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The Prince and Princess of Wales' 2023 Christmas card.

The British royal family is used to being under intense scrutiny, whether it’s the relationship between King Charles III and Queen Camilla. The rocky relationship that Prince Harry and Megan Markle have with the rest of their family or the numerous scandals involving Prince Andrew.

For a family forced to take public perception very seriously, it’s interesting to note that there is something rather strange about this year's Christmas card from the Prince and Princess of Wales and that it wasn't flagged before the photo was relased.

At first glance, the family appears in good spirits, with big smiles in matching white button-downs, denim pants and black slacks. However, there seems to be something seriously wrong with Prince Louis' left hand.


Royal watchers on social media say that the photo makes it look like the 5-year-old is missing his middle finger.

A lot of folks sounded off on the mysteriously missing appendage on X.

X user Yellow Rose of Texas highlighted the hand to give people a more precise look at what was going on with Prince Louis.

There are various reasons why Louis' finger appears to be missing in the photograph. His middle and ring fingers are spread far apart, exposing the skin between them. If this is the case, Louis must have some rather flexible appendages.

Others believe his thumb is tucked on the underside of the chair. This makes sense, but Louis has to have some pretty flexible fingers for this scenario to be correct.

As we saw above, others believe that the missing finger is a Photoshop failure or a mistake created by artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence is known for having a hard time creating images of fingers. If it was a Photoshop fail, it’s not the first time the royal family has been accused of using digital photo editing software on its family photos.

Last April, numerous people accused the Prince and Princess of Wales of sharing a Photoshopped image of Queen Elizabeth and her grandchildren on what would have been her 97th birthday. Many suggested that Prince Louis was digitally altered in the shot.

It’s fitting that Prince Louis would be the subject of such goofy or, as the English would call it, barmy, speculation. Louis is known for having a mischievous side. The young prince showed off his personality during King Charles and Queen Camilla’s coronation celebrations earlier this year, where he was caught making funny faces and yawning at inappropriate times during the ceremonies.

"He's a cheeky monkey — a typical third child," a source close to People told the magazine recently. "It's nice that the world got to see him enjoying himself."

Regardless of whether the photo results from a Photoshop failure or a member of the royal family having very nimble fingers, what’s interesting is that nobody on the Prince of Wales’ team noticed Louis’ hand and retook the photo or fixed it with digital editing. Or, it could be a great example of the royal family beginning to lighten up after all these years of public scrutiny.