Friday 30 September 2016

Furious William and Kate say paparazzi using children to lure Prince George into view

Published 14/08/2015 | 12:06

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge and Prince George of Cambridge arrive at the Church of St Mary Magdalene on the Sandringham Estate for the Christening of Princess Charlotte of Cambridge on July 5, 2015 in King's Lynn, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge and Prince George of Cambridge arrive at the Church of St Mary Magdalene on the Sandringham Estate for the Christening of Princess Charlotte of Cambridge on July 5, 2015 in King's Lynn, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

William and wife Kate have demanded that Prince George and Princess Charlotte are given privacy from invasive photographers.

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The Royal couple are worried about the methods that paparazzi are going to to secure images of their children.

Kate Middleton and Prince William present Princess Charlotte to the world on the steps of the Lindo Wing at St Mary's hospital in London
Kate Middleton and Prince William present Princess Charlotte to the world on the steps of the Lindo Wing at St Mary's hospital in London

In an open letter penned by the Duke and Duchess, they slam photographers who are employing these "dangerous" and "distressing" tactics.

According to The Telegraph, the letter reveals that paparazzi have been found hiding on private fields and woodland at the family's Norfolk home, obscuring themselves in sand dunes to take photographs of Prince George playing with his grandmother and monitoring the movements of the toddler, his nanny and other household staff around London parks.

It says that on one "disturbing but not at all uncommon" occasion, a photographer hid himself in a rented car near a children's play area, hanging sheets in the windows and stockpiling enough food and drink to get him through a full day of surveillance.

Police found the man lying down in the boot of the vehicle attempting to shoot photos with a long lens through a small gap in his "hide".

Royal insiders claim that William is increasingly nervous and worried that "history might repeat itself" as his family are becoming susceptible to the media intrusion experienced by his late mother Diana, Princess of Wales.

The Duke firmly believes that paparazzi photographers in Paris were ultimately responsible for his mother’s death in 1997, when her car crashed at speed in an underpass following a pursuit by photographers on mopeds.

The letter, sent to 24 worldwide media industry watchdog bodies, says it is clear that Prince George had become the "number one target" in the Royal Family for unscrupulous freelance photographers who sell their images abroad.

It states: "It is of course upsetting that such tactics - reminiscent as they are of past surveillance by groups intent on doing more than capturing images - are being deployed to profit from the image of a two-year-old boy.

July 2015: Prince William and Kate with Prince George in an official family portrait
July 2015: Prince William and Kate with Prince George in an official family portrait
Prince William holds Prince George, who celebrated his second birthday yesterday, in this latest image from a series of family portraits taken earlier this month. Photo: Mario Testino

“In a heightened security environment such tactics are a risk to all involved.

“The worry is that it will not always be possible to quickly distinguish between someone taking photos and someone intending to do more immediate harm.”

It highlights the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's desire for their two young children not to have to "grow up exclusively behind palace gates and in walled gardens".

It says they want them to be free to play in public and semi-public spaces with other children without being photographed.

The Royal Christening party
The Royal Christening party

The letter, signed by Jason Knauf, the Cambridges' communications secretary, states that such tactics have left the royal couple "concerned" about their ability to provide a childhood for Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

It says: "They know that almost all parents love to share photos of their children and they themselves enjoy doing so.

"But they know every parent would object to anyone – particularly strangers – taking photos of their children without their permission. Every parent would understand their deep unease at only learning they had been followed and watched days later when photographs emerged."

The letter notes that all British media organisations, and most of those in the Commonwealth and the US, operate a policy of refusing to publish unauthorised photographs but said a "handful" of international organisations were still willing to pay.

It notes that such pictures are "usually dressed up with fun, positive language about the 'cute', 'adorable' photos and happy write ups about the family" and give no hint to the underhand tactics used to procure them.

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