Photographer Reveals How That Kate Middleton Car Photo Unexpectedly Happened

The photographer who snapped the photo of Kate Middleton's second outing since her abdominal surgery shares how it came to be.

After Kate Middleton was spotted with her husband, Prince William, on an unexpected car ride together in Windsor, England on Monday, photographer Jim Bennett shared the story behind the photo.

"We were asked by the Mailonline to try and get an early photo of Prince William who was heading to Westminster Abbey for the Commonwealth Day Service," Bennett told ET. As a general rule, he noted, photographers don't change their photos "other than adjusting the light levels if necessary."

"The cars left Windsor Castle and I photographed them a short distance away on Datchet High Street -- outside No.39 to be precise! Car shots are unpredictable at the best of times, and with some reflection on the glass, it can be difficult," he continued. "As it happened, it wasn't until I checked on the back of the camera to make sure I had a frame of Prince William that I realized there was someone sitting next to him. It turned out to be Catherine!"

Bennett's photo marked Kate's second outing in public since her planned abdominal surgery. A royal source told ET that the Princess of Wales was on her way to a private appointment. 

Kate was seen for the first time since her January hospitalization in a photo taken a week ago. In the image, she was wearing sunglasses while riding in a black SUV driven by her mother, Carole Middleton. An eyewitness told ET at the time that Kate and her mother were spotted in their vehicle around 9 a.m. just outside London. "The princess was low-key, looking out the window as her mother paid attention to the road," the eyewitness said. 

Unlike that occasion, the photo of Kate and William sparked speculation of another photo manipulation when online sleuths noted the difference in the color of the brick wall behind the car.

However, as the photo agency that took the picture previously told ET, while the "image has been cropped and lightened, nothing has been doctored."

Kate's absence in the public eye since her January hospitalization has caused such a public stir that the palace released a statement reiterating their comments about her condition. 

"We gave guidance two days ago that the Princess of Wales continues to be doing well," the statement read. "As we have been clear since our initial statement in January, we shall not be providing a running commentary or providing daily updates."

After a Mother's Day photo Kate released of her with her children, Prince GeorgePrincess Charlotte and Prince Louis, sparked claims that the image had been manipulated, the Princess of Wales spoke out in a statement, tweeting, "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. "

A source told ET that Kate admitted to editing the picture to apologize and in order to acknowledge any misunderstanding it may have caused.

She wanted to be transparent, the source said of Kate, and the intention with the photo was to thank the public for their support during her recovery and provide a lovely picture of the children. 

A second source noted that the trolling and criticism after her abdominal surgery had gone a bit too far, and the statement from the Princess of Wales should now allow people to move on.