Prince William and Kate Middleton take legal action to stop paparazzi taking photos of Prince George

Prince William and Kate Middleton take legal action to stop paparazzi taking photos of Prince George

George's 1st Birthday Photo

Prince William and Kate Middleton have taken legal action against two freelance photographers who have been accused of stalking Prince George and Nanny Maria while out walking in parks, according to the Evening Standard.

George has been photographed in the park with Nanny Maria for months now and while those photos have not been published in the UK, they supposedly have been published in other countries, and some have ended up on Tumblr and Facebook.

A spokesman for Will and Kate said:

    “The Duke and Duchess have taken legal steps to ask that an individual ceases harassing and following both Prince George and his nanny as they go about their ordinary daily lives.
    “An incident last week has prompted Their Royal Highnesses to seek reasonable assurances from the individual about his behaviour.
    “The individual was spotted at a central London Park in the vicinity of Prince George, who was removed from the park immediately.
    “There is reason to suspect that the individual may been placing Prince George under surveillance and monitoring his daily routines for a period of time.”

The spokesman added:

    “Although the Duke and Duchess understand the public role that Prince George will one day inherit, while he is young he must be permitted to lead as ordinary a life as possible. No parent would tolerate the suspicion of someone pursuing and harassing their child and carer whilst their child is playing in a public park or going about their daily activities.”

And a “senior source” said:

    “Just like any parent, the Duke and Duchess want Prince George to have the freedom to safely experience normal childhood activities, like going to the park and playing with other children, without the threat of harassment or being placed under surveillance. One of the individuals has already been spoken to by protection officers about his behaviour in respect of members of the Royal Family on previous occasions over a number of years.”

As much as I usually call out William’s ridiculous vendetta against the media, I have to side with him on this one. If what they claim is true, that the photographers were constantly trying to get near George and take photos of him and monitor his routines and such, then that’s stalking. And stalking of a minor child no less. And that is not appropriate.

William and Kate are adults and when they knowingly step into the public sphere, they can’t claim invasion of privacy when someone takes their photo. But if this were any other child and two men were taking photos of him and monitoring his routines, they would be arrested. It is not okay to stalk and harass a child.

Photo: John Stillwell/AFP

27 thoughts on “Prince William and Kate Middleton take legal action to stop paparazzi taking photos of Prince George

  1. I’ll agree on this one. Of the three he’s the only one who actually should get to have a “normal” life for as long as possible. I just hope he doesn’t develop his parents bad habits as he gets older.

  2. yes they dont show the future king to his people, they should call the paps once in a while to take pics of him like their european counterparts, another thing they mentioned “prince george and the nanny”, will and kate are only protecting themselves because the kid is basically with maria 24/7, why cant the parents take the poor kid out somewhere??

    1. You bring up a good point, that they may just be protecting themselves from the public finding out how little time they really spend with the kid.

      1. I saw some pictures in pinterest of nanny and george playing,and they were so happy that i think could be george think the nanny is his mothes cause he spend most of his time with her!!sorry my english is horribile!!!

        1. And please someone could tell me why brith media have so much scare of these two and the royal family that they cant show some photos !!!i use to think that the britsh media is/was/were free!!!like that photos of topless kate they couldnt show in his papers!

  3. KMR, I almost always agree with you, but not on this one.

    What is the exact definition of “near”? We know it can’t be that the photographer is getting within 10 feet because the security detail would never allow it. Is it 20 feet? 30 feet? As long as the photographer is really a photographer and poses no physical threat to the child, he has every right in the world to be in the same park as the baby and he has every right in the world to photograph the baby.

    If they want the baby to play in a park without being photographed, then they should let him play on the thousands of acres of manicured private lawns he has access to as a royal.

    What are they going to do when he goes to school? Sue everyone who tries to take his picture?

    This is truly insane. They can’t have it both ways. If the kid goes out in public, the public has a right to take his picture.

    I am so sick of William and Kate I might have to just quit reading anything about them.

    1. Those are great questions. How near were they? If they are truly harassing then yes, something should be done. Is it legal to take a photograph of anyone in a public park in the UK? Yes. Royals don’t get to have more privacy in public spaces than the rest of us. As you wrote, they have plenty of other places they can go, they do not need to walk in a public park and cause trouble for everyone else.

      http://www.photographersrights.org.uk/page6/page6.html
      “Can I take pictures of children in the park?
      Yes, and provided the park is considered a public place, you do not require the permission of the parents. Whether this is wise or not is up to you to decide (see this story for example)”

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/personal-view/3559975/There-is-no-law-against-photographing-children.html
      “Afterwards, I rang the Home Office. They assured me that there is no law against taking photographs of other people’s children, provided you do not harass or harm them.”

      http://www.photographymonthly.com/Magazine/Magazine-Subscription-Offers/Street-Photography-Peter-Jenkins

    2. My reply seem to be caught because I included links. The upshot was, it isn’t illegal to photograph children in a public place in the UK. As long as the photographers are not harassing, the photos are legal. The royals do not get to have more privacy in public places than the rest of us.

    3. Let me try and clarify… If it were just random people seeing George randomly in the park and taking a photo of him, then I wouldn’t have a problem with it, because he is a public figure even though he is a minor and he’s in a public place. And if Will and Kate complained about that, then I would say they need to chill and stop throwing tantrums at every single thing. But these photographers were monitoring George’s routines and staking out places they knew he would be in order to get his picture. So I can understand Will and Kate not wanting photographers to basically stalk him. If George were with Will or Kate or both, then I think taking his picture is fine, since he’s with his taxpayer-funded parents – there shouldn’t be a total media blackout on the kid – but when he’s alone I think following him around like that is a bit too much and I understand Will and Kate not wanting random photographers to know where he is all the time.

      I would say the same thing about the Wessex children, if some random person took a photo of them out and about, then whatever because the kids were in public, but if a photographer staked out their school or something, even though it is public property, that would be too much.

      I don’t think the same rule should apply to Will and Kate, or the other adult royals. The adult royals know that they are public figures living off the taxpayer and that when they step into the public sphere – ie. outside of their homes – then they can and will have their photographs taken, and they have no right to scream “invasion of privacy”. They are adults and have chosen to continue to live off the taxpayer. If they truly wanted privacy they could renounce their titles and perks and live normal lives, but they’ve made the choice not to and therefore have to suffer the consequences – ie. having their photo taken and their movements discussed (seeing as they use public money for those movements, you know).

      I’m also trying to think of this as if William hadn’t previously been a media-threatening tantrum-y baby because when I first read this I rolled my eyes at his vendetta toward the media. But If William hadn’t previously threatened the press, I think people would view this action differently. But because he’s already been a tantrum-y baby about wanting to eat his cake and have it too, I think people are fed up with his BS (and rightly so) so have a negative outlook on this action.

      The main question I have is why make this public at all? KP released a statement about it. If they were having a problem with two individual photographers, then take the legal action against them, but there is no need for a public statement about it. Will and Kate wanting to protect George from two specific paps who were stalking him, fine, but the public use of it as a threat to other paps not to follow George, that I have a problem with.

      Does that clarify my stance on things?

      1. It does to me but aside from bodyguards, Willy and Waity are funded by the Prince of Wales from the Duchy of Cornwall and (presumably) his inheritance from Diana. They aren’t supported by taxpayer money (I don’t include Kensington Palace b/c though it’s a state-owned building, it’s a residence for members of the Royal Family, just like in the US, the White House is technically owned by the American public, but the First Family are the only ones who live there) aside from security and transportation.

      2. Yes, KMR, it does clarify your opinion, which I respect…but, in this case, I continue to disagree.

        If these photographers are “monitoring his routine” and staking out places they know he will be”, it’s only to get a picture. They are professionals, doing a job. Since Will and Kate refuse to share the most famous baby in the world with a world that wants to see him, the photographers have no other options.

        The fact that this was NOT some “random” person, is what makes it okay. I think a random person monitoring him and his routines would be creepy and, possibly, dangerous. And that would be stalking.

        I do agree with you about asking why KP is releasing this as a news item. I think someone is sharing the news with the Queen that a lot of people are turning from pro-Will and Kate to being highly critical. I think KP wants to create sympathy for Kate any way they can, even if it’s an attempt to make people think, “Oh, that poor woman…worried about little George,”

        1. Random people monitoring his routines is not what I meant by random people taking pictures. I meant random people who happen to be in the park at the same time and go, “oh hey look Prince George”, not strangers stalking him and following him around taking pictures. Like how random people see Kate out shopping and take a photo and post it to Twitter or something. They weren’t following her around, they just happened to be in the same shop at the same time, randomly. That’s what I meant by random people – like if a random person who happened to be in the park at the same time saw George and took a photo.

  4. Prince George should be protected. I can understand the public fascination with them but this man has been known to the Royal Protection Squad for his previous fixations with the Royal Family. Simply because Prince George is in a public place, does not necessarily mean that it is legal for someone to take photos of him when he’s under the protection of the Met. If the President of the United States goes out in public, the public can take pictures of him. The Secret Service can also confiscate those photos if they feel there is a potential danger, such as revealing their security operations to protect the President. It is all completely legal. Now of course the other option is for the nanny to take him to the park at Kensington Gardens; that is a royal park and as such, public access depends on the grace-and-favour of the Crown. In other words, if the Queen wants to close the royal parks, it’s entirely in her right. It would also be more easily secured by the Royal Protection Squad.

    1. I don’t understand. From what should he be protected?

      How can anyone logically argue that he should be protected from having his picture taken? He is a public figure. His age is irrelevant.

      Obviously his safety should be protected. But, as a public figure, he has no expectation of privacy when he is in public.

      Having his photo snapped cannot harm him. In fact, his parents’ hysterical reactions to a normal event (photographer taking pictures of famous person) is probably doing him a lot more psychological harm than being the subject of photos.

      1. No my point is that the public is within their rights to take photos of him in a public place. But if the photographs could compromise his security arrangements, the police have the right to confiscate them. I think the far easier thing to do is take him for walks in Kensington Gardens, which as a royal park can be closed to the public. The park she was taking him to, is a public park where obviously he (and his insane parents) should have zero expectation of privacy.

        1. …but taking him for walks in Kensington Gardens is not what they want to do; they want to take him into public places and not be bothered by people taking photographs; particularly press people who are known to be somewhat dogged in their pursuit of an exclusive picture….I really do have difficulty with this, as I believe that as a minor he should be protected from unwelcome attentions from any source – if that is what they may be called, just as any other person may describe such actions. So I suppose what I am saying, is that if you don’t want people to try and photograph him, stop being silly and keep to where the public cannot see him! – problem solved…why is this such a problem for them…roll on the republic

          1. I think your word choice is very interesting. You think George, as a minor, should be protected from “unwelcome attentions”. How is the public, including professional photographers, supposed to know when photographers’ attentions are welcome and when they are not? Is it okay to photograph George if he’s with his mum? Or must it be only in a formal, planned photo-op?

            This is just more of Kate and Will being the most self-absorbed, controlling, and unrealistic people on the planet.

  5. I’m not a security officer, so the answer to your question is I don’t know. My suggestion is for them to take him to the Kensington Palace Gardens where there is no right for public access. If there is a photo taken in public that would compromise the location and strength of his security unit, I believe they could confiscate the photos. I’m not a lawyer, so I’m not sure on British law. It seems when the girls in Las Vegas were taking pictures of Prince Harry on their phones, that one of his policemen requested they not do so and a former police officer explained in the media that they should have confiscated the cell phones so he could not be seen in a compromising position. But I definitely think that if he’s out on a public street conducting his walk about, that there is and should be no expectation of privacy, no different than anyone else and his parents really ought to b****r off.

  6. Maybe Kate hsn’t HG ?? Maybe she has very risk pregnancy (bed rest) and she is on cotinuation of pregnancy and HG is only a excuse ?? In 1st pregnancy Kate normally done her duties, she didn’t hide at home.

    Another idea. Do you remember a scarf at her head ?? http://www.telemagazyn.pl/aktualnosci/plotki/2,4092,tajemnicza-blizna-na-glowie-kate-middleton,s,id,t.html#galeria-miniatury – sorry for article in Polish, important is only a photo. This scarf looks like a scartf after lobotomy. so maybe she isn’t in 2nd pregnancy but very seriously ill, maybe this sickness whereby led to lobotomy attacked again and 2nd pregnancy and HG is olny a smokescreen ??
    What do you thing about that idea ???

  7. There is no way to protect George in a public park – from photographers or more dangerous threats. Just enrol the kid in nursery for social interaction and then let him play in his own gardens. In your early 30s all your friends are having kids, organise some play dates.

    I agree a child shouldn’t be stalked, but this is the future monarch and his parents shouldn’t have given someone the opportunity. You can give him a normal childhood, but within reason. It must be quite difficult to make the park secure for George and the nanny.

    1. “It must be quite difficult to make the park secure for George and the nanny.” It would be impossible. Think how many more police officers would be required to secure every entrance. Body scanners and metal detectors would have to be used, on all ages (babies included). Strollers searched, sporting equipment confiscated as possible weapons, etc. It would mean taking rights away from every other person who uses a PUBLIC park.

      They cannot secure him in a public park. Period.

      The least of their security concerns is a professional photographer earning a living taking pictures of him from a legally-allowed distance.

  8. OMG….here we go again….billy boy throwing a temper tantrum….he is soooooooooooo full of himself…..easy fix. Keep George Away From Public Property You Have Palaces with lots and lots of grass and stuff (I know, I know….have to breathe the **gasp** same air as lower life forms but it’s everywhere…including the public park)…..this man/child is playing with fire…when his grandma and maybe Charles and Camilla are gone….the respect of any sort will go with her or them….billy, my boy….you are stupid/selfish/delusional/arrogant/did I say stupid. Well..you…are. Gonna sue ME?

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