Though Meghan Markle and Prince Harry no doubt hoped that their six-week break from royal duties would also mean a break from negative press, the duo is receiving heat after supposedly Photoshopping their Christmas card.
The duchess is receiving the brunt of the criticism as Photoshop analysts claim that the former Suits actress changed her face to make it clearer while keeping her husband's blurred. However, Meghan's friend and photographer is hitting back against the claims.
Fans quickly noticed discrepancies in focus
As was previously covered by The International Business Times, the royal couple released their Christmas card just days before the holiday. Baby Archie took centre stage, facing the camera by crawling towards it. Behind him Meghan and Harry are seated by the tree, laughing.
However, some Photoshop savvy users began to voice their suspicions on a version featured in The Daily Mail that the picture had been altered, as Meghan's face was clear while Harry's remained blurred, despite being the same distance from the camera.
"It's all to do with the focal plane. Harry and Meghan are parallel, so if one is in focus, the other would be. They are side by side - it's not like he's further forward," claimed famed photographer Max Cisotti to the British paper.
"I would suggest her face has been Photoshopped from another picture, otherwise it would be out of focus. They are so far behind, everything else is out of focus," he added.
"So her face has either been superimposed or enhanced considerably. You cannot change the laws of physics, no matter who you are," Cisotti concluded.
Meghan's photographer and friend claims the picture is legitimate
In light of the online furore, Meghan's friend -- and the photographer of the picture -- Janina Gavankar claimed that the picture in the real card had not been retouched, and instead the copy shown by The Daily Mail had been edited.
"To The Mail, I see your campaign against my friend continues. Nice photoshop of my non-photoshopped image. Now may we all get back to the spirit of Christmas and not the spirit of maliciousness," she wrote on Twitter.
Gavankar attached the image of the legitimate Christmas card in her tweet, and Meghan's face looks much blurrier than in the picture shown on The Mail.
Meghan and the British press infamously have a difficult relationship, especially The Daily Mail. In fact, Meghan is currently suing the publication after it released excerpts of a letter she wrote to her father after he missed her royal wedding.
It is just one more bump in the road for the Sussexes after a rocky year. In addition to the Christmas card conundrum, the two have also made waves in the press after the Queen did not include a picture of the pair in her Christmas address.