White House chimes in on Princess Kate's photo editing scandal

Washington DC - The White House wished a swift recovery on Wednesday to Britain's Catherine, Princess of Wales, and said it would respect her privacy after a manipulated royal photo unleashed a torrent of speculation about her wellbeing.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre addressed the controversy surrounding a manipulated photo of Britain's Princess Kate.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre addressed the controversy surrounding a manipulated photo of Britain's Princess Kate.  © Collage: REUTERS & KEVIN DIETSCH / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

"I have not spoken to the president about Kate Middleton," White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters when asked about the controversy.

"We certainly wish her a speedy recovery. She has asked for privacy, her family has asked for privacy, and we're certainly going to respect that," Jean-Pierre added aboard Air Force One.

The "Kategate" scandal has led to speculation over the princess' health and even the state of her marriage to King Charles III's heir, Prince William. It's also led to questions about the British public's trust in an institution that is increasingly struggling with legitimacy.

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Kate has not been seen since undergoing abdominal surgery in January, and her apology this week for editing a palace-issued photograph of herself with her three children merely fueled the speculation over her health and whereabouts.

The altered image was withdrawn by news agencies.

Jean-Pierre briefly addressed the issue Tuesday in an exchange with a reporter who asked if the White House ever digitally altered photos of the president.

"Are you comparing us to... what's going on in the UK? Why does the monarch have to do anything with us?" she said at a briefing.

"No, that is not something that we do here."

Cover photo: Collage: REUTERS & KEVIN DIETSCH / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

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