Kensington Palace, the residence and office of Prince William and Princess Kate, has written to the media urging them not to publish images taken by paparazzi photographers, who have been taking “increasingly extreme lengths” to get pictures of Prince George.
The letter, written by William and Kate’s communications secretary, says a “line has been crossed” by the paparazzi over the last couple of months. Their tactics have become dangerous and “represent a very real security risk” for the two-year-old prince.
Photographers’ behaviour have caused the William and Kate to be “concerned about their ability to provide a childhood for Prince George and Princess Charlotte that is free from harassment and surveillance.”
The statement also referred to an incident where a photographer parked outside a children’s play area and lay in the trunk in the hope of capturing a picture of the young prince:
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—re being deployed to profit from the image of a two-year old boy.
Kensington Palace also said that in recent months photographers have:
- Used long range lenses to capture images of Kate playing with Prince George in a number of private parks
- Monitored Prince George and his nanny’s movements around London parks
- The movements of their household staff were also monitored by photographers
- Children of individuals visiting the home of William and Kate were photographed
- Photographers followed cars leaving family homes
- Other children were used around playgrounds to draw Prince George into view
- Photographers have been found hiding in fields and woodland around the Duke and Duchess’s home in Norfolk
- In order to take photos of Prince George playing with his grandmother, they hid among sand dunes on a beach.
- Put the Middleton family home in Berkshire under surveillance
“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,” read the statement.
The palace said that pictures taken in “unacceptable circumstances” have been used by organisations in the U.S., Germany, France, Australia and New Zealand.