Prince George 'harassed by paparazzi' hiding in car boots, says Kensington Palace

Paparazzi have gone to disturbing lengths to obtain pictures of Prince George and his sister

Heather Saul
Friday 14 August 2015 21:47 BST
Prince William takes Prince George to meet the new arrival.
Prince William takes Prince George to meet the new arrival. (Getty Images)

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have warned paparazzi to stop harassing their children, claiming "dangerous tactics" were now being used to obtain unauthorised images of Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

In a strongly worded letter to leaders of media industry bodies and standards organisations, Jason Knauf, the communications secretary for Kensington Palace, condemned these photographers for trying to “make a profit” from their children.

It named Prince George as “the number one target” for paparazzi photographers and said the two-year-old has been subject to harassment and surveillance in various locations.

The Palace highlighted a number of disturbing incidents, such as children being used to draw George into the photographer’s view in playgrounds. It said one member of the paparazzi was found hiding in sand dunes on a rural beach while Prince George was playing with his grandmother, while another was discovered on private property in fields and woodland locations around The Duke and Duchess's home in Norfolk.

It said paparazzi had also:

• 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;

• pursued cars leaving family homes;

• placed locations near the Middleton family home in Berkshire under steady surveillance .

The letter continued: "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."

The letter said William and Kate did not want their children to have to grow up trapped behind palace gates and in walled gardens, instead of being free to play with other children without being photographed.

British publications have not bought or published unauthorised images, but there is a risk images could be used on websites or in publications outside of the UK.

“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."

"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."

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