FROM using small children as decoys in a playground to hiding in sand dunes, the “extreme lengths” to which the paparazzi have gone to capture photographs of Prince George have been condemned by the Royal Family.
In a strongly worded open letter issued yesterday, Kensington Palace rebuked the increasingly dangerous methods used by photographers to provide the foreign media with unauthorised pictures of the two-year-old prince and said “a line has been crossed”.
Paparazzi going to increasingly extreme lengthsJason Knauf
The Royal Family has now appealed to media outlets to stop publishing paparazzi photos of the two-year old.
It said that a number of media organisations in Germany, France, Australia, New Zealand and the US had published photos of Prince George in “unacceptable circumstances”.
However, the letter also pointed out that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were grateful to British media organisations for their policy of not publishing unauthorised photos of Prince George and his baby sister, Princess Charlotte.
Written by the couple’s communications secretary, Jason Knauf, the letter reveals that last week a photographer rented a car and parked outside a children’s play area.
Concealed by darkened windows, the photographer was later discovered in his hide by police.
Other incidents saw a photographer hiding in sand dunes on a beach as Prince George played with his grandmother Carole Middleton, photographers pursuing cars leaving family homes, and hiding on private property in fields and woodland around the duke and duchess’s home in Norfolk.
Another incident involved a paparazzi trying to use other children to lure Prince George into view in a playground.
The letter states: “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.
“Despite this, paparazzi photographers are going to increasingly extreme lengths to observe and monitor Prince George’s movements and covertly capture images of him to sell to the handful of international media titles still willing to pay for them.
“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. 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.”
Mr Knauf said the duke and duchess wanted Prince George and Princess Charlotte “to be free to play in public and semi-public spaces with other children without being photographed” and “free from harassment and surveillance.”
The Royals, from Diana, Princess of Wales, to Prince Harry, have long been prime targets for paparazzi photographers. In 1994 German tabloid Bild published pictures of the Prince of Wales naked on a balcony near Avignon while, shortly after Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson had agreed to separate, pictures emerged of the duchess sunbathing topless, while American businessman John Bryan sucked her toes.