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Royal Expert Breaks Down ‘Chaos’ of Kate Middleton Photo Fail, Says Royal Family Should ‘Explain’ (Exclusive)

Royal expert and public relations professional David Johnson is weighing in on Princess Kate Middleton’s Mother’s Day portrait fiasco.

“This is really unique and unusual,” Johnson, who is the founder and CEO of Strategic Visions PR Group, exclusively told Us Weekly on Tuesday, March 12, two days after several Associated Press journalists shared screenshots via X of a “kill notification” to remove a photo of Kate, 42, and her children. The notification noted that the portrait appeared to have been “manipulated” by the source.

Kate, who has been out of the public eye since undergoing an abdominal procedure in January, issued a public statement on Monday, March 11, addressing speculation that the photo of herself with sons Prince George, 10, and Prince Louis, 5, and daughter Princess Charlotte, 8, was edited.

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Royal Expert Breaks Down Complete Chaos of Kate Middleton Photo Editing Fail
Frank Augstein – WPA Pool/Getty Images

“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,” read an X post shared via the official Prince and Princess of Wales account. “I hope everyone celebrating had a very happy Mother’s Day.”

Johnson told Us that having Kate address the controversy herself was a mistake, as it “raised even more questions” about her health and whereabouts.

“The thing that you do is say, ‘This was a mistake, something that should not have happened. It was a junior person on our staff who released [the photo]. We know you’re all waiting to see the Princess of Wales, and you will see her shortly,’” he said. “By trying to throw the blame on her, it’s created even more of a story. … It seems almost like … complete chaos dysfunction, and that there’s something waiting to drop and no one knows what it is.”

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Kate Middleton Us Weekly 2413 UK Mothers Day
Prince of Wales/Kensington Palace / MEGA

The PR expert added that it’s “amazing” the photo was released without someone flagging it as wonky, and “incredibly odd” that the original Mother’s Day portrait has not been revealed.

“This almost seems like it was done by a junior PR person with no experience whose thought [was], ‘Hey, we need to post something, so let’s do this,’” Johnson said, noting that he finds it “hard to believe” that Kate posted the photo herself without clearance from her team.

“They need someone to come forward and fall on the sword — and not Catherine — [and] explain what happened. They also need to give a detail of what is going on with Catherine. The longer this goes on, you’re going to have more people spreading rumors about her,” he said. “It is amateur hour and it’s a PR disaster.”

Kensington Palace announced on January 17 that Kate had undergone a “planned” abdominal procedure at the London Clinic and was unlikely to return to public duties until after Easter.

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As theories circulated online about what could be keeping the princess out of commission for so long, a rep for Kate shut down the rumors in a statement to Us Weekly.

“Kensington Palace made it clear in January the timelines of the princess’ recovery and we’d only be providing significant updates,” the spokesperson said last month. “That guidance stands.”

The Palace has not shared further details on Catherine’s procedure, which Johnson sees as an outdated emphasis on privacy.

“They’re refusing to go into the 21st century,” he said, noting that “we have the most intimate details of any kind of surgery” a United States president undergoes. “What they need to do is move up to the 21st century [and] release statements on what’s going on and put people at ease. The longer they don’t, they do look like an outdated institution as some are saying, and they’re raising more problems for themselves than they’re solving.”

With reporting by Christina Garibaldi

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