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KP Letter on Prince George Paparazzi Photos

Friday, August 14, 2015

Good morning all! I have already posted this morning on more Kate-centered topics, and you can see that post here, or scroll down to the next post. I am quickly popping back in to share a letter released by Jason Knauf on behalf of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. It addresses, in detail, paparazzi pictures of Prince George and the tactics and issues used to obtain them. It includes an appeal to the public, as well.  We have discussed pap shots of George before, but in light of this letter, I thought I would share its contents and invite a discussion.


The full text is as follows:

From: Jason Knauf, Communications Secretary to TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and HRH Prince Henry of Wales, 14th August, 2015

I am writing to provide an overview of the current challenges facing Kensington Palace as we seek to protect Prince George and Princess Charlotte from harassment and surveillance by paparazzi photographers. I hope our experience will inform the ongoing effort to uphold standards on the protection of children in a rapidly changing media landscape.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have expressed their gratitude to British media organisations for their policy of not publishing unauthorised photos of their children. This stance, guided not just by their wishes as parents, but by the standards and codes of the industry as it relates to all children, is to be applauded. 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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
This incident was not an isolated one. In recent months photographers have:
• on multiple occasions used long range lenses to capture images of The Duchess playing with Prince George in a number of private parks;
• monitored the movements of Prince George and his nanny around London parks and monitored the movements of other household staff;
• photographed the children of private individuals visiting The Duke and Duchess's home;
• pursued cars leaving family homes;
• used other children to draw Prince George into view around playgrounds;
• been found hiding on private property in fields and woodland locations around The Duke and Duchess's home in Norfolk;
• obscured themselves in sand dunes on a rural beach to take photos of Prince George playing with his grandmother;
• placed locations near the Middleton family home in Berkshire under steady surveillance
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.
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. 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. In addition, the privacy of those other children and their families must also be preserved.
Rest assured that we continue to take legal steps to manage these incidents as they occur. But 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. I would welcome constructive conversations with any publisher or editor on these topics. And I would ask for your help as we work to encourage the highest standards on the protection of children in every corner of the media. The Duke and Duchess are determined to keep the issues around a small number of paparazzi photographers distinct and separate from the positive work of most newspapers, magazines, broadcasters, and web publishers around the world.
The text from this letter, which has been sent to a number of people in leadership positions, will be placed in the public domain to raise awareness of the issues discussed.
Jason Knauf,
Communications Secretary, Kensington Palace
I don't have the time today to write my thoughts on the topic, but over the weekend I will try and formulate a post to share with you my thoughts. I welcome your comments now or later as we each judge and determine our stances.  If discussion does ensue, as always, please be respectful of positions stated. I won't publish any comment that attacks another reader for his or her opinion.

I have made allusions to my changing schedule over the past few months. For reasons of privacy I will not say where, but I have begun graduate studies in law and my schedule will be hectic this year. I will do my best to approve comments as quickly as I can, but of necessity, there will be delays while I am in class, etc. Thanks for your patience as I work out the best schedule to balance all my commitments! 

88 comments:

  1. I am shocked at the lengths the paparazzi are going to get these pics. This is stalking and totally unacceptable. I'm glad they told us. No more pap pics for me and I urge everyone to do their part. Jane, please stop posting. I am a mother of two young ones myself and I am just appalled that people would do such things.

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    1. I agree. Better to stop posting any but official images of George. William and Kate sound distressed and a bit desperate actually, and I fully understand where that emotion is coming from. It may be a bit limiting to then keep posting about Kate, as she is spending so much time as a mother right now. But better to not encourage anything that is causing them distress as a family.

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  2. Sonja from BavariaAugust 14, 2015 at 8:22 AM

    I am really shocked to find out about that photographer who rented the car and obscured it with sheets.

    The truth is: people WANT photos of Prince George, I admit that I look at all those pictures of him in the park or at the beach, too. I think a way to avoid msny paparazzi is to do a kind of a photo call.
    Many European royal families do this, for example the Dutch, the Spanish and the Danish royal family.
    The family is at a beach, skiing in the mountains, in the garden of a castle, and so on. Several photographers are invited and take photos of the family. The parents play with their children, cuddle them,...
    That's how the public can get lots of rear pictures of the family, some inside looks into their family life.

    I hope that William and Kate will also do such a photo call in the future!

    Jane, I understand that you'll be very busy and I think everyone here at From Berkshire To Buckingham wishes you only the best! I hope you are successful and that you find a good balance - you are great and I love your blog<3

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  3. Congratulations on your acceptance to law school, Jane! Best wishes for your studies!
    Liseli

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  4. Love your blog but hope you will stop posting the pap photos.

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  5. This is disturbing.

    But we all must realize that many of the pics we all ooh and awww over are pap photos. It is a given. However, the tactics to obtain those photos are scary and unacceptable. These are children and not adult members of the BRF. Not that I approve of those tactics for any photos.

    With that said I do have to say that if Prince George is in a public park and a pap is sitting across the park with a wide angle lens there really is nothing that anyone can do. It is a public area. He is a public figure albeit a child. There is interest. Massive interest. I worry that he will be frightened .... he does deserve a normal childhood. But he is not like your normal child.. he is the future King. Catch 22 for sure.

    Everything must be done to protect the children but enforcing this will be difficult. People will always pick up the paper or magazine . I do. And most of us will. I don't want to encourage the paps by buying a magazine but billions of people could careless. The appetite for information is huge.

    I think they should try the photo calls as the other royal families do and that may allow for more privacy. A photo every 3 months or so would go a long way to sate the desire for pics.

    As to not posting here.. I am on the fence. It is a tough thing to balance. JMHO

    Congrats Jane on grad studies!

    Nina

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  6. First and foremost, they must protect George, nobody can question that. But isn't it the British press which does not publish pap photos of them because there is some kind of agreement btw them? Please correct me if I am wrong?

    Also, William did not complain when there were photos of Kate and George in the park, or the polo event, and since then a lot more were published not a single complaint. What can I draw as a conclusion from this especially after sharing the christening with the public and accepting the fact that people are interested in them. Maybe they were arranged photo ops? Furthermore, why Carol Middleton takes George for a walk on a public beach on his bday? This was the day when paps were certainly around? Was this too arranged? We don'rt know. Simply what I want to say is they can't have it both ways. You can't complain about the media one day and the next use it for your own purposes. He must accept he has gained a lots of things by being a royal but not a private life. If he wants that he should step down.

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    1. I suspect that the pictures from the beach were the ones where the photographer was hidden in the Dunes

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    2. This letter refers to those incidents you are referencing, specially Kate and George in the park and Carole and George on the beach. in the latter scenario, someone hid in the sand dunes to photograph them. I mean - that is just downright creepy. And then? We don't know what they actually use those images for, even after they've taken them, sold them; they still have copies. No one deserves to have their children exposed to that, even famous/royal/privileged people. No one.

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    3. The letter specifically mentions the incidents in the park and beach. Polo events where the Royals partake are probably considered semi -official events and they expect photographers to be present, so you will not get a complaint about those. More photo calls will not solve the problem. Look what happened on the NZ/Australia tour. George was seen multiple times, yet pap photos still appeared of Kate and George as well as Kate and William. Children, no matter what their background should all be exempt from public photography and publication, unless specific parental consent has been given. Unfortunately it is the nature of the greedy, dangerous and lewd society we live that drives these photographs.

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    4. Should it make W&K feel any better if intrusive pap photos are not published in the British press? It doesn't make the incidents described any less intrusive or potentially dangerous. I also disagree with the suggestion that they allow it one day and object the next. Regarding polo...it is a public setting and everyone can expect to be photographed. As for the other situations, perhaps they have tried to cope with it and came to the conclusion that something had to be done. Why should George be trapped behind palace walls on his birthday? The reasoning reminds me of the "Kate knew what she was getting into" defense for some of the unkind things posted about her. Public interest is understandable, to a degree, but decency is decency; it's the same definition whether you are a future king or a private person.

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    5. I don't think we can know if William complained after each incident or not. It seems this has been building and they've finally made a public appeal. It was stated that Carole and George were on a "rural beach" and there is no reason they should not be able to enjoy a day on the beach, especially if they've gone out of their way to find an empty one. I agree with Anon 10:22am that hiding in dunes on a beach is just creepy.

      royalfan, as usual we are of one mind. Polo is where they know they will be photographed and they are in a controlled environment. The "Kate knew what she was getting into" and the "they are public figures, even the children" excuses don't fly with me. You're right, decency is decency. And stalking is stalking and it should be illegal for everyone.

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    6. Royalfan

      I didn't mean that they should feel any better, I simply put up an interesting q why the British press gets this letter if they wont publish pap photos?

      Lets agree to disagree. They use media as they please, as Diana did.

      Also I didn't refer to Kate in any circumstances, and what my reasoning evokes in you well .......so next time please scroll down, thanks.

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    7. Oh my goodness! Please take a good look at Carole in the beach photos and tell me this was a woman
      ready for her close-up.
      Photo op, indeed! At least a hair comb and some lipstick.
      Maybe we feel less guilty, less like voyeurs, if we tell ourselves it's ok to look, as KP planned it all. OR
      Maybe there are those who like to say non-approved photos were, I guess, a sort of scheme by the Cambridges to
      promote their "evil spawn." ha!
      I enjoyed the beach pictures, too, but don't we all have at least one cute kid in our extended families that we can
      dote on and enjoy in private play moments?mk
      The polo photos- I suspect there was no objection at the time, because it is quite possible an acquaintance of a
      former staff member took them, having obtained permission beforehand. Come on! Prince Charles was photographed. It was a public charity event, not a children's park or secluded beach.There IS a difference and I am
      amazed so many can't or won't see the difference. I believe the legal term is "reasonable expectation of privacy."
      I imagine Jane already knows about that. ( Good job, Jane!)
      That's your summer casual photo op, by the way. folks.
      The European royals do one a season. There should be no confusion between what is an approved and
      what is an unapproved photo-the photographer knows when he takes the photo if he has permission of the
      parents.That's what counts.
      If anyone doubts whether a photo was approved or not, just log on to KP Twitter-if it's there, you can bet it was
      approved.
      I've given up tabloid internet sites and tabloid magazines. I missed Jennifer Anniston's wedding announcement-
      but hey! I always felt a bit ignorant and furtive reading them,anyway.

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  7. Jane, Congratulations and Good Luck with your studies!! I know I have missed your posts, but as someone who went back to school for an advanced degree in their 40's it will be well worth the time and effort.

    The ex streams the Pap's go to get shots of Prince George is upsetting and is a little scary as it might be difficult to tell someone trying to get pictures and someone who might be trying to cause harm to either the children or the family. As much as I love to see pictures of the children, I certainly don't want to see them scared or harmed in anyway, especially in view of how Diana was hounded and the role the paparazzi played in her death.

    The idea has been put forth about the use of a "photo call" idea is also not appealing to me. I remember the times when William and Harry were trotted out in the "photo call" situation. At the time I thought "how scary that must be for them". They are faced with all those people standing there pointing cameras waiting for them to perform like circus animals. This may be one of several reasons William has a frost relationship with the press.

    Perhaps they could invite one cameraman on a rotating basis from the various agency's to an outing to document the occasion with the understanding they would share with all agencies or Kate could document it and they could release it much as they did with Charlotte's first pictures at home, however this also caused criticism from the naysayers. In the end I am not sure there is a solution, but I hope they find a way to let us see the children grow and mature.

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  8. The Met Police have now put out a statement, which backs what the Duke and Duchess said. This leaves me to believe that there has been an incident, where the protection officers believed the pap was a security risk. Just at present when there are known threats to members of the royal family attending tomorrow's VJ celebrations, the protection officers will probably be on full alert and of course, are fully armed.
    The Duke and Duchess have never wished to keep their children within the palace walls and it has been obvious that they would like them to be able to play with other children in the park. Sadly there are too many people, who in pursuit of their
    aims.
    As the children get older, there will be more photos of them at official events and at unofficial ones, like the polo match--the, I am sure, know there will be photographers at events like that--but "everyday outings " with Mummy, Granny or nanny should be left alone.
    We should help by not buying the magazines that print them and not publishing them on sites like this

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    1. Sorry--seem to have lost half of a sentence---meant to say "people who in pursuit of their aims would not hesitate to harm such a young child"
      Good luck with your studies Jane.

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    2. I agree with you. And there have been specific reports that there is a terrorist threat to London in general and the Queen herself during the VJ celebrations tomorrow. If these paps don't back off I can see the Cambridges retreating much more into the privacy of their own world. I am sure they feel the safety of their children far outweighs the opinion of the public if they aren't doing as many public appearances.

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  9. Jane, best wishes on your graduate studies. The length these paps will go to get these photos really is nothing more than stalking & it's disgusting. No doubt they receive big bucks from certain publications for the images. I'm sure Prince Williams' people have been warning off some of the paps for a while, obviously to no avail, hence the official letter and the harder stance. These paps use incredibly powerful telephoto lenses so they can hide quite a way off and not be spotted by protection. It's an invasion of privacy IMO. I think photos taken at public venues such as the polo games are different - here they would expect photographers to be present. But when Kate, Carol or the nanny take P. George out to play, they should be allowed privacy just like any other citizen.

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  10. I wonder how many people expressing outrage and siding with the Cambridges have clicked on links themselves to view the very paparazzi pictures they object to? I find it hard to believe that many royal fans can resist seeing new photos, and frankly most admit throughout social media how the candid shots are usually their favourites. I am pointing this out not in judgment but to illustrate that the demand is there and it's high, and JK only mentioned the public audience briefly in the letter. A more effective tactic might be for William and Kate to do a joint interview explaining to the public what these "handful" of photogs do, it would get a lot of play and might resonate. I know a lot of people who stopped buying tabloids because they were so stunned by the circumstances of Diana's death.

    That said, I don't know that you can ever quell the interest, There was an excellent article recently on modern life for the royals, and basically, who would want it? Even if you address the paparazzi, every citizen is a photog with a camera in their pocket, how do you combat that? Sadly the Cambridges need to realize this is the new normal and must learn to deal with it.

    I also think they have not done all they could to endear themselves to the official press corps, excluding press photogs from legitimate events. And whatever you think of their limited public role, fact is it does lessen sympathy for them in situations like this.

    I was always amused by reports that Carole Middleton pushed her daughter to this relationship, who would really want this for their daughter? And if William thinks it's rough now, wait until the Queen passes and he's elevated to Prince of Wales. Life is going to change dramatically. Again I think they're only making things harder for themselves in the long run. The Queen and Charles both missed this family time and desperately want them to have it, but I'm starting to think it's not doing them any favors.

    You can enact all the laws you want, but much as we wish it possible, you cannot regulate common decency

    Claudia

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    1. Agreed!

      While all children should have a right to privacy it is very difficult to enforce when they or anyone is at a public venue. Play parks are public. The beach was public. Nit throwing stones but they have to know thst paps will be around them. Public. Now hiding in the dunes is scary. The paps will be there and has stated here we all have a camera. Click click click. They can attempt to come down on the paps and shoo them away but they will resort to other measures. They have already used children as avenues to get near George and you know there are many many people (shudders ) that would happily take pics for the paps and their rags. Money talks. Then what? You can not shut down a public park and that defeats the purpose of allowing the children to live 'normally'.

      My photo calls idea was shot down. LOL... I was not saying parade them out to masses like a red carpet event. It would need to be controlled and a safe environment. George seems to be pretty tough and not particularly shy. He might do well. Charlotte is an unknown.

      If this was my issue with my children and there is this despicable kind of activity happening I would want some control. I would rather set this up on my terms...my turf... my time. Pick and choose who and what will be allowed. But that is just me. It does seem to work with the other families. Of course the interest is not on the scale has with the BRF.

      They will need to madecisons big decisions very soon as to how to handle this.. as a parent it would frighten me. But this is not going to go away... it is going to escalate.

      Above all is the safety of the children... and I agree that something more serious must have happened for the police to now comment.

      Nina

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    2. I agree with you Nina about the pros of regular photo calls. It need not be done as it was in the past. There could be just one photographer and the atmosphere relaxed and fun. People want to see these children and, I believe that if decent people (such as all of us) know that we will be able to see them growing up at regular intervals, the desire to look at pap photos will diminish. It will take time as with everything but I think it is possible, and it does work really well for the other royal families. Perhaps this is why they are hounded less by the press.

      I'm really a strong advocate of, if someone is in a public space, they can be photographed. If I can be photographed and you can be photographed, so can members of the BRF. They shouldn't have different rights just because of who the are. I do not think anyone regardless of who they are should be photographed without their knowledge in private spaces as that is clear invasion but if one ventures out publicly, the rules do change.

      Theoretically, PG and PC should have a normal childhood except that they are not normal children.Kristen Bell and a few other actors appealed to the media agencies and the readers of those publications when paparazzi in Hollywood got out of hand taking pictures of the children of celebrities. It worked for the most part because people understood that the children of these very public people didn't ask for or want the publicity for themselves. The case of PG and PC is different because they were born into a public role. I think Claudia is correct in saying that a camera in every hand is the new normal and the royals need to learn a new and different way to deal with it. Loss of privacy has always gone hand in hand with being a member of that family. I'm not sure that they can have a completely normal private life while expecting to retain all the privileges and popularity that their public roles afford them. I feel there is a very fine line in this issue and the Cambridges need to tread softly.

      I love seeing the paparazzi photos and I love that Jane publishes them. It goes without saying that any obtained by unscrupulous means that endanger, scare or upset a child should not be published. I don't feel that the Cambridges can expect that their children will not be photographed in public venues but they can expect that people behave decently while doing so. Claudia is right though. There are a lot of pitfalls to being a royal and not many would want to sign up for it. However, those who do shouldn't expect that their private time in public spaces will remain private.

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    3. Very good points Faith, and I wanted to follow up on the celebrity aspect. A big difference, as you mentioned, is that Kristen Bell and others are independent of their children. The royal children are just as significant in their own right as their parents. And the adults and children alike are funded by the taxpayer to occupy a purely ceremonial role! (I could stray and talk more about the absurd aspects of monarchies, but I won't!)

      Someone once pointed out, imagine if American taxpayers supported the Kardashian family? It's very important to keep that in mind whenever discussing anything about the BRF. Hardworking, taxpaying citizens chip in so they can exist, and they exist to perform a purely ceremonially role. A lifetime of pardoning the Thanksgiving turkey if you will :) And in exchange, they have enormous perks. Imagine having more than $4 million spent on your own exclusive London apartment? Drivers taking you anywhere you like, never worrying about parking or traffic jams, always getting preferential treatment... you get the point. (I often wonder if the Cambridges wanted to delay full time royal roles, maybe it would have been better received if they had delayed some of the perks too? Maybe lived more modestly until he became Prince of Wales?)

      They are some of the most famous people in the world. Think about that. Anywhere you go, hold up their picture, someone will likely know who they are. They have to realize that as soon as they walk off private property into the land of mere mortals, someone is likely to take their photo. Maybe just make peace with that? They should be surprised when their photo isn't taken.

      I'm not suggesting at all that anyone stalk or frighten children. But to seriously expect you can have your cake and eat it too is a tad tiresome. They are not "normal", they should not expect a "normal" life. I understand Kate, or anyone else for that matter, wanting a quiet, upper class country life. But then she married the wrong man! It is not going to happen. Also, most of the audience doesn't have sinister intentions, they want to see images of their royal family, and it's that interest and fondness for the BRF that keeps it going. Why not go about your business, if you see someone taking your picture say "good morning" etc? Why be so offended by it? You see it with American celebrities, the ones who make more of a fuss have more of a problem, the ones who just take it in stride (usually the older, more famous they are!) have found a happy medium.

      For Downtown Abbey fans, there was a great line in a past episode said by the Dowager Countess, aka Maggie Smith... someone asked if the Royals could be more "like us"... she responded "Like everyone else! Not if they want to keep living in Buckingham Palace!"

      :)
      Claudia

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    4. Very well said Faith and I concur

      Nina

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    5. I do agree about formal photos being released on a regular basis, whether it's behind palace walls or a photo call with W/K/G/C while on vacation. C&D did it regularly and it did not always involve an army of photographers.

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    6. Claudia, I think you have it right when say that the existence of the monarchy is dependent upon the interest and fondness that people have for it. If the
      day ever arrives when there is no interest in photos of the Cambridges , that would be greatly detrimental to the BRF.

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    7. Maybe not formal photos but their own photos of the kids playing. Kate proved herself quite able with the camera when she took the first pictures of George and Charlotte. Maybe a monthly informal photo or two would help those who buy these other pictures not be tempted. The paps are going to do what they're going to do as long as someone will pay. Maybe a lawsuit or two would help as well. I would call some of this behavior child endangerment. As I said below, anyone else who found someone hiding in the bushes taking photos of their kids would have said photographer arrested!

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  11. Jane, I agree with the photo policy you have had in place. I think photos in public are fair game, and I will keep looking. Anything we know to be intrusive (this latest example, and W&K in France) I think we should refrain from.

    Happy to hear that although you won't be as accessible, you will still be maintaining your blog. Hooray!

    PS. Who wants to talk about Harry in Africa? I heard Chelsy has been living in South Africa recently. Probably a longshot, but I hope they are secretly rendezvousing!

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    1. I have always wished that those two would find their way back together.

      Nina

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    2. I was just thinking the same thing Nina.

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    3. I've always hoped that too - they both needed to mature, and I think Chelsy would have benefited to define herself so she'd be more comfortable in her own skin.

      I think Africa could be the perfect, somewhat private place, for them to reconnect away from London and family.

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    4. I had not thought about the "Chelsea factor" while Harry is in Africa. Interesting. Although, I was under the impression that she really disliked the public attention and that is not something that is going to go away with maturity. I guess time will tell!

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  12. The complaint is not about the photographs and photographs taken by citizens on their phones. It is about the stalking nature of some paparazzi to obtain the photo's. No parent would be happy if their children were stalked, celebrity, royal or otherwise.

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  13. I think this is a fine line to walk-- obviously, Prince George and Princess Charlotte need to be protected and the extremes that some paps go to in order to get photos is disturbing (the part about the car is particularly disturbing to me as a mother of two small kids-- that's creepy and I hope that other parents who frequented the park are the ones who called the police). However, the Cambridges have a large, public aspect to their lives and they have to know that there is a keen interest in seeing both W and K, as well as their children. I don't think this is going to dissuade people from taking pictures, or looking at them. As other commenters have mentioned, we now live in a world filled with smart phone cameras and the fact is, people are going to take pictures. In a public arena, like a park, you can not restrict people.

    I do understand W and K wanting to try and make life normal for their children, but the simple fact is-- it's not "normal" because they are royals. They can work with the press/media by doing something like photo calls, as the continental European royals do, or perhaps releasing photos on a more regular basis. Obviously, this issue is not going to go away and they need to find a way to balance their public lives with their private ones. I'm not saying they need to release photos every week or of private moments, but they do need to accept (and get George and Charlotte accustomed to) the idea that there will be cameras when they go out. That said, when they are on private property or at their homes, the paps need to respect these boundaries and stop being so intrusive, as that's definitely a violation of their privacy.

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  14. While the extents to which the paps go to take photos is disturbing, how is this any different from what other celebrities deal with? Why should the royal children get special treatment just because they are in line for the throne? They don't have it worse that President Obama's kids or Brangelina's kids.

    What's more - they receive protection at the cost of tax payers - which other celebrities don't (unless they are heads of state or former heads of state...neither of which Will and Kate are). Nothing against them receiving the protection as the future head of state, but that comes with a price.

    If the paps are getting so out of hand that you feel the need to issue a statement, and if they care so much about the well being of their kids, then they should feel free to give it up, bring up their kids as private citizens, and relinquish their HRH titles.

    The UK is a free country with a free press. I find it appalling that they have any type of agreement with the press to not publish photos to begin with.

    Furthermore, they disappear for the month of August and expect the public not to want some photos. At the same time, they court the press when they need it (to impress the line of succession to the public, their own pet charitable causes, etc) They may offer their own photos to the press but they are completely contrived and nothing but a publicity and image making exercise. People want to see the royals in their element and in their day to day lives. That goes hand-in-hand with being a royal. They don't like it? Tough.

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    1. Exactly.
      There is always the option to give up the HRH titles and live in privacy. No need for tax money. A life more in privacy. I feel it it is disturbing that a public person without legal support tries to influence the action of other people.
      One can kindly ask not to take pictures in public, but don't tell other people what to do.

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    2. Agree with most of the above, but I do think that 'a stake out' to the extent detailed in the above is extreme. They are Royals, rightly or wrongly Prince William appears to be very controlling of the media, to his own benefit. Maybe if we saw more photos of the next generation of Royals, which is our future Monarch, it might ease the desire to view these pap shots. That all said, NO CHILD should have their childhood scarred by a photographers lense. Kate and Wills need to get a solution to this quickly, or the increase for the support of the British Royal family that has been generated since Diana's death ( such a stunning lady) will have been in vain as this couple and their attitude may cause a loss of affection for the Royals.

      Jane, I wish you the best of luck in your studies...you'll be missed by us all.

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    3. Agreed, Anon & Maria. Also, they chose to accept Anmer on the Queens estate which has public access. If they really care about privacy they could have done what the Middleton's did and buy a large property which has more privacy. I know that wouldn't solve the issue, but if you so desire property I would imagine you'd buy a secluded property.

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    4. Marie B, you don't agree with the concept of "tell[ing] other people what to do"....okay....but if I expand on your statement, you are telling W&K what they have to tolerate, no? How is the fair or reasonable?

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    5. Royalfan, no you exaggerate and expand according to your reasoning. Marie B I totally agree with you. He can abdicate if he had enough of the royal life. Never happen he is not a fool though.

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    6. @Royalfan: Toleration in what sense particular? I did not mention even this word. If they cannot tolerate that pictures are taken by them in the public, the only option is probably to stay at home. I know they are not the average people, but as I said before both knew what it meant to live the life they chose. There are always consequences in life based on our decisions we made.

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    7. I disagree with the comparison to other celebrities or politicians. William is who he is by the circumstance of his birth. This is not a choice he made but he will honor it as (most of) those who came before him. I think it unfair of us Americans to try and pass judgement on how the leadership of another country is set up politically to be run is a bit self righteous.

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    8. @RobinfromCA: Thank you for your note. Anon here from the original post. Just a heads up that I am not American but British. Furthermore, while he may be born into this role, he most certainly has the choice to abdicate, should he wish to do so. The grass is always greener on the other side.

      That's life.

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    9. Apologies, Anon. I think you would be surprised at how few pictures of the Obama girls there are in the press. They are not as interesting as the royal family, of course, but I can assure you that if there were photographers hiding in bushes, etc., it would be seen as a threat to national security and those people would be in jail. I can't imagine what turmoil it would throw Britain into if William chose to abdicate his position. Edward VIII wasn't near as popular as the royals are now and, from everything I've studied, it really through the country into a state. Besides, I don't believe William can choose for George whether or not to abdicate and he is next in line and then Charlotte. He's pretty much stuck.

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    10. Maria, I realize you didn't use the word tolerate. My point was that if you do not agree with the concept of telling other people what to do, by default you are telling W&K (or anyone complaining about intrusive photos) what they have to tolerate/put up with.

      With all due respect, Anon 7.20, the only exaggeration here is to suggest that William should abdicate in response to his and Kate's reasonable request for the privacy and safety of their children.

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    11. Royalfan
      You link things together again just to back up your reasoning. Had enough of it, thanks.

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    12. Royalfan,
      you are still wrong. I don't tell them be default what they should do. I presented some options.
      And please don't forget this letter of them does exactly do this, to tell other people what not do when their children are around in public space.
      But if they want publicity on their terms, photographers are invited to take pictures of them. Very misleading.

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  15. When my children were little we hired a babysitter for an evening. The next day my daughter told me the sitter had taken pictures of my children and apparently sent the pictures to a friend. For some reason, that felt like a huge violation to me and we never used that sitter again. I have only to remember how that incident made me feel to have sympathy for William and Kate . Strangers are taking pictures of their children and then doing - what? - with them? I can think of several nefarious purposes beyond profiting from the sale. I don't blame them at all for trying to stop the paparazzi. We, the curious public, should do what we can to help them protect their children.

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    1. I totally agree with you. And sometimes I wonder if all of the posting and sharing of photos these days doesn't devalue them...and us...? Does this make me sound old? :) I hope not, but I do admit to being a private person.....and valuing quality over quantity in the friendship department.

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  16. Btw Jane, best wishes on this new phase of your life. It will be hard work but well worth it. I think all of us will understand and support any effect your new responsibilities will have on this blog.

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  17. I don't post any photos of my child online in a public (ie non-restricted) forum and relatives aren't allowed to post photos either without permission. (I also do make sure at least one parent is in a photo with my child, to try to prevent it being used in a sick way or pawned off as someone else's child in case it does get circulated somehow, but that's a different topic.)

    As much as I love pap shots of George and the Cambridges, we ARE part of and feeding the demand. I think we should all just stop in the future.

    I'm curious if more frequent photos released by the Cambridges themselves would help. I do think the so-far-rare circulation of authorized photos is part of why people are so eager to see more. I also think they could release photos more often without invading their privacy too much.

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  18. Jane, congratulations and good luck to you. :)

    I will also add that I think this is the best letter ever released on behalf of the royal family. Nothing stiff and formal about it...just a common sense appeal the public can relate to. Hopefully. And I like the idea of it being put out there to raise awareness. Kudos to Jason Knauf. He's a keeper.

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    1. I really agree with you royalfan. I read the letter and press release and found it very matter of fact - requesting an action that any parent could understand. It was in no way demanding or indicating the couple were "furious" as was reported by The Telegraph. This headline really does show up how the media can try to miss lead the public by trying to sensationalized a seemingly informational statement. I think I was more surprised by the fact this appeared in the Telegraph - I have come to expect it from DM and the Sun as I know they can spin a very false story. I am also impressed by Mr.Knauf and hope he can come up with a solution.

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    2. Of course they are furious! That is why they wrote the letter!!!

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    3. Anon, no one suggested that W&K are tickled pink. But this is not an angry letter. As a matter of fact, I would say it has a rather gracious tone to it given the subject matter.

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  19. When I read the letter, I immediatly thought of Diana. Two weeks from now is the anniversary of her death. Paparazzi had a lot to do with it. Yes the driver did, too, but the pap intrusion was high. This will be with William all his life. He didn't enjoy the photo calls as a child. I will never know how William see's the world, but I imagine seeing George splashed about much like his mom, stalked in similar ways has raised a painful scare. Like others here, I will forgo anything but the photo's released by the appropriate media outlets. I have loved all the candid's but I have no desire to ruin the lives of a happy family. The royal family has had enough intrusion for one life time.

    Jane - Good luck to you. You'll do great.

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    1. I agree with you, especially on this point: "I have loved all the candid's but I have no desire to ruin the lives of a happy family. "

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  20. With respect Carrie, paps did not cause Diana's death, it was the driver and Dodi's reactions to the paps that caused the accident (not to mention the driver was drunk) As many have pointed out in the almost 20 years since, no one had a gun, they had cameras, erratic driving by an impaired driver was a recipe for a disaster. Diana was the most photographed woman in the world, she was used to the cameras. Dodi's handling of it killed her. Even her former bodyguards pointed out the job of security that night was to protect her life, not her image captured by a photographer. She should have been buckled and they should have been doing the speed limit and not playing cat and mouse with the paps, and it would have helped if the driver was sober.. but I digress.

    Also RoyalFan I disagree, from a PR standpoint it was not a great letter. JK should know better so I'm guessing his boss had a lot to do with it. Shame, William has much to offer but his obsession with even legitimate press is going to cause him and his family great distress. The letter was longwinded and gave the impression that the Cambridges had just discovered this awful thing called "the paparazzi". A photog staked out in a car! Shock! I think anyone over 20 (in this digital age maybe younger) is well aware what pap tactics are, they've been doing that and worse since the term was coined.

    (Disagreeing with great respect I want to emphasize!)

    I just think this is the strange new world we live in. Even if by some miracle the BRF was able to quell demand, get rid of the paps, citizen paps with iphones will take their place. I wonder why anyone would want fame in this age frankly!

    Yes, I do think photocalls would help, the more you see them the less value other pics have it, simply because the audience gets used to it. And maybe inviting a different photog each time to keep it small would also help develop a relationship with the press corps which William and Kate are going to need. They are dreaming if they think they can do this without the press.

    The great irony is that Diana tried to control the press by feeding them, William is trying to do it by starving them. Both quite foolish strategies. William actually had a good point to make here but it wasn't executed well, and frankly a little odd that in the quiet of August when they get zero coverage, he takes a giant spoon and stirs an enormous pot. Very strange.

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    1. Great posts Carrie and Royalfan - totally agree. Claudia, I respectfully disagree with almost everything you say in your post. And while the paps may not have caused Diana's death, they were a contributing factor in Dodi's & Diana's decision to leave the Ritz to avoid all the paps gathering outside. William and Kate are not celebrities, they are BRF and don't deserve to be stalked.

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    2. I'll second Claudia's summation of Diana's death. She died because the driver was drunk and she was not wearing a seatbeat. She had been chased by paparazzi her entire married life but this time the driver did not have the expertise or a low enough blood alcohol level to handle driving in that situation.

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    3. Claudia, I appreciate your view and agree with all due respect. A member of the British press remarked on Twitter recently that only Brits (whose taxes contribute to the BRF) cannot watch this family grow up--everyone else in the world can since no other country has an agreement about photography with regard to William and his family's privacy.

      Also, Carole Middleton has said publicly that she's not a celebrity, and she doesn't want to be one; said she doesn't have PR to handle this and doesn't want to employ staff to do so. William promised to keep the Middletons involved with his family, as the Middletons asked when Kate married into the BRF, which may not want celebrity status but seems to have it, especially when fundraising for charities.

      Such conflicts are not simple to resolve.

      I regret that I don't believe that William and his family can expect to have no limitations on themselves, the Middletons, and their children when the world at large is being asked in this letter to exact limitations in an era where complete access is how we live and is a definite means of doing business.

      I agree that this letter is not the sole work of Mr. Knauf. The notions of the ethics of privacy and treatment of minor children as well as the safety of the BRF are extremely important points, but they aren't used to create dialogue--rather more as a lecture on the absence of public morality. Disrespectful at best. It does make it sound as if William, Kate, and the Middletons want it both ways, and that slams a wall down for dialogue.

      Katherine USA

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    4. Faith, I know we're straying off topic here, but I remember how angry her close friends were with the Fayeds after the crash, specifically recalling the Coleherne Court days and how Diana easily and calmly navigated her car through a swarming press pack.
      Sadly, I'm quite familiar with the events of that night in Paris, and Dodi and Diana could easily have stayed in the suite at the Ritz as they had planned, they went out into a minefield at midnight. They could have driven calmly through the streets, at or near the speed limit. Henri Paul was drunk, he took an alternate route, he was doing well over the speed limit, he taunted the photogs "you'll never catch me", talk about dropping bait, he jumped the light heading into the tunnel, and oddly for Diana she did not have a seatbelt on. If they had a sober driver and driven normally to the apartment the worse thing that would have happened is the press would have gotten some photos. And given that Diana had been courting them all summer, would that have been so unusual? If that had been the reaction of the Fayeds, Diana would be here today cooing over her grandchildren and telling her eldest to keep calm and carry on.

      It's not news that the paparazzi are going to stake out famous people, in the case of the BRF, some of the most famous people in the world. There are laws to deal with the ones who truly cross the line. But famous people learn sooner or later the best way to deal with it. Carole takes Prince George to a public beach in July on his birthday and is surprised someone takes a pic? The nanny walking him around parks in London, one of the busiest cities in the world, and they're surprised?

      To reiterate, this is not an issue to be blamed on photogs or their editors, the audience bears the blame squarely, News editors chase the audience, it's as simple as that. If there was no appetite for these pics why would they waste the money and manpower?

      Claudia

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    5. Claudia, with all due respect, I do not agree.

      First, many factors contributed to Diana's death that night...many. But to dismiss the role of the paps is not realistic, IMO. The driver was trying to outrun the photographers and the car was surrounded by them. At one point, they were even photographed from the FRONT as he was driving. Imagine having flashbulbs going off around you as you are driving at night and then tell me it wouldn't play a role.

      I also do not believe the letter was longwinded; I thought they were trying to make their case for taking action by giving vivid examples that people could understand, rather than just stating what would or would not be tolerated going forward.

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    6. I think the letter is being very candid in letting everyone know exactly the lengths that have been taken to secure these photographs. It was a plea and quite frank in a way not normally seen. I believe that when these letters to the press have been sent on Diana's behalf, or when William and Harry were kids, the letters were cold and officious. Something along the line of "Their Royal Highnesses, The Prince and Princess of Wales, request that photographers please refrain from photographing Their Royal Highnesses Prince William and Prince Harry, while they are at school." Or some such wording. This letter is much more conversational and informative as to why they are requesting such action. And let us not forget that those photographs of Carole Middleton with her grandson were taken of a private citizen. Carole should fall into the category of "she knew what she was getting into" because she didn't get into anything. Yes, they get to sit in the royal box for things now but they seem like they were a perfectly happy, normal family without all that comes with a daughter married to a Prince.

      I also agree with you complete regarding Diana. So many factors surrounding her death but the photographers are not without blame.

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  21. In my opinion, the point this statement was trying to make goes to the heart of money. It's the paps who take the shots and sell them for big bucks that they object to. Not the average citizen with a cell phone. Hiding behind a sand dune to take shots of Carol and George on the beach? That's stalking. Plain and simple. It's those tactics that are disgusting and that are the object of this statement. When Kate and George were in one of the parks their Protection officers asked prople in the park to kindly not take pictures. And they didn't. Kate knows how to deal with the every day British citizen or tourist. It's the professional stalkers that she objects to. And so do I.

    Jane, as a lawyer myself, I know how busy you are going to be. Be sure to take time to take care of yourself these next few months. We will be here when you have time for us.

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  22. I'm always so conflicted whenever this issue comes up. I've never met this family, but I love them. I love little George and I want him to have a safe, happy, normal-as-possible childhood. And some of the tactics the paparazzi are using are very disturbing. Hiding out in sand dunes and making a bunker out of the trunk of your car is pathetic. If you have to hide to do something, then you probably shouldn't be doing that. If you can't do what you're doing openly or you have to break laws, then it's probably not a thing that you should be doing.
    But with that said, the paparazzi go to those lengths because the demand is so high that the price they are paid is worth their psycho stalker actions.
    I think this letter conveys reasonable requests as well as slightly ridiculous requests.
    It is beyond reasonable to expect that your child should not be stalked by people hiding in the dunes. Staking out places where a 2 year old might go is just plain creepy and in any other circumstance, a person who stalked and staked out a 2 year old would be a child predator.
    But I think it's unfair to tell people they can't snap a shot when your child is in a public place. If they are in a place that anyone in the country has access to at any time, there is no expectation of privacy because it's a public place. So I think that the pictures of George walking across the street in neon green sunglasses are ok, but, as cute as they were, the pictures of him playing at the beach cross a line.
    I think the best way for Will and Kate to control the situation is to control the value of the pictures of their children. Like many other people said, I think they should hold photo calls. People love their children because they are way too cute. So someone will give the public pictures of the cuteness. Will and Kate should be the ones doing that and if they are and are doing it enough to satisfy the public, the steep value of pap pictures will be devalued. Hiding away the kids to keep them safe and normal could very well backfire if the paparazzi are relentless in chasing those big payday pictures. They will just get more creepy stalkerish the more hidden away the children are. So Will and Kate just need to take the control of the situation with more than just a letter.
    Luckily right now, they have time to figure that out. George is young enough that he is oblivious to the photographers and it won't negatively affect him that much. But they need to figure out a compromise before he and his sister become old enough to be bothered by the paparazzi presence. I don't want them to be slaves to a monthly photo call engagement, but that seems to be a better option than being stalked. And I think if they do photo calls, the children can form a positive bond with the media instead of a negative relationship.

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  23. Maggie - MinneapolisAugust 14, 2015 at 7:09 PM

    I completely understand why any parent would be bothered by their child being stalked, but realistically, is there really a bother/danger to George because of paps following him? He's 2 years old and has no idea what's going on, and honestly, would probably feel more bothered if they didn't hide and took pictures blatantly (thus interrupting his playing). Also these are people who just want pictures, not to hurt him. Aside from the fact that he has security that would make sure a photographer could never get too close, paps have an incentive not to bug him too blatantly (like they did with swarming Kate before her marriage) because then they really look bad and would probably lose the ability to sell their pictures. Really, I'm more concerned about the children being used to "lure" Prince George out! They don't have security and don't benefit from being used. And I know people have mentioned Diana's death being caused by the paps, but as others have mentioned above, it was the response to the paps that caused her death, along with the drunken state of her driver. I'd actually say that William's incessant need to avoid pictures is more dangerous than the paps trying to take the pictures, in the sense that just putting up with the pictures and not trying to get away from them would have been the safer choice for the events leading up to Diana's death. That's definitely something I hope the Cambridges' security is better equipped to handle.

    Additionally, the royal family would not exist with its benefits if public interest in them did not remain high. I just don't think they can convince the public that it can pay to build a new nursery for Prince George in an already-huge rent-free mansion but can never have a glimpse of his life in it. And so I think they should increase exposure of the kids . The released pictures don't satisfy the need for pap pictures because they don't provide a real look into their family life, but I also think that George is too young for most engagements. I was surprised they had him do the christening walk, which must be overwhelming for a toddler. What I think would be perfect is an engagement like the playdate or zoo time during the tour. George could just play and do normal toddler-y things, while photographers take pictures (basically unbeknownst to him since he has distractions). Kate does several appearances that involve her engaging with children. Why not bring George along? I know she'd want to be able to pay attention to the other kids, but she could bring Nanny Maria or William to help with George. They could even have George brought in through a private entrance to avoid the usual media hoopla on the way in/out of a building at engagements. If they do that and the occasional photocall doing normal family stuff (maybe release a family video instead of just family pics?), then I really think that would convince MANY to stop looking at the pap pictures. Nothing can obviously stop everyone, but I think it'd be enough to hurt the pap's efforts and make them not worth it.

    Lastly, I thought the letter was quite well written in terms of playing to people's emotions well. Logically, I'm still not entirely convinced by it (again, the photographers aren't trying to hurt George and even if they were he has lots of security, along with the fact that them hiding means he isn't being bothered on his playdates). But I thought it was clever. I do think it would have been a little smarter to hold off a few weeks to release it, after another engagement by Kate. Right now, the public has just seen so little of the Cambridges lately that I think that is going to hurt their cause of "we let you see us officially so let us have our private lives." If they scheduled Kate for 3 days of engagements in a row as they often do, and then released the letter a few days later, I think that may have been smart. But I understand they are worried about their children and maybe didn't want to wait.

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    1. I couldn't agree with you more, Maggie. The letter is very, very clever but their arguments don't hold for George. The paps want a photo to sell the newspaper publication not to sell to unworthy children sites. The letter certainly plays on people's emotions and also try to make George sound like any other child. However, he is not and Cambridges cannot have their cake and eat it too. I agree that Kate can do more by bringing George to public events. As parents, they have the right to do what they believe is best for their child; however, this letter tries to manhandle the press and public's emotions too obviously.

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  24. You make an interesting case Maggie and I agree with much of it. But I'm not sure I agree with your statement that these paps aren't trying to hurt him, just take pictures. That may be true in the instant, but it's what they do with the pictures that is disturbing. My son and daughter in law won't let anyone take pictures of their children without their knowledge. Few parents would. Just because William is an heir to the throne does not mean that he's fair game to all and sundry to do what they want. He is a human being. His letter says that most media understand their concern and don't stalk. He's just concerned about the ones who hide and steal pictures to sell to the highest bidder who might be Lord only knows who. I don't think the British people who pay their protection want that. I think this request is more than fair and understandable. These children are not commodities.

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  25. I've said this before on this forum and still believe the same - as long as paparazzi aren't harassing their subject (as they obviously we're in the case of Princess Diana when they chased her on mopeds etc), you can't stop people taking pictures in public places. Period.

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  26. I had written a long response to this and then my computer crashed completely and it was lost. So, I will try again. I completely agree with this letter from KP. I think William, Kate, and the Middletons are being very patient with this situation. If I were Carole and had been on the beach playing with my grandson and later found out that some creep had been hiding in the bushes taking pictures I would be livid! It doesn't matter who his parents are, this is a little child! In the normal world these photographers would be arrested. I think the letter does a good job of praising those who are not buying these photos and pleading with the others not to. As much as I loved seeing the photos of Carole on the beach with Prince George, knowing how they were obtained lessens my enjoyment of them.

    In addressing what they said about "groups who are intent on more than capturing photographs" - in today's world climate, with threats constantly being made regarding the Queen and her family, there is a real security risk here. Since the senior members of the royal family always have security with them the paps are lucky that they haven't adopted the "shoot first and ask questions later" stance when they find someone skulking around in the bushes pointing something at them.

    As to the Diana issue...I believe, and will always believe, that the paparazzi were the biggest factors in her death. The second biggest factors are a combination of the drunk Henri Paul and the Fayad family themselves. They paraded Diana around as a trophy. If Dodi really wanted to protect Diana he would have taken her to a private suite at The Ritz instead of getting into a car with that questionable driver. His father owned the dang place so how hard would it have been to obtain a suite? But, in the beginning, the whole day had been one of running from the paps and, in the end, the drunk driver was racing through Paris to avoid them. That is how I see it and no amount of discussion will ever change my mind. Since that day, nearly 18 years ago, I have never purchased another tabloid or celebrity publication. I believe William and Harry feel the same way and they will go to great lengths to protect those they love from those who have been invading their lives from the day they were born. Diana was the most famous woman in the world and being her sons is what makes William and Harry as interesting as they have been growing up, which leads us to why we even know about Kate who, as it happens, turns out to be just as beautiful and stylish as Diana was. All of this does not make it OK to hide, sneak, and trespass to capture a photograph of little children who have no idea what the circumstances of their birth are.

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    1. Robin, I agree with you! :)

      IMO W&K have tolerated many scenarios where George was photographed with Kate, Carole, or the nanny. When stalking enters the equation it isn't just about photos being taken. If Kate and George are stalked at the beach, park, etc., how can anyone be sure that the person is only after photos? Where do you draw the line?

      We only have to read the paper or go online to see what a sick world we live in and the joy that some people take in harming innocent people. Direct the same evil at someone famous and the pleasure they get from it increases tenfold.

      And surprise, surprise, but I share your opinion of the events of that tragic night in 1997. I have nothing to add; you stated it beautifully.

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    2. We do seem to be of one mind, royalfan!

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  27. And after all that I forgot to congratulate you, Jane, for getting into law school! You will have your plate full for certain. Good luck with everything and I hope you'll be able to check in with us here on your wonderful blog from time to time!

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  28. hmm I agree and Im shocked about it when I heard about it I was asking my friends about the letter then I go to several blogs I know now I know the so wrong but I love to say these like other royals they schedule of photo just royals I know some those shot where enjoyable but I know they are all wrong jane good luck

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  29. We do NOT have a right to see photos of these very young children. They have no public role, no political significance. They are babies and yet their parents have to share photos not just with their friends on facebook but with the whole world.
    No wonder they object to being stalked.
    The Palace letter is clear - they don't mention shots taken by members of the public. If anybody is as rude as to do that well clearly William and Kate won't be thrilled but they don't explicitly object. They don't mention shots at the Polo or other public event. There are a lot of photos out there of Mia Tindall and Isla and Savannah Phillips and I've never noted any objection to those shots either as they're taken 'in public'.
    What is being objected to is very specific - it's shots where George (or Charlotte) has been covertly observed. They don't want people to hunt their kids and I think that's fair enough.
    Jane - if you want to be supportive of the couple you won't print any more shots, no matter who took them, that show any member of the family in a 'private' setting - and that includes trips to the farm parks etc.

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    1. Sory to say this but he is not an ordinary kid. Though they have every right to protect him and his sister. For me and loads of others it can't be a question.

      The q is William's motive who uses the press to his own benefit. I think Claudia fpormed a really good opinion here when she said" The great irony is that Diana tried to control the press by feeding them, William is trying to do it by starving them. Both quite foolish strategies."

      It sums it all up nicely.

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  30. I think a simple solution as many have been saying is to release more photos of the children. Kate is a photographer. And a new mom - both those qualities should ensure that she is taking many, many photos of her children, so why not just release those on a regular basis? George in new pair of pajamas. George playing with trains. Charlotte having a book read to her. George messily eating something like a Popsicle or ice cream. These are photos every mother has of her child. And this does not include special occasions like birthday parties or haircuts or - in a few years - the loss of a tooth. This means no awkward photocalls and trotting out the children for display to a photographer but sharing pictures probably already shared with family and their inner circle of friends.
    But aside from the safely issue Will and Kate should realize with enormous privilege comes enormous responsibility. And if they don't like it they can step down and become private citizens. Voila, problem solved.

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  31. I am from the United States and enjoy your Royal family. That being said, I must comment that Willliam strikes me as a very reluctant, conflicted, and quite frankly arrogant future King. Perhaps arrogant is not exactly the correct word, but you get my drift... His Grandmother at a young age stepped up to the " job" Ina remarkable fashion, with humility and grace and literally and sincerely pledged herself to a life of service to her country. Even Prince Charles with all of his ways clearly values the monarchy and is eager to serve. William is a mature man, raised in the lifestyle of royalty and frequently displays sulky, combative behavior and in my opinion, clearly indicates conflicting feelings about his future role. He does not appear to feel that itis an honor - more that it is a burden. I am amazed that the English people tolerate that. You can hope for it to change, but he is 33 and itis unlikely in my humble opinion. I do not mean to be critical or offensive, I say again that I enjoy your Royal family.

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    1. Many English people think this way too, believe me. It is clearly a burden for him, not very good at hiding it. I am personally expected so much more from him.

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    2. I don't believe that trying to protect your two young children (babies in truth) from the attentions of the paparazzi is a sign of anything but that of a father with the best interests of his children at heart.
      It strikes me that had the one hiding in the boot of the car been in the USA, he would have been shot first and questions asked later.
      In fact HM did very little between her marriage and her father's illness and of course she stepped up when it became necessary, as I have no doubt William will do when the time arrives

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    3. I agree 100%, Jean from Lancs. If this were any other member of the human race people would be outraged at the behavior of the photographers but, for some reason, William and Kate are not allowed to request that this stalking of their children stop. To me the criticism of this letter is confusing at best.

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    4. Jean and Robin, I agree with your observations.

      I do not understand what *IMO* comes across as a complete lack of empathy for W&K's plea on behalf of their young children. And, ironically, I suspect that the same folks would have zero tolerance if *they* felt violated in some way.

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  32. I wrote this comment on Jane's new post with her thoughts, but thought I would share here as well since it's been a point of discussion. There's an interesting article online from The Guardian today (Saturday) that gives more detail about the letter, since this was a point of discussion. Quote "Knauf told the Guardian the letter was prompted by a sharp increase in paparazzi incidents this year and that the duke and duchess had been "heavily involved" in its writing."

    This was obvious to some of us from the beginning. Again, if there are problems with this "handful" of photogs, deal with them, don't do these blanket "warning" letters. If they are as serious as they claim, stop with the letters and head to court or file a police complaint immediately. That would put an end to the "handful" of photogs that they claim are crossing the line. Even Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis had a restraining order on one particular pap. These blanket warnings that come out sometimes, but not at other times, are what's frustrating the press corps and public frankly, and rightfully so.

    Claudia

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    1. Claudia, these blanket letters put people on notice...the actions/consequences follow.

      I also do not believe that reasonable people or members of the legitimate press are frustrated by this. Hopefully, people will empathize with W&K's position as parents, and the legitimate press doesn't want or need the competition (from the paparazzi).

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    2. Claudia, I agree with you and also with Jane. I think the Cambridges and the Palace feel no compunction about using Prince George as a positive PR tool when it suits them - ie the curious Lindo Wing appearance/disappearance of George (he came in but never left?) and the odd balcony appearance at Trooping the Color AND the exclusive invite that some press photogs got to shoot the polo pics. But they're angry when they're not controlling the setting and photos and when everyone is not perfectly coiffed and clothed and posed.
      If it's an issue with a specific publication or photographer(s), then take action against that particular person or publication. These blanket letters just rile up the legitimate UK royal photogs who do follow the rules.
      Palmer is a longtime monarchist and royalist. It's telling that he's angry and frustrated.
      If they are that serious and concerned about the security of their children - and nobody is criticizing them for being worried as parents, just how they're going about this - then press charges. If the photographer is taking photos in the UK then the strict UK press access laws apply.

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