Prince William issues his latest attack on free speech: Prince George and Princess Charlotte are beyond your grasp
Kensington Palace says photographers must stop harrassing Prince George and Princess Charlotte. Look out for lots of stories demanding Kate and Wills have their privacy, all illustrated with stick drawings of the Family.
Kensington Palace communications secretary Jason Knauf tells us:
“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.”
It’s a terrorism issue? The paps want shooting? Maybe instead of shooting a lovely creature in cold blood, Prince George right of passage could involve spearing a photographer in the face?
The palace says most British organs won’t use papped photos of Prince George but “a handful of international media titles” do.
“All of this has left the Duke and Duchess concerned about their ability to provide a childhood for Prince George and Princess Charlotte that is free from harassment and surveillance.”
Renounce the throne!
“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 Duke and Duchess are of course very fortunate to have private homes where photographers cannot capture images of their children. But they feel strongly that both Prince George and Princess Charlotte should not grow up exclusively behind palace gates and in walled gardens.
“They want both children to be free to play in public and semi-public spaces with other children without being photographed.”
Nothing changes. They want to be accessible – just like the rest of us – but only on their terms.
Knauf said the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted that many publicatiosn don’t buy the photos:
“They are pleased also that almost all reputable publications throughout the Commonwealth – in particular Australia, Canada, and New Zealand – and in other major media markets like the United States have adopted a similar position.”
They are judges of what is and what is not reputable?
“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. 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 clear that while paparazzi are always keen to capture images of any senior member of the royal family, Prince George is currently their number one target.
“We have made the decision to discuss these issues now as the incidents are becoming more frequent and the tactics more alarming. A line has been crossed and any further escalation in tactics would represent a very real security risk.”
Knauf says they will send in the lawyers, as Wills did when we saw photos of his topelss wife:
“We are aware that many people who read and enjoy the publications that fuel the market for unauthorised photos of children do not know about the unacceptable circumstances behind what are often lovely images.
“The use of these photos is usually dressed up with fun, positive language about the ‘cute’, ‘adorable’ photos and happy write ups about the family. We feel readers deserve to understand the tactics deployed to obtain these pictures.
“We hope a public discussion of these issues will help all publishers of unauthorised photos of children to understand the power they hold to starve this disturbing activity of funding.”
They really are not like the rest of us, are they? When the Queen departs, the pressure on them will grow.