LONDON — In its strongest warning yet to the media, Kensington Palace warned the industry to back off Prince George after an increasing number of incidents of “paparazzi harassment.”
In a lengthy letter published on its website of which sections were tweeted, Kensington Palace said the tactics being used by paparazzi are becoming “increasingly dangerous.”
This letter is being published now to inform the public discussion around the unauthorised photography of children. It is hoped that those who pay paparazzi photographers for their images of children will be able to better understand the distressing activity around a two-year old boy that their money is fuelling. We also feel that the readers who enjoy the publications that fuel this market for the unauthorised photos deserve to understand the tactics deployed to obtain these photos.
The palace said that the vast majority of publications aren’t publishing photos of the young royal outside those from official photo opportunities, however, it said a handful of international media titles are still willing to pay for unofficial photographs.
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 letter cites examples of photographers using telephoto lenses to capture the Duchess of Cambridge and George in private parks, pursuing cars leaving the family home and hiding out in woodland locations around the family’s home in Norfolk.
Expressing the views of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate, the letter said the royals are concerned that it won’t always be possible to distinguish between someone taking a photograph and a person who is intending harm to the prince.
The palace says it hopes the letter can be used to aid a public discussion on the publication of unauthorised photos of children and says it’s been sent to a number of people in leadership positions in the industry.