In a letter issued from Kensington Palace on Friday, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge expressed concern that certain photographers were going to increasing extremes to photograph their two-year-old son, Prince George. The couple was driven to issue the letter after, a number of “tactics” – such as photographers’ using other children to attract Prince George on playgrounds; tracking the movements of a nanny and other household staff; and hiding in sand dunes to take photos of the child playing on the beach with his grandmother – were being used to try and attract his attention.
The palace said that the tactics had made it more difficult to distinguish a photographer from someone who might wish to do harm.
This must be distressing for William and Kate as parents who have continually said that they are trying to raise their children in “as normal an environment as possible.” The fact that paparazzi are hiding around corners trying to trick the toddler into getting photographed is no joke, and we think it crosses a line. The royal couple have been increasingly good about letting the public into private moments in their lives; the first photos of Princess Charlotte were released with their consent, they allowed the public onto the grounds as she was Christened and so on, so it’s not as if the public are starved for pictures of George or the family. We don’t blame them for being concerned. Yes, they live a life in the public eye, but both they and their children still deserve privacy.
“The Duke and Duchess are glad that leaders in the media industry share the view that every child, regardless of their future public role, deserves a safe, happy, and private childhood. They have been delighted to share official photographs of Prince George and Princess Charlotte in recent months to thank the public for the thousands of kind messages of support they have received. News photographers have had several recent opportunities to take photos of the family and these will be a regular occurrence as both children get older,” the letter said.
The letter went onto detail some extreme lengths that photographers were going to, in order to get a picture of George:
“Paparazzi photographers are going to increasingly extreme lengths to observe and monitor Prince George’s movements. One recent incident – just last week – was disturbing, but not at all uncommon. A photographer rented a car and parked in a discreet location outside a children’s play area. Already concealed by darkened windows, he took the added step of hanging sheets inside the vehicle and created a hide stocked with food and drinks to get him through a full day of surveillance, waiting in hope to capture images of Prince George. Police discovered him lying down in the boot of the vehicle attempting to shoot photos with a long lens through a small gap in his hide.”
“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,” the letter continued. This is naturally a valid worry. The added that the Prince was currently “the number one target” of the photographers, and despite their status as public figures and as parents, they feel that George and Charlotte should not have to grow up behind closed walls. They also said they “want both children to be free to play in public and semi-public spaces with other children without being photographed.”
The family’s concerns about the paparazzi are warranted, and not just because of George. It was widely reported that George’s Grandmother, Princess Diana was killed in a tragic car accident as a result of being chased by paparazzi.
Regardless of that, we think their letter is completely reasonable and justified. You can read it in full HERE.