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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Photographer for Prince Archie's Christening Denies Altering Portrait

Chris Allerton said the family picture with King Charles, Queen Camilla, Prince William and Kate Middleton needed only "very minimal tuning" amid editing accusations

<p>Joshua Sammer/Getty</p> Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at the closing ceremony of the Invictus Games in Dusseldorf, Germany on September 16 ,2023.

Joshua Sammer/Getty

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at the closing ceremony of the Invictus Games in Dusseldorf, Germany on September 16 ,2023.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's photographer for Prince Archie's official christening portraits denied that he doctored a snap from the occasion as royal family photos come under new scrutiny.

On Tuesday, photographer Chris Allerton told the Daily Mail that the suggestion he edited one of Prince Archie's christening pictures "was a load of cobblers" and insisted the family photo taken in the Green Drawing Room at Windsor Castle on July 6, 2019, "has not been manipulated."

The back and forth began when the outlet alerted him that Getty Images added an "editor's note" to the snap. The Daily Mail reported that the photo agency said the shot was "digitally enhanced," though a Getty Images spokesperson clarified to PEOPLE that "no issues" were found following a review.

Allerton was behind the camera to capture Prince Archie's christening portraits in July 2019. One photo showed the Duke and Duchess of Sussex seated with their son, who was then 2 months old, surrounded by Queen Camilla, King Charles, Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland, Princess Diana’s sisters Lady Jane Fellowes and Lady Sarah McCorquodale, Prince William and Kate Middleton — which the Mail reported was flagged with an "editor's note" for further review.

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"Getty Images is undertaking a review of handout images and, in accordance with its editorial policy, is placing an editor's note on images where the source has suggested they could be digitally enhanced, " the outlet reported that a Getty spokesman said on Tuesday.

Defending his work, Allerton told the outlet that the royal family photo needed "the very minimal tuning" to its tone and exposure and had his equipment set up in advance, which allowed him to capture "a relaxed and pleasing moment quickly and efficiently for them."

On Wednesday, a spokesperson for Getty told PEOPLE, "The image in question had an editor’s note placed on it while under review and that note has now been removed with no issues found."

<p>Aaron Chown/PA Images via Getty</p> Photographer Chris Allerton during the Invictus Games in the Hague, Netherlands on April 17, 2022

Aaron Chown/PA Images via Getty

Photographer Chris Allerton during the Invictus Games in the Hague, Netherlands on April 17, 2022

Related: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Bios Receive Major Update on Official Royal Website

Misan Harriman, a close friend of the couple and photographer who has also captured some of their family moments on camera, defended Allerton on social media.

"I've just spoken to Chris Allerton, Getty Images should never have put that editors note on his image, I am sure @GettyImages will make a statement about this in due course," Harriman said on Wednesday. "More importantly, the newspapers should have spoken to him BEFORE publishing what has now become a global non-story about his work. He’s a great photographer who doesn’t deserve any of this. Please leave this man alone."

Harriman recently spoke out after rumors circulated that he doctored the photo that Meghan and Harry shared to announce they were expecting their second child, Princess Lilibet, in 2021. He shared the snap in color for the first time along with the metadata information proving that he took the portrait on an Apple iPad.

<p>Emma McIntyre/Getty</p> Misan Harriman and Meghan Markle at a screening of The After on Nov. 15, 2023

Emma McIntyre/Getty

Misan Harriman and Meghan Markle at a screening of The After on Nov. 15, 2023

Allerton specializes in fashion and portrait photography and was recently on the ground at Prince Harry’s Invictus Games in The Hague, Netherlands in 2022. His photos from Prince Archie's christening also included a tender moment of the family of three that was released to the public. The black and white snap taken in the Rose Garden at Windsor Castle showed Meghan holding Archie while Harry gazed at his son.

"I am honoured to have taken the official photographs at the Christening of Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, and to once again, be part of such a special and joyous occasion for The Duke and Duchess of Sussex," Allerton said in a statement shared to Instagram at the time.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex had previously tapped the photographer for a history-making image shortly after Archie was born in May 2019. The photo showed Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip meeting their newest great-grandchild as Meghan held him in her arms with Doria and Prince Harry watching nearby.

The moment marked the first time in royal history that a British monarch has been pictured alongside a royal baby’s Black grandmother, and the Sussexes revealed their newborn’s name along with the image.

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Allerton’s comments about Archie’s christening picture follow much discussion around royal family photos. On Monday, Getty Images announced that Princess Kate’s picture of Queen Elizabeth with some of her great-grandchildren, released in April 2023 following her death in September 2022, was manipulated.

The update came one week after the Princess of Wales released an apology for "any confusion" around her Mother's Day photo with her children — Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis — after multiple global photo agencies including Getty pulled the picture due to suspicion of manipulation.

<p>The Prince and Princess of Wales/Instagram</p> Kate Middleton with her three children, Prince Louis, Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

The Prince and Princess of Wales/Instagram

Kate Middleton with her three children, Prince Louis, Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

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