Kate Middleton, Prince Harry and more royals who have apologised in public

In a rare move, the Princess of Wales issued a personal apology for the “confusion” around the photograph of her with her three children on Mother’s Day, as she admitted to editing the image, after news agencies pulled it amid claims it had been “manipulated”.  

Kate shared in a social media statement on Monday: “Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing. 

“I wanted to express my apologies for any confusion the family photograph we shared yesterday caused.

“I hope everyone celebrating had a very happy Mother’s Day. C.”

It’s not the first time we’ve seen apologies issued by members of the royal family.

Take a look at all the times the royals have said sorry. 

The Duchess of Edinburgh

Edward and Sophie in the royal box at 2022 Royal Variety Performance© Getty
Sophie later sent Frank Skinner a personal letter

The then Countess of Wessex sent a heartfelt, handwritten apology to comedian Frank Skinner following their meeting at the Royal Variety Performance in December 2022.

Frank previously revealed that Sophie had made some critical comments after watching him perform Three Lions with David Baddiel and The Lightning Seeds during the show – and told him not to “give up the day job”.

To see the performance which the Countess found so inadequate, watch this video.

WATCH: Edward and Sophie at the Royal Variety Performance

But in February 2023, Frank confirmed on his radio show that he had since received a personal apology from Sophie, which he described as a “lovely” gesture.

He told listeners: “I got a very lovely note this week – unexpected – from someone I’ve talked about on the radio show. And you know when the word classy springs to mind… I was quite moved by it. It was the most beautiful thing – handwritten and lovely. I was very pleased.”

Prince Harry

Prince Harry at Cirencester Park Polo Club© Getty
Prince Harry apologised in a statement

Prince Harry apologised for attending a costume party wearing a Nazi uniform in January 2005. The photograph made headlines across the world when it was published in The Sun newspaper.

Clarence House issued a statement at the time, saying: “Prince Harry has apologised for any offence or embarrassment he has caused. He realises it was a poor choice of costume.”

During his appearance at the virtual Diana Awards in July 2020, the Duke of Sussex also apologised for institutional racism, saying: “My wife said recently that our generation and the ones before us haven’t done enough to right the wrongs of the past. I too am sorry. Sorry that we haven’t got the world to the place where you deserve it to be.

“Institutional racism has no place in our societies, yet it is still endemic. Unconscious bias must be acknowledged without blame to create a better world for all of you.

“I want you to know that we are committed to being part of the solution and to being part of the change that you are all leading. Now is the time and we know that you can do it.”

The Duchess of Sussex

Meghan sent a letter of apology to her old school© Getty
Meghan sent a letter of apology to her old school

Meghan sent a heartfelt apology to her former Immaculate Heart High School classmates after missing her 20-year school reunion in 2019. 

However, the Duchess had a pretty good excuse at the time since the all-girls Catholic school in Los Angeles held the celebration for the class of 1999 on 5 May – just one day before Meghan gave birth to her son Archie. 

According to reports at the time, the letter was written on Kensington Palace headed notepaper.

Sarah, Duchess of York

Sarah Ferguson wearing yellow dress and green hat at Royal Ascot 2019© Getty
Sarah said she made a “gigantic error of judgment”

In 2011, Sarah apologised for accepting money from convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein to pay off her debts.

Sarah told The Evening Standard at the time: “I personally, on behalf of myself, deeply regret that Jeffrey Epstein became involved in any way with me. I abhor paedophilia and any sexual abuse of children and know that this was a gigantic error of judgment on my behalf. I am just so contrite I cannot say.

“Whenever I can, I will repay the money and will have nothing ever to do with Jeffrey Epstein ever again. I cannot state more strongly that I know a terrible, terrible error of judgment was made, my having anything to do with Jeffrey Epstein. What he did was wrong and for which he was rightly jailed.”

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands

Queen Maxima wearing orange dress and wearing large hat© Getty
King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima shared a heartfelt apology

The Dutch royals issued a personal apology on Twitter after allegedly breaching social distancing guidelines while on holiday on the Greek island of Milos in August 2020.

A message on the Dutch royal family’s social media account read: “A photo appeared in the media in which we keep too little distance. In the spontaneity of the moment, we did not pay close attention to that. Of course we should have. Because compliance with corona rules is also essential on holiday to get the virus under control.”

The Prince of Wales

Prince William greeting the crowds in Malta in 2014© Getty
Prince William greeting the crowds in Malta in 2014

The Prince of Wales apologised on behalf of his wife Kate when she cancelled a solo trip to Malta in September 2014.

Prince William attended the Independence Day celebrations in Malta in place of the Duchess, who was suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum (severe morning sickness) during her second pregnancy with Princess Charlotte.

He said at the time: “Catherine has asked me to say how very sorry she is that she couldn’t be the one to pass on the Queen’s greetings to you all. She was looking forward to coming here, and I know she hopes very much that she will be able to visit in the future.”

Prince Philip

Prince Philip outside Windsor Castle in July 2020© Getty
The Duke of Edinburgh sent a letter to the other driver involved in the accident

The late Queen’s husband sent a letter of apology to one of the women involved in a car accident with the Duke in Sandringham in January 2019. 

According to The Daily Mirror at the time, part of Prince Philip’s letter read: “I would like you to know how very sorry I am for my part in the accident at the Babingley cross-roads… The sun was shining low over the main road. In normal conditions I would have no difficulty in seeing traffic coming from the Dersingham direction, but I can only imagine that I failed to see the car coming, and I am very contrite about the consequences. I was somewhat shaken after the accident, but I was greatly relieved that none of you were seriously injured.”

In February 2019, it was confirmed that Prince Philip, then 97, had voluntarily surrendered his driving licence.  

Listen to the latest episode of HELLO!’s A Right Royal Podcast

Queen Mary of Denmark

Crown Princess Mary shakes hand with guest at Grenaa sea aquarium, Kattegatcentret© Getty
Mary shook hands with her host as she arrived at her public engagement in August 2020

Then Crown Princess Mary apologised for breaching the Danish National Board of Health guidelines after she shook hands with one of her hosts (pictured above) at the Grenaa sea aquarium in August 2020.

Crown Princess Mary later expressed her regret on Instagram, writing: “On land, at sea and in the air — we have to get used to wearing a mask. It is important that we all follow the health authorities’ recommendations together.”

“Yesterday I was in Grenaa for my first official visit after the summer holidays,” she continued. “At sea and in the air it went fine, but on land I made a mistake and I unfortunately shook hands. It reminded me how important it is that we help each other live up to the recommendations. Stay safe and take care of each other.”


Princess Kate wearing black and white polka dots and a hat

If you are reading this, the chances are you are obsessed with all things royalty – which is just as well because so are we! So obsessed, in fact, we’ve launched a club solely dedicated to covering them. So welcome to The HELLO! Royal Club. We would love you to join us there…

What is it?

Interactive community offering behind-the-scenes access, exclusive royal interviews, unmissable royal insights, and an illustrious royal Inner Circle.

Member benefits

  • Two weekly newsletters, one from Emily Nash
  • Video posts and audio notes from Emily Nash and the HELLO! Royal team
  • Access to our royal community and opportunity to interact with club writers and members
  • Participate in polls, comments and discussion threads
  • Access to our Ask Me Anything sessions with our journalists
  • Invitations to in-person and virtual events
  • A subscription to the digital edition of HELLO! Magazine (Worth £82 annually)*
  • Future ‘Inner Circle’ benefits

By royal decree

You are royally invited to join The HELLO! Royal Club – and then to go forth and spread the word to your fellow royal fans. See you in the club!

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.