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King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands Takes a Swipe at the Princess of Wales’ Mother’s Day Photo Controversy: “At Least I Didn’t Photoshop It”

 King Willem-Alexander and Kate Middleton.
King Willem-Alexander and Kate Middleton.

The British royal family isn’t the only royal family in this great big ol’ world, you know—the Netherlands has a monarchy, too, helmed by King Willem-Alexander. The King—like the rest of the world—is apparently very aware of the Princess of Wales’ Mother’s Day photo firestorm, where a photo of Kate alongside kids Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis released on the U.K.’s Mother’s Day was pulled by news agencies for digital manipulation later that same day. The next day, Kate herself apologized, and admitted she’d digitally altered the photo: “Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing,” Kate wrote on social media on Monday. “I wanted to express my apologies for any confusion the family photograph we shared yesterday caused.”

Willem-Alexander, while speaking to members of the public during a royal engagement in Zutphen, acknowledged Kate’s Photoshop error in a moment caught in a video shared on X (the platform formerly known as Twitter). A child mentioned a photo of the King with his family, to which Willem-Alexander replied, “At least I didn’t Photoshop it,” The Telegraph reports.

The remark prompted laughter from the crowd, The Independent reports.

King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands
King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands
King Willem-Alexander and Kate Middleton
King Willem-Alexander and Kate Middleton

A Palace source told People of the PR crisis now infamously known as Photogate that the situation is a “bump in the road,” they said. “It’s not an earthquake.” They added “[Kate] has apologized, and graciously so. She has done something that 99 percent of us do—and we don’t have the scrutiny that they do. Think of the level of scrutiny of pictures of her, as people pore over them. You’re always on display and always got to be perfect.”

King Willem-Alexander and Kate Middleton
King Willem-Alexander and Kate Middleton
King Willem-Alexander and Kate Middleton
King Willem-Alexander and Kate Middleton

Despite Willem-Alexander’s jab—in his defense, the comment seemed more cheeky than cruel—the royal families of the U.K. and the Netherlands are “on good terms,” The Daily Express reports. The King and Queen Maxima attended King Charles’ Coronation last May, and Willem-Alexander and Kate, then Duchess of Cambridge, were photographed together at The Hague back in 2016.