The Princess of Wales edited photo - was it a deepfake?

The Princess of Wales edited photo - was it a deepfake?

1 Expert Answer

Aston University  

Organization Answer

Following the Princess of Wales apologising "for any confusion" after she said she edited a Mother's Day photograph of her and her children we have an expert available to comment.

Professor Abdul Sadka is an expert in imaging and image analytics/processing at Aston University

He said: 

“Although the Princess has admitted manipulation of the photo it still leaves two questions to be answered; how did the news agencies suspect image manipulation to the point that made them decide to retract it, and what part of the photo did undergo the tampering?

“From all the discourse I read about it so far though, none of the articles really touch on what the manipulation was all about and where in the photo news agencies think this was done. Is it in the positioning of the hands, for example George’s, or is it in the cropping and application of colours (some news agencies are lenient with this sort of manipulation on their published imagery).

“So, perceptually speaking, there is no certainty on what part of the image editing was done and how, but technically speaking the question would be: Is that a deepfake? that is an image that purports the royals to be having this sort of gathering in this sort of setting when they haven’t.

“To provide a definitive response to that question you would have to analyse the image at low level (using low level image analytics). However that still leaves unanswered - what was the basis behind the decision to “kill/retract” the image when they first raised the suspicion of image manipulation?”

Professor Abdul Hamid Sadka is professor of Visual Media Technologies Director, Aston Digital Futures Institute

To speak to Professor Sadka contact Nicola Jones Press and Communications Manager, College of Engineering and Physical Sciences Aston University, Mobile: (+44)7825 342091 or

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