince William and Kate Middleton shared their annual Christmas card this week, and despite it vaguely resembling a Brady Bunch-esque family portrait from the 1970s, that was not what caught the attention of eagle-eyed internet sleuths.

Instead, they zeroed in on Prince Louis' fingers - or lack thereof.

A closer look at the young royal's left hand appears to reveal a missing middle finger, sparking accusations of an alleged Photoshop fail on social media.

The five-year-old's hand is resting on the arm of sister Princess Charlotte's chair, with his middle finger either concealed behind the arm, or curiously cut off due to some not-so-savvy editing.

While William and Kate have not publicly addressed the speculation, a source has told Us Weekly the royal couple are "embarrassed" by the rumours of a Photoshop faux paus, adding they were "as shocked as everyone else" by the intense reaction.

Speaking to The Sun, body language expert Judi James inferred a "strong sense of tight, loving 'uniformed' grouping" from the image, likening the "stark monochrome" and "confident body language" to the "emotional equivalent of... a moat and drawbridge around them".

James also noted William's tilt of the head "suggests a desire to be liked", while commenting on Charlotte's likeness to the late Queen Elizabeth, her great-grandmother.

"This central status-rich pose and beautiful smile are like echoes of Elizabeth when she was young. This effect doesn't look deliberate, but it is still a rather moving message from this family Christmas card," she told the outlet.

Comments on William and Kate's Christmas card have been fairly divided; while many applauded the family and their united front, others couldn't get past The Case of the Missing Middle Finger, which dominated the discourse on Instagram.

"It's all Photoshop... Prince Louis is missing a finger. Very bad editing," one commented, with a second writing: "Photoshop fail!... How did the photographer not notice? Omg."

"You guys can do so much better than that! There is no fun, no light, nothing in that picture that says it's Christmas nor that you're having a good time," another weighed in, while a fourth added: "It's giving JC Penny [an American chain of department stores] - they're just like us!"

Others also noted Charlotte's resemblance to the late Queen, with one writing: "Charlotte is gorgeous and looks like a young Queen Elizabeth." Several more declared Prince George, the eldest, as a "heartthrob" in the making.

"All fingers are accounted for. They are just spread on the armchair. No extra legs either. It's a beautiful, simple and classy family photo that so many can relate to. I love the down to earth of the denim and converse. Well done," one supporter declared.

King Charles and Queen Camilla have also released their Christmas card, fittingly using a photo from their Coronation to mark their first card as the King and Queen of the United Kingdom and the 14 other Commonwealth realms.

No longer working royals, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will not release an official Christmas card as part of the royal family; they may, however, choose to share their own well-wishes or family portrait on their Duke and Duchess of Sussex Instagram account.