Kate Middleton and Prince William have been seen leaving Windsor together following the controversy over an 'edited' photograph of the Princess of Wales.

There had been speculation surrounding Kate's health since she spent a short period in hospital in January for abdominal surgery, shortly after her 42nd birthday.

No photographs had been released of the Princess following the surgery until Mother's Day (Sunday, March 10) with a family photograph issued by Kensington Palace.

It was withdrawn by international picture agencies later the same day because of concerns that the image had been manipulated.

Today (Monday, March 11) Kensington Palace said the Princess of Wales left in a car with the Prince of Wales as William was driven to the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey in London, Sky News reports.

Kate could be seen looking out of the window with her face turned away from the camera.

Kate apologises for 'editing' family photograph

Kate has personally apologised for confusion over the family photograph issued by Kensington Palace.

She said: “Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing.”

The image of Kate and her children, said by the palace to have been taken by the Prince of Wales, was posted on social media.

The picture shows Kate sitting in a chair with her arms around Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, who are on either side of her, with Prince George standing behind, as all four smile at the camera.

Bournemouth Echo: Kate apologised for any confusion caused by the photoKate apologised for any confusion caused by the photo (Image: Ian Vogler/PA Wire)

However, there was speculation that edits had been made to the left sleeve of Princess Charlotte’s cardigan, and other areas of the picture also raised concerns about possible manipulation.

Speaking prior to Kate Middleton’s apology, Royal commentator Peter Hunt said: “This is damaging for the royals.

Recommended reading:

“They knew there would be intense interest in any picture they released of Kate.

“Their challenge is that people will now question whether they can be trusted and believed when they next issue a health update.”

Kate is not expected to return to official duties until after Easter, and William, 41, temporarily stepped back from his royal role to juggle caring for her and their children as she recovered.