James Cleverly And Princess Anne's Fraud Crackdown Announced At The Worst Time For The Royals

The home secretary chose a pretty awkward moment to release this post.
James Cleverly and Princess Anne led a fraud crackdown over the weekend
James Cleverly and Princess Anne led a fraud crackdown over the weekend

James Cleverly posted on social media about cracking down on social media fraudsters with Princess Anne – moments after major photo agencies pulled the latest image from Kensington Palace over “manipulation” fears.

A Mother’s Day photo of Kate Middleton and her three children was retracted by Getty, Reuters, AP and others late on Sunday night.

It was the first official image of the Princess of Wales since her planned abdominal surgery earlier this year and so was shared by all major outlets – until fans started to share their theories about it being doctored.

By 10pm, AP had issued a “kill notification” urging clients not to use the photo, saying: “At closer inspection, it appears that the source [the Palace] has manipulated the image, no replacement photo will be sent.”

The social media platform X also added a community note to the Palace’s official accounts, noting that there are concerns the image was manipulated.

Unfortunately, the home secretary chose to post about his day cracking down on social media fraud with Princess Anne – Kate’s aunt-in-law – just moments after news of the retraction broke.

In a post shared on X at 10.15pm, Cleverly wrote: “It was a pleasure to welcome HRH the Princess Royal to a reception ahead of the first ever Global Fraud Summit.

“The summit will bring together international governments, social media companies and the tech and tele-comms sectors to crack down on fraudsters.”

Princess Anne called for a global effort to tackle fraud after an estimated 3.5 million incidents of fraud were experienced by UK adults between April 2022 and March 2023.

Speaking at a reception for the two-day-summit in the Guildhall in London, she said victims of fraud are “ordinary people everywhere in the world, particularly those who are at least equipped to defend themselves”.

No representatives from the Palace have yet commented on the furore around the image of Kate and her children.


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