Prince Louis 6th birthday photo by Kate Middleton released

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LONDON — A usually anodyne royal tradition, the release of a birthday photo, attracted unusual attention Tuesday, when Kensington Palace shared a grinning close-up of Prince Louis to mark his 6th birthday.

The photo was taken by his mother, Catherine, Princess of Wales, and it was the first image by her that has been released since undisclosed editing prompted photo agencies to retract one royal family portrait and issue caveats about others.

“Happy 6th Birthday, Prince Louis! Thank you for all the kind wishes today,” the Tuesday post read. The image included a camera emoji and was attributed to Catherine.

Palace sources said the photo was taken in the past few days in Windsor, where they live, and had not been edited.

A photo of Catherine and her children released to mark Mother’s Day in Britain was pulled by photo agencies over concerns that it had been altered in violation of their standards.

Catherine later apologized, saying that, “like many amateur photographers,” she had “experiment[ed] with editing.”

Several photo agencies announced that they would review the handout images they had received from the British royal family. Getty Images has since released warnings that other images — including a photo of Queen Elizabeth with her grandchildren — were “digitally enhanced.”

The palace usually releases birthday photos to the media under embargo the day before, which is why there were a number of headlines in the British press early Tuesday remarking on the absence of a photo. Kensington Palace published the image around lunchtime.

Catherine, who has been out of the public eye since Christmas Day, revealed last month that she had been diagnosed with cancer and was undergoing chemotherapy. Her news came after her father-in-law, King Charles III, also revealed that he had cancer.

Last week, her husband, Prince William, the heir to the throne, returned to public duties for the first time since Catherine shared her cancer diagnosis.



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