Prince George “Harassed” By Paparazzi, Kensington Palace Slams “Dangerous” Invasion Of Privacy — SEE STATEMENT
Prince George has been getting harassed by the paparazzi, leading Kensington Palace to release a statement on Friday calling for an end to such behavior.
“In recent months, there have been an increasing number of incidents of paparazzi harassment of Prince George. And the tactics being used are increasingly dangerous. This letter is being published now to inform the public discussion around the unauthorised photography of children,” says the palace.
And, reminiscent of the #NoKidsPolicy movement in the U.S., the palace says, “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.”
Jason Knauf, the communications secretary for Prince William and Kate Middleton, has written a lengthy letter describing the tactics the family has been subjected to over recent months. “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,” says Knauf. He reveals:
“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.”
Knauf notes, “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,” and points out, “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.”
Furthermore, Knauf reveals that the incident described above “was not an isolated one,” and lists a number of other disturbing actions by photographers, such as:
“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.”
“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,” says Kanuf, explaining, “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.”
Knauf also stresses that their issue is not with the British media, which has abstained from publishing such photos, and 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.” Specific international publications guilty of contributing to the issue, however, were not named.
TELL US: What do you think of Kensington Palace calling out the paparazzi and the media outlets that buy such photos?