Fans Claim Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip Posted a Fake Photo for His Birthday

Celebrities and public figures using Photoshop is a common occurrence. But when it’s Queen Elizabeth accused of sharing altered photos, it’s sure to raise a few eyebrows.

The photo in question got posted to the official British royal family Instagram account on June 10 in honor of Prince Philip’s 99th birthday. It’s a milestone birthday even by royal family standards — and they’re known for longevity.

The picture of the queen and Philip standing outside Windsor Castle is making rounds on social media not because the Duke of Edinburgh turned 99, but rather because many royal fans are saying it’s a total fake.

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip | ALASTAIR GRANT/AFP via Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip don’t take many photos together

Part of the reason the photo became instantly popular is that Her Majesty and Prince Philip don’t take many photos together anymore, especially after the Duke of Edinburgh retired from his public duties in 2017. The picture is the first glimpse of Prince Philip since he was spotted leaving a London hospital on Christmas Eve 2019.

Meanwhile, Queen Elizabeth is still very active in public life and ruling even during the current global pandemic.

Did someone alter the photo of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip?

At first glance, the Duke of Edinburgh’s birthday snapshot looks totally normal. He and Queen Elizabeth are standing on the lush, green lawn of Windsor Castle where she and her husband have been holed up since quarantine guidelines became mandatory.

But upon closer inspection, fans are noticing that there’s something strange about the picture. They’re saying it looks like a bad Photoshop attempt.

“Look at [the queen’s] hands … it’s clearly photoshopped. I have a feeling they weren’t even physically together for this photo,” one Facebook user in a royal family fan group shared. “The more I look at it the more I can see what is wrong with the photo,” another agreed.

The shadows in the photo make it look unnatural

The main complaint about the photo is that the shadows on Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip don’t match the sunny background, giving it an odd appearance that seems fake. Could it be that the photo was taken in front of a green screen with the backdrop added later? Maybe.

“My guess is that they took the picture indoors and then superimposed it over the outdoors of Windsor Castle. Either that or it’s some sort of 3D photo,” one commenter explained.

Others claim the couple looks too healthy in the picture. “They are too young in that pic. He is much more frail,” another person said. “Am I the only one who thinks he had his jacked padded to appear healthier?” one follower wondered. “Philip’s hair looks touched up too!” added another.

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip want to reassure the public

Between the global pandemic and civil unrest, people are feeling very nervous all around the globe. The royal family released the photo partly to celebrate the Duke of Edinburgh’s birthday and partly to remind the United Kingdom that Her Majesty is still working and still in charge.

Photoshopped or not, it’s a lovely photo and positive gesture from the royals.