Kate's baby bump in magazine is strictly man-made

Kate Middleton

The Duchess of Cambridge may not only be the most photographed woman on the planet, she may well be the most photoshopped as well.

When the technology exists to alter reality, you can be sure it will be abused. No harm in that, except when you try to pass it off as reality.

It's a little game that the U.S. gossip magazine Star (absolutey no relation to this newspaper) is playing this week with with its sharp-eyed readers (without telling them of course). We have copied the magazine's cover above, next to a picture that was taken from the same angle and time at a reception in Singapore last week.

Wildly proclaiming, once again, that the Duchess is preganant (twins this time), the magazine used some clever manipulation to illustrate their point:

1) The picture has been flipped horizontally -- a no-no in most journalistic shops. You can tell that because in every authentic photo, the bracelet she is wearing is on her right wrist, not her left. And speaking of the left hand ...

2) It has suspiciously moved a lot closer to her body, which makes it fit the cover dimensions better and draw attention to the fact she drinks water (a sure sign of pregnancy). Her other hand, in the real world,  has her engagement ring on the third finger. That was a problem for Star when they flipped the picture, so they ...

3) Removed the ring from her finger. A pity, since the ring always draws attention to that hand, which is resting right where Star would want it ...

4) On her slightly bloated stomach, in which the phantom 'TWINS' are nesting. The Duchess seems to be without any tummy distress in the real photo.

Why the Star does this is clear ... more readers. Every publication wants to attracts attention. Nobody drew more attention than Closer magazine when they published photos of topless Kate. How does the Star top that? Easy. Just throw out another story on Kate being pregnant and 'marry' the two stories togetther with the clever headline: "Pregnant Kate gets thrilling news amid nude-photo uproar."

Brilliant. It is, of course, of no consequence that one would be hard-pressed to push the argument that she's pregnant with even a moment's glance at a grainy photo of the bikini-topless duchess.

We needn't pick only on Star when it comes to Photoshop.

Cover republic Cover-marie claireHere are a few examples at left. The first is The New Republic's version of Kate with bad teeth. In this case, a clearly satirical look at the duchess as a way to illustrate the demise of the British economy.

Marie Claire decided in their South African edition to put Kate into one of the fashions by local designer Clive Rundle. The magazine was upfront with the readers about the manipulation, but still, it is a bit of fakery that treads on a very thin line of credibility.

Cover graziaOne of the most famous examples of redesigning the duchess came from Grazia magazine after the royal wedding (left). Kate's arms moved and her waist trimmed to create exactly what the art director wanted for a fairytale cover. Alas, their ruse was discovered and, after public outcry, they apologized for the manipulation.

Of course, Kate is not the only one of the Royal Family who occasionally runs into the Photoshop buzzsaw.

Prince Charles had his turn a few months ago when he was pictured chasing a little girl blowing bubbles,(below). The photo was tweeted out mercilessly, but all in good fun. The awkward picture of a leering Charles was taken from a 2009 visit to Guernsey and flipped to resemble a chase. The image of the little girl has been recycled numerous times in the company of various celebrities to produce a humourous photo.



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Interesting headline... isn't EVERY baby bump "man-made"?

That is NOT the identical photo. It is clear that it's from the same event, and you're right that it has been flipped (along with the ring removal described) for the purposes of the cover.

But there are a number off telltale signs that it's a different photograph. On the cover, she's more in profile. Her head is less tilted-down. Her water is being held at a different angle and isn't obscured by the other woman's glass. I really don't think they brought the hand closer to the body digitally, I think that's how close she was holding it either a few seconds before, or after the other shot was taken, combined with the slightly different angle.

And once you accept it's from a slightly different angle, then it's possible the slight difference in "bloat" is due to angle as well. Though I wouldn't put it past them to do a little warping to help sell the pregnancy idea, I don't think you can definitively say they did, simply based on this similar, but clearly not identical photo from the same event.

I would have to disagree with TheOldFart. There has been such a large modification to the "cover photo" that it would explain why you feel that the photos are different. I believe they are the same.

If you pay attention to the background lines of the green curtains, they too are on different angles from one another. This would explain why the two different Kates appear to be at two different angles. One photo has been slightly rotated.
The background of the cover photo has also been altered which is easy to do with a cloning tool in Photoshop.
One other thing, you mentioned that the angle of the glasses were different; it too has been altered. Why is the stem of the glass on the left longer than the one on the right?

Correction: I meant to say I disagree with Jeff.

I said all along it was an inside job. With Harry taking front page for about a week or two, Kate had to jump back onto the front. She couldn't be second fiddle to Harry.

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