Photographer Explains Kate Middleton Commonwealth Day Photo

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Royal Photographer Details Capturing Commonwealth Day Car Photo of Kate Middleton
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Princess Kate Middleton’s second public outing since her abdominal surgery was captured by photographer Jim Bennett, but he didn’t originally realize the Princess of Wales was in the image.

“We were asked by the MailOnline to try and get an early photo of Prince William who was heading to Westminster Abbey for the Commonwealth Day Service,” Bennett explained about how the picture came to be in an interview with Entertainment Tonight on Wednesday, March 13. “The cars left Windsor Castle and I photographed them a short distance away on Datchet High Street — outside No.39 to be precise.”

He noted that car shots can be incredibly hard to capture.

“Car shots are unpredictable at the best of times, and with some reflection on the glass, it can be difficult,” he told the outlet. “As it happened, it wasn’t until I checked on the back of the camera to make sure I had a frame of Prince William that I realized there was someone sitting next to him. It turned out to be Catherine!”

Bennett revealed he didn’t know the other person with William, 41, was Kate, 42, until he started to look through the photos.

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“What I didn’t realize at the time was that sitting next to him, until we looked at it on a computer, was Kate!” he recalled in a Friday, March 15, interview with Hello! magazine.

While the shot Bennet took wasn’t the best quality, he told the publication that he knew the significance of it, so he decided to release it anyway.

“On a scale of one to ten, it’s probably the worst picture I’ve done in ten years, car-shot wise,” he shared. “A situation arose, it had to be grabbed very quickly. If I had taken a proper picture, a good quality picture, looking at that, there is no way I’d put a picture out as bad as that if I didn’t think it was important.”

He continued, “The picture of William was good enough, it just so happened that [Kate] was sitting to the side of him even though you can’t make her out clearly, you can see she’s looking away, and it was only the confirmation by their press office that they confirmed that she was in the vehicle with him.”

Royal Photographer Details Capturing Commonwealth Day Car Photo of Kate Middleton
Karwai Tang/WireImage

Bennett’s photo, which was obtained by the Daily Mail was taken on Monday, March 11, and showed the couple inside the back of a black Land Rover. William could be seen looking down as he was gearing up to attend the annual Commonwealth Day service while Kate was peering out the opposite window, with her face away from the view of photographers.

Amid conspiracy theories about the princess, Bennett denied altering the image. “We don’t change our photos in Photoshop other than adjusting the light levels if necessary,” Bennett told The New York Post.

While Kate was in the car with her husband, the Daily Mail reported that Kate would “not be attending” the Commonwealth Day service but instead “was heading to a private appointment.”

This wasn’t the first time Kate had been spotted in a vehicle since her abdominal surgery in mid-January, which the palace said would result in her stepping away from her public duties until Easter.

After not being seen for weeks after her operation, Kate was photographed for the first time out and about in a car with her mother, Carole Middleton, on Monday, March 4. In photos obtained by TMZ. In them, Kate wore sunglasses while sitting in the passenger seat.

Kate also made headlines for a never-before-seen Mother’s Day portrait taken by William of her and her three children, Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5. It was posted to Kensington Palace’s social media accounts on Sunday, March 10. While it was supposed to show that Kate was in good health, it immediately sparked concerns about her well-being as royal watchers speculated that the image had been doctored. Multiple news outlets ended up issuing a “kill notice,” and announced that the photo had been manipulated by the source.

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One day after the family image was posted online, Kate addressed the photo controversy via X, writing, “Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing. I wanted to express my apologies for any confusion.”

A few days later, on Thursday, March 14, William spoke about Kate while he was decorating cookies at the new charity facility WEST Youth Zone, saying Kate was “the arty one,” but not addressing her health or the photo.

Earlier this month, a source exclusively told Us Weekly that Kate wanted to keep the details surrounding her condition as “private as possible” and she didn’t intend to share information with the public anytime soon.

“Kate’s said she feels she’s entitled to heal and recuperate without all of this frenzied speculation,” the insider shared. “Neither Kate nor William think her medical records should be for public consumption.”

The source added that not even the royal staff know what’s going on with Kate, telling Us, “A few of Kate’s senior staffers haven’t been able to see or speak to her, and they didn’t even know about the surgery until it was announced, so it’s caught them off guard.”





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