Prince William is balding. It’s not a disaster; many guys lose their hair at some point and are still perfectly attractive and worthwhile people. Prince William knows his hair is thin, and he even has a sense of humor about it. Last year when he talked to reporters about the birth of his son, Prince George, he quipped, “He’s got more hair than me, thank God!” But even a good sense of humor about his follicular fate is not apparently enough to protect him from the Photoshop wands of the world, because Vanity Fair has been accused of drawing more hair on his head for their latest cover.
On the cover photo, which was taken in Australia, Kate Middleton holds Prince George while Prince William looks on adoringly. The colors are bright and saturated, and Prince William’s hair seems a fair bit thicker than we’ve seen it in a while.
“Getty had the original image of the family in their archives, and upon comparison it is undeniable that Vanity Fairhas photoshopped a little more hair onto that head. Le scandal!” wrote Racked‘s Erica Graham.
For reference, here’s a photo of Prince William at Wimbledon this year:
Comparing the photos, the Vanity Fair picture has William’s hair a bit darker, and it definitely looks much thicker. That could conceivably be explained by the color correction, though. Vanity Fair maintains that all it did was cropping and color adjustment, but even though it looks like some blurring might have been used to cover up the color of Prince William’s scalp, the magazine insists it did not actually draw more hair on his head.
“We gave the image a poster-like palette,” a Vanity Fair spokesperson told The Telegraph. “Because it is a cover image, the colors are richer and more graphic and vibrant. We obviously did not add more hair.”
It might not be as obvious as the spokesperson thinks, though, because the hair is darker, but it also appears a bit fuller.
“His face, head and shoulders were just darkened as though he was a bit in shadow … which put more emphasis on Prince George,” the spokesperson explained.
It put more emphasis on Prince George, but it also had the side effect of making Prince William’s hair look much thicker than it otherwise is. The magazine also cropped the image just where Prince William’s hair starts to get its thinnest, which gives the impression that his hair is a bit thicker. Buzzfeed even has an animated GIF that shows William’s hair appearing to recede from one picture to another, and that looks like a bit more than just color adjustment.
It’s not the most egregious example of royal Photoshop we’ve ever seen–that honor would go to US Weekly‘s weird Photoshop of Prince George or Grazia for the time it whittled off half of Kate Middleton’s waist–but thanks to cropping and some color correction, or something more sinister, William definitely looks more hirsute on his Vanity Fair cover than he does in real life. At least we know he probably has a sense of humor about it.
(Photos: Facebook/VanityFair, Getty)