So… let’s talk more about the pap photos of Kate and George in the Caribbean that Hello Mag published. I created a Tumblr (that I’ll probably never use again) so that I could compile the mag photos in one place (that are all from Tumblr, obviously, since that’s the only place I’ve been able to find them), so go here to view the photos.
First, let’s analyze the photos. When I saw the cover I was willing to give Kate the benefit of the doubt regarding the way she was holding George, because I’m sure everyone has held a baby like that at some point, no big deal. But then I saw the other photos and things seemed strange to me. First, he’s in the same position in all of the photos, which seems a bit weird, don’t babies usually move around? And that’s not the most comfortable position to carry a baby, so if you’re walking out of a plane and across a tarmac, wouldn’t you use a more comfortable position to carry your child? And he’s looking down the entire time; don’t babies look around, especially in new settings? I don’t know, I may be overanalyzing these photos, and possibly seeing a negative because of my preconceived view on Kate, but it just seems weird to me. Like, I could understand holding a baby like that for a bit, especially if you just picked it up or were taking photos and wanted to show the face (which is why William was holding George this way at the Christening, so the photographers outside the chapel could get a clear picture of him), but if I were carrying a baby I would hold it sitting on my hip with it facing me. Ugh, maybe I shouldn’t criticize, mothers get criticized for everything they do, they just can’t win, and I kind of hate to add to that, but these photos just seem off to me.
Next, let’s talk about the news surrounding the photos. First, Kate and George are back in the UK after spending a week in Mustique—now she gets to spend the next week prepping for an art gallery gala. Second, the palace will not be taking any action against the photos, and supposedly (at least that’s what I’ve gathered from reading the articles) the palace even signed off on Hello publishing them. The Mirror has quotes from people saying that they probably chose not to take any action because they can’t complain about everything and there was no harassment or pursuit and they were in a public place so they wouldn’t have any grounds for invasion of privacy anyway, and that this is a one-off and they would totally take action if it really were an invasion of privacy. Whatever. The Telegraph has a very interesting article about the palace’s decision not to take action, and how it is less about invasion of privacy and more about protecting their image. I’m going to post the whole article because it really is great.
Duchess of Cambridge will not take action over paparazzi pictures of Prince George
Duchess’s lack of action over Hello! photographs highlights unpredictable stance towards privacy.
The Duchess of Cambridge’s unpredictable stance on privacy took another twist yesterday as paparazzi pictures of Prince George were published without any complaint from Kensington Palace.
The Duchess’s silence appeared to be at odds with past objections to “private” photographs of her taken in public places, and raised the question of whether she is exercising “image control” rather than protecting her privacy, legal experts said.
Long lens photographs of the Duchess getting off a plane en route to Mustique with the third in line to the throne appeared on the cover of Hello! magazine and across eight inside pages yesterday.
It is the first time paparazzi pictures of Prince George have been published, and the pictures, sold to the magazine by a freelance photographer, are the first images of the future king since his christening in October.
While the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have taken legal action in the past over “off-duty” photographs to which they have objected, Kensington Palace indicated to Hello! that it would not take action on this occasion if it published the photos.
Royal sources said Kensington Palace had not objected to the pictures – in which the Duchess is groomed and smiling – because they were taken “in a public place, without any harassment or pursuit”.
Yet only last week, the Palace had asked newspapers not to print photographs of a grumpy-looking Duke of Cambridge getting off a train at Cambridge station.
Chris Hutchings, a privacy expert with the law firm Hamlins, said the Royal family had a fine line to tread between what is invasive and what is not, but they would risk accusations of image control if they were inconsistent in their guidance to the media.
He said: “Privacy is a very uncertain area of the law. It has ebbed and flowed over the last 10 years, but what previous cases have established is that that there should be a degree of consistency [by complainants].
“If you do permit some things and not others it is a form of image control as opposed to a form of privacy.”
Niri Shan, head of intellectual property and media at Taylor Wessing solicitors, said: “Last month it was reported that the Duke and Duchess have set up companies to protect their image rights, which shows the value they place on their image.
“If a publisher found itself fighting a privacy case brought by a member of the Royal family in the future, the argument you would use would be that it’s not about a right to privacy, it’s about them controlling their image.
“Typically, celebrities don’t complain about photos they like, but they do complain about pictures they don’t like, and cry privacy.
“I’m not sure that argument would succeed in the case of the Royal family, but it makes it difficult for the media to judge what is acceptable and what is not acceptable.”
The photographs of the Duchess of Cambridge, carrying Prince George on her hip, were taken as she and her family got off a British Airways flight in the Caribbean and switched to a smaller aircraft for the short hop to Mustique, where the family have been celebrating Carole Middleton’s 59th birthday. The Duke of Cambridge, who is in the middle of a 10-week course at Cambridge University, did not join them.
Front page photographs of the Prince in a pale blue romper suit and sunhat were accompanied by the headline: “Hasn’t he grown! Prince George’s first holiday as doting Kate jets off on a sunshine family break.”
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are still fighting a privacy battle in the French courts over topless photographs of the Duchess sunbathing at a French villa which were taken from a public road.
In 2010 Kate Middleton, as she then was, secured an apology and a payment for damages from the picture agency Rex Features after it syndicated photographs of her playing tennis in Cornwall which were taken from a public footpath but which she argued were an invasion of her privacy.
A year ago ITV apologised “unreservedly” for showing the front cover of an Italian magazine featuring pictures of the pregnant Duchess, in a bikini, on a public beach in Mustique. The Duchess’s aides had described the pictures as “a clear breach of the couple’s privacy”.
Yesterday a Royal aide said of the Prince George pictures: “We would of course prefer that the pictures hadn’t been published, but in this instance there was no harassment and no pursuit. The pictures were all taken at an airport and the Duchess didn’t know she was being photographed.”
There really is no consistency with the Cambridges regarding which photographs they take action against and which ones they don’t. The France photos—while there is a lot of debate about them that I won’t go into right now—I can understand, because she’s fully nude. The 2013 Mustique photos, not so much. The tennis photos from before she was married, not at all. The Christmas photos, uh no. William looking glum arriving at Cambridge, no. In all of these occasions (minus the France photos because I don’t want to get into that debate right now), Kate and Will were in a public place so they really have no basis for complaint in the first place. Yet they complained anyway. Now with these George photos, they don’t complain at all, and even give the OK for them to be printed? That doesn’t make sense. One would think that they would be even more bitchy about “privacy” surrounding George, you know, as protective parents and everything. The Telegraph raises a good point, about their claims of “invasion of privacy” being more about protecting their image than actual privacy. In all of these photo sets, Kate and Will look varying degrees of bad, I guess, and these photos are a hit to their perfect public image (in their minds)—some more than others. But the George photos make Kate look like a loving mother who carries her own child, so they’re cool? You know what’s interesting, the royal aide said, “[T]here was no harassment and no pursuit. The pictures were all taken at an airport and the Duchess didn’t know she was being photographed.” Well, there was no harassment or pursuit and she didn’t know she was being photographed at the beach in Mustique last year, or at the Church in 2012, or (for Will) at Cambridge last week, or even in France, but they still complained. They need to pick a stance and stick to it, and not complain about every photo that they don’t have complete control of.
You know, this kind of reminds me of Hollywood moms who complain about paps photographing their kids, but then call the paps for a “happy family” photo op when they need to promote something (I’m looking at you Jen Garner). Or any celeb who complains about the paps in interviews when they are the ones who are calling the paps on themselves in the first place (I’m looking at you, most non-A-list celebrities).
I kind of have a suspicion that Kate knew the photographer was going to be there, that’s why she’s smiling and laughing and carrying George—and looking directly at the camera. You know, if she did know the camera was there, then maybe that’s why she’s holding him that way… so the pap can get a good look at him, the way the cameras at the Christening chapel were able to get a good look at him. If that was her plan, it failed since George is looking down the whole time, but still. Hm…
On a different note, Kate has written the foreword to a book about being an RAF wife. And by Kate, I mean Rebecca Deacon.