Palace shuts out 'The Sun' over photos of William's 'girlfriend'

The Sun newspaper has been made the subject of a royal photocall ban after it published paparazzi shots of Prince William with a female friend on a private skiing holiday.

The Sun newspaper has been made the subject of a royal photocall ban after it published paparazzi shots of Prince William with a female friend on a private skiing holiday.

Clarence House was furious at the pictures, which were taken in the Swiss resort of Klosters and appeared under the headline "Finally... Wills Gets a Girl".

British press photographers had been invited to take pictures of the Prince on his own on Sunday as part of an arrangement designed to protect his privacy during the remainder of the trip. But The Sun chose to use paparazzi shots across its first five pages yesterday, claiming a "world exclusive" that Kate Middleton - who, like the Prince, is a student, 21 and from St Andrews University - is his "first serious girlfriend".

Paddy Harverson, the press secretary to the Prince of Wales, said the publication of the pictures was a clear breach of the agreement between the press and the Royal Family to protect the princes from harassment by photographers. He said: "We are going to ban them from future photocalls involving the princes and there will be one involving Prince William before the end of the term, probably in St Andrews."

Mr Harverson, who was facing his biggest test since taking up his post in October, spent yesterday calling newspaper editors and asking them to continue to uphold the agreement. "It is a good understanding that we have with the press and we ask for their continued support," he said.

The Sun maintained that its actions had been justified. A spokeswoman said: "Our story about Prince William and his girlfriend, Kate Middleton, is 100 per cent true. Therefore, there is a strong public interest in publishing these delightful photographs."

Clarence House said the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) had not been involved in the ban on The Sun. A spokesman said: "It's not PCC. It's not legal. It's exclusion from some future opportunities."

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