The editor of Cambridge University’s student tabloid paper has said his publication’s call for students to take funny photographs of Prince William around campus was made “as a celebration rather than an attack” after a top criminal barrister said it could be encouraging harassment.
Cambridge Tab editor and Christ’s College philosophy student Will Heilpern said in an article at the end of last month: “The Tab will be running a #WheresWills liveblog for the duration of term. The funniest photos of the Prince will receive a free Tab t-shirt.”
But a criminal barrister, Bernard Richmond QC, has cautioned the online newspaper in the Daily Express, saying: “There’s a big difference between an opportune photo and staking out people and trying to photo them.
“One person's bit of fun can be somebody else's harassment,” he said. “The editors may find themselves getting blamed.”
It is not clear, however, what laws The Tab could be breaking by encouraging students to take photographs.
The Duke of Cambridge will study at the university later this month. The prestigious university usually asks for at least A*AA for undergraduate admissions, but The Tab criticised the Prince for only obtaining a “mediocre” ABC in his A-levels.
In the same article, Mr Heilpern wrote: “The Tab must point out that normally students need A*AA at A-level to gain entry to Cambridge University, whilst the Prince only achieved a mediocre ABC. Conveniently though for Will, he is the registered benefactor of the department he will be studying at.”
However, a Cambridge University spokesperson said: “A*AA is our standard offer for undergraduate admission. The Duke of Cambridge has already undertaken his undergraduate studies, at St Andrews.
“He is not attending as an undergraduate or as a mature student. He is attending Cambridge to complete an executive education programme, for which different admissions criteria apply.”
The Prince will be studying a 10-week £10,000 “bespoke” agriculture course at Cambridge University’s School of Technology to prepare him for his future role in charge of the Duchy of Cornwall.
Mr Heilpern said there had been no intention to attack the Prince.
“We did not think that taking pictures of the Second in Line to the Throne was a brilliant idea of ours, but an inevitability,” he said.
“Capitalising on the 21st century phenomenon of camera phones, we thought it might be a bit of fun to gather some of these inevitable photos, as a celebration rather than an attack.”
As of Saturday afternoon, only four Tweets had been made using the hashtag, none of which contained photos of Prince William.
Clarence House refused to comment on the situation.