Kate Middleton won a breach of privacy complaint over photos of Prince George

Kate Middleton won a breach of privacy complaint over photos of Prince George

Well here’s something interesting. Do you remember back in late-May when photos of Prince George playing on a police motorcycle came out? Well, Kate Middleton filed a complaint with the Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso) about the photos, claiming they are a breach of privacy, and the Ipso agreed with her.

Kate filed two complaints, one against Express.co.uk and one against OK!. Interestingly, the Daily Mail also published the photos (that article is gone now), but Kate did not file a complaint against them.

The Ipso rulings are public, so I’m going to quote the actual ruling. The two rulings are pretty much the same with only minor wording adjustments. You can read the OK! ruling here, I’m quoting the Express.co.uk ruling.

Summary of the complaint:

    “HRH The Duchess of Cambridge and HRH Prince George of Cambridge complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation that Express.co.uk breached Clause 2 (Privacy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice in an online article headlined ‘Mummy, I’m a big boy now! Kate beams as cute George enjoys thrilling ride on police bike’, published on 25 May 2016.
    “The article reported that two-year-old Prince George had been photographed sitting on a Metropolitan Police motorbike while his mother, the Duchess of Cambridge, looked on smiling. The article included an image of the scene, which had been captured in the grounds of Kensington Palace. The piece noted that similar pictures had been taken of Prince William and Prince Harry sitting on a police motorbike nearly 30 years ago.
    “The complainants’ representatives said that the photograph had been taken in circumstances in which the Duchess of Cambridge and her two-year-old son had a reasonable expectation of privacy. They were engaged in a private activity; the images had been taken while they were on private, protected land where commercial photography is prohibited; and no permission for the images to be taken or published had been sought or obtained.
    “The complainants’ representatives said that it was clear from the images that their clients had been unaware that they were being photographed, and that the photographs had been taken surreptitiously with a long-lens camera. They said that police officers had been in attendance nearby as a member of the Royal Family had been due to arrive by helicopter. The police officers had spoken to the photographer who was on a public pathway, and who had an ‘SLR-style camera with a large telephoto lens’. The photographer had claimed to be retired, and did not say that he intended to use, sell or provide photographs for publication. He was told not to take any photographs of the complainant or her son, who were waiting for the helicopter to land.
    “The complainants’ representatives said that railings protected the land upon which the Duchess of Cambridge and her son had been standing when the images were taken. They noted that there are only a limited number of vantage points from which individuals within the grounds of the complainants’ home might be seen, and even then it is difficult with the naked eye because of the distance.
    “The complainants’ representatives considered that individuals – and young children in particular – have a reasonable expectation of privacy regarding the details of private family activities, including in semi-public or public locations. They expressed particular concern that photographs of a young boy playing inside the grounds of his private home had been taken for commercial gain. The fact that he might have been visible to some individuals outside his home did not remove his reasonable expectation of privacy in such a situation. They said that no public interest was served by publishing the images.
    “At the beginning of IPSO’s investigation, the newspaper said that the photographs had been taken by an agency photographer who had seen the interaction between the complainants and the police officers by chance as he returned from photographing the Trooping of the Colour. The photographer was not trespassing when the images were taken, and he had not used a long-lens camera. The newspaper acknowledged that the complainants had been standing on private land, but considered that they were clearly visible to the public. It did not consider that they could have had a reasonable expectation of privacy when they were ‘a matter of inches from the railings’ and clearly visible to all who passed by.
    “At the end of IPSO’s investigation, the newspaper said that it had previously obtained the photographer’s version of events from the agency that had employed him; however, having made contact with the photographer directly, it had been given a different explanation. The photographer had said that he had been walking through the park on his way to the gym when he had happened to encounter armed police who were waiting for the arrival of members of the Royal Family by helicopter. He said that a large crowd had formed when he noticed Prince George, his mother and police officers. He said that he was 200 yards away when he photographed them with an 80mm-400mm camera.
    “The newspaper denied that the images had shown the complainants in a private interaction. The police officers were photographed while on duty, and the newspaper considered that it was important for the public to see how young members of the Royal Family interacted with public servants, particularly when the officers had been ‘commandeered for a three-year-old’s entertainment’. It said that as an heir to the throne, Prince George was not in the position of an ‘ordinary child’; he was a subject of great public interest. It said that as public servants, the public has a right to know what members of the Royal Family are doing. It did not consider that the press should be prevented from publishing otherwise harmless photographs of them, taken within view of the public, which show something out of the ordinary.”

Findings of the Committee:

    “The Committee acknowledged that – as members of the Royal Family – the complainants are public figures; however, they were photographed standing within the grounds of their private home, in a position that was not easily visible to the photographer; they were not carrying out any official duties, and they were unaware that they were being photographed. The photographer had himself acknowledged that he had used a long-lens camera to photograph the complainants who were standing 200 yards away from him. The Committee also noted that Prince George is a young child who had been engaged in a private interaction with his mother and police officers at the time the photographs were taken.
    “The Committee noted that it was not being asked to decide whether an adult alone in these circumstances would have had a reasonable expectation of privacy. It was satisfied, however, that together the complainants had a reasonable expectation of privacy at the time they were photographed. The newspaper had not obtained their consent, and, as such, it was required to demonstrate that the photography was justified in the public interest.
    “The Committee noted the newspaper’s position that there was a public interest in reporting how Prince George had engaged with public servants. However, the Committee did not accept that any public interest had been served by the publication of these images, which simply showed Prince George playing on a police motorbike.
    “The Committee did not therefore accept that the newspaper had demonstrated a sufficient public interest to justify publication of the photographs. Any general public interest in the activities of the Royal Family was inadequate, particularly in the case of Prince George, given that the Code requires an exceptional public interest to over-ride the normally paramount interests of children under 16. The complaint under Clause 2 was upheld.”

[IPSO]

When I initially read about this in a BT article, I made comments on Twitter about the distinction between what is and isn’t classified as ‘public interest’, asking “Why are royal duties ‘public interest’ but the royals distracting police officers from their jobs not ‘public interest’?” But having read the actual complaint and ruling, I have more thoughts.

I still think it’s odd that certain parts of the royals’ lives are ‘public interest’ while others aren’t considering all parts of their lives are paid for by the public, but I also think it’s odd that the press claimed during the investigation that the photos were taken by a photographer returning from photographing Trooping of the Colour when the photos were taken and published three weeks prior to Trooping of the Colour. Clearly I do not know all of the details of the investigation, but it seems odd to me that they would claim that when it’s so obviously not the case, right? I wonder if that inconsistency played any part in the ruling.

I also think it’s interesting that Kate made a complaint about these photos when other photos of George watching helicopters from the grounds of Kensington Palace did not garner complaints. And why did Kate not complain about the Daily Mail when they published the complained-about photos, too?

I’m also wondering what constitutes a ‘reasonable expectation of privacy’. If I were to stand in my backyard a few feet back from the side gate, which is in full view of the road in front of my house (I don’t have a privacy fence), I don’t have a reasonable expectation of privacy at that point even though I’m on private property, right? If I were to open my bedroom window and stand in front of it, which is also in full view of the road in front of my house, would I have a reasonable expectation of privacy then since I’m inside my house or would I not since I know that my bedroom window is in full view of the public road and I have my window open? Even if I’m on private property, if people can see me from a public road with ease, then I don’t have a reasonable expectation of privacy, right? These are genuine questions.

I’m wondering what part of the Kensington Palace grounds Kate and George were on when these photos were taken. The photographer claims he was walking back from the gym, and claims Kate and George were outside to watch the helicopter land. Kate and George were visible so they must not have been in their private garden, right? Parts of Kensington Palace are open to the public, so parts of the grounds around Kensington Palace must be open to the public, too. Which parts? Were Kate and George on one of those parts that is open to the public? The ruling did not say where they were standing nor mentioned which parts of the property are open to the public and which parts are private property. Even if they were on private property, if they were visible from a public road how much reasonable expectation of privacy do they have? I don’t want to victim-blame here, but I would think that if you’re in an area where you know you are visible from a public road, even if you’re on private property, you can’t really think you have a reasonable expectation of privacy – there isn’t some magic force field that surrounds private property which people cannot see through (unless there is a literal wall around the private property which people cannot see through, but then we wouldn’t be having this conversation). Like I said, if I’m in my backyard and can clearly see the public road in front of my house, then I can’t expect privacy even though I’m on private property, right? Maybe Kate didn’t know she and George were visible from a public road where she was standing and that’s why the ruling went in her favor? Or the public versus private parts of Kensington Palace were not clearly defined? I don’t know enough about the situation to say.

I kind of understand why William and Kate may prefer living at Anmer Hall over Kensington Palace, because they are surrounded by public areas and unless they stay in their (actually very large) private garden they can be seen by anyone, so they almost never have a reasonable expectation of privacy when outside their home. I can understand why that would suck for them. But at the same time, the ‘normal’ people they claim to want to be so badly don’t have a reasonable expectation of privacy outside their homes either, you know.

I wonder how this ruling will affect royal-press relations moving forward. The press certainly won’t he happy about this when photos of the Cambridge children on Kensington Palace grounds keep popping up in non-British publications and William and Kate don’t bat an eye.

I’m also wondering why disembarking/boarding a plane or attending a children’s party with military families is considered ‘public interest’ but distracting police officers from their jobs just to satisfy a royal’s whim is not. How hilarious would it be if the press decided not to photograph George or Charlotte while in Canada, completely negating the entire reason why William and Kate decided to bring them? I mean, it would suck because we wouldn’t get any photos of the kids, but it would also be pretty hilarious. Is that too mean to say?


84 thoughts on “Kate Middleton won a breach of privacy complaint over photos of Prince George

  1. As far as I know, having wandered around KP last year, most of the grounds are public. I could walk right by the wall erected around 1A’s garden. It was only the twice I went there so people who have been there more often could say more, yet I find it disingenuous of them to complain when they were clearly in a public area. There are places where you can’t go, obviously, but I don’t think this was it; they were on the other side of the gates, one side being public, one being the more private areas of KP. If you can see them, sorry, get over it, that’s how it is, royals. You live in a palace that is also a museum on public grounds. Suck it up, buttercup. You are not private when you want to be. Anyone could take a picture of me standing there where the helicopters land, as evidenced by fan photos on Twitter when the helicopter is coming and going.

    You cannot turn being a public figure on and off. You are on public grounds, in a palace owned by the people, and people will take pictures of you because they fund your lavish lifestyle.

    It would be hilarious if people stopped photographing the kids in protest. They want it how they want it–show what /they/ want, when /they/ want, and only in controlled atmospheres.

    Quite frankly I thought the photos were sweet. It was nice to see Kate acting somewhat normal and maternal as I don’t see that in other paparazzi photos of her nor photos of her in public with the kids (see: Charlotte obviously discomfited at Trooping and Kate more bothered by the fact he photos won’t look good, don’t touch your ears, darling).

    1. I can understand not wanting one’s kids photographed without one’s consent – I would be pretty annoyed if someone took a photo of my kids (not that I have any), or me for that matter, without my consent – but at the same time if one is out on public then one cannot have a reasonable expectation of privacy, I wouldn’t think. I think it would be very creepy as a private citizen if strangers were to take my photograph without my consent, but royals are publicly funded figures so things change when the privacy status of the individuals changes. So I can totally understand why they may have a problem with being photographed without their consent, but at the same time they are not private individuals who fund themselves. So it gets really murky. Also, if I’m out in public, as creepy as it would be for some stranger to take my photograph, I cannot say I had any sort of reasonable expectation of privacy.

      1. Yes, it’s creepy for us normal folks, but for them I just think there’s no reasonable expectation of privacy unless they’re in their own home, in their walled garden they put up so nobody dare get near them (it was not there when Margaret lived there; people could waltz on past it!). They live in isolation because of William’s paranoia from the press, but I doubt Kate really is bothered by it considering how much she loves the media, the press, and the attention. I think this was probably prompted by William.

        Why do they complain about that but don’t complain about other situations where they would have a ‘reasonable expectation of privacy,’ as per the complaint? Why do they pick and choose? Why do they hide their children away? Do what Madeleine does. Offer the people some insight into their family who they are funding (and nobody pays for Madeleine or her family, Chris does!).

        It’s funny how they think something like this is oh so damaging and the mean old press stalking us whining when it’s a sweet picture of George having a good time. And the police playing with the kid, not doing their jobs, is a bit ridiculous, but I’m sure they’re bored standing around guarding KP and the royals’ houses all the time.

        My issue with it is basically – they are public people on public property and everything they have is paid for by the people. So they should knock it off. It’s not like they took pictures of them through the window inside their house. /That/ is gross.

        As Cathy said I love how Madeleine does it. People take pictures of me in public? It’s annoying, but here are lots of cute photos of my family on our holiday as I know people like to see us and like my family which I appreciate. (I got a like from Madeleine once commenting to thank her for sharing her lovely family with us and how appreciative people are of their openness on FB. Squee.)

        1. I totally get them putting up a privacy fence and would do the same thing if I were them. I’d want a private area where I could enjoy myself without random people walking past. I’d actually really like a privacy fence for my own yard.

          Maddie liked your comment? That’s so cool!

          1. I know I posted about it here at some point when we were discussing I think the pictures of baby Nicolas! I was excited. Like a dork. It was her Facebook page and the account liked it, shortly after it was posted, so I assume it was her. I know she reads the stuff on there 🙂

            It’s not a fence but a giant wall. It’s sort of weird, honestly, but I get it! It just makes me think of their privacy hang ups and obsessions and how unhealthy it is. They seem to be the only royals like this? Sorry, Willy boy, you’re not normal and entitled to privacy like a normal person especially when your wife and her family have the paps on speed dial and have done since way before your engagement…

          2. The garden next to theirs (the Gloucester’s, I think) is also walled off.

            I think the Cambs are entitled to some privacy… the same amount as others, ie when actually in private. When they are in public, how much privacy can they reasonably expect?

      2. Can’t Kate find something else to gripe about? Maybe, when the kids are out in public. KP should instruct the grounds people that they are to ensure that there will be no photographing of the children”, and that will make the Cambridges’ happy. Should let s the children is dis-allowed

        1. How can that be enforced when the Palace and it’s grounds are museums that are open to the public all year round?

          Do you stop and search every single person entering the park and or museum?

          1. I was being sarcastic to emphasize K&W’s stupidity and ridiculous expectations of privacy at KP. However, I wouldn’t put it past them to make such a request, considering their past nonsensical and adolescent behavior and/or requests.

            (My comment was messed up because the scan was on and I didn’t realize it = unfinished last sentence.).

        2. These public servants on taxpayer funded luxury lifestyle wwantto pick and choose which media outlet that is to their PR liking should pubish photos of taxfunded secret lives If secrecy and privacy is so important why was George and carol on the beach not banned and the real royal photo with grandpa royal release; why all the private photos at Berkshire farms not banned… Willnot and cannot only want to use the media for the PR to pretend they are hand on. This is nothing but fake presence…..after all this was another Di, whiny and Prince Harry remake.

      3. They chose the largest, most public apartment at KP. They were offered three smaller spaces that were more private, but they demanded the largest, front-and-center space and a charity was thrown out to give them what they wanted. Now they complain because they live in a building that is a public museum, on grounds that are publicly accessible and are a public park? And they were standing outside the gates and in the public area when things were taken? She just happened to be all dressed up, in a new dress and heels to play with the police? Expecting to be photographed.

        They have a private garden where they are private and away from prying eyes. If she wants to take their son into the public areas, where police are supposed to be doing their job? And spend time distracting the police from doing their jobs? Yes, this is in the public interest to know this. Just as it was investigative journalism to have proof they lied to the paraolympians and skipped off to France on vacation.

        I hope the press fights back on this.

  2. The photos in question were sweet photos of George. Is it wrong to want to see photos of a kid that may one day be King just playing? I think they were cute.

    But I’m not liking the idea that anyone can take photos of who ever they want if they are not standing on private property.

    I do think there needs to be some balance as to what is happening. IMO photographers are going to great lengths to take photos of George and Charlotte because that is the only way we will see them. When we do get “official” photos they are some manipulated that all we see is someone’s (Kate?) idea of what they would like the kids to be viewed as – like something from the 1950s? I want to see George and Charlotte being kids, that’s what they are! And if that includes a tantrum? Well that’s what kids do sometimes!

    Think of how Madde is introducing us to her kids? Leonor with the cow, Leonor with ice cream everywhere, that special photo of Nicholas saying hello to the horse? That’s the way to do it. And when photographers chase Madde for photos of her kids on holiday? What does she do? She releases even better ones herself. Now that is the way to do it. Not run to Independent Press Standards Organisation!

    I did wonder if Kate didn’t like the photos because she wasn’t pictured at her best, she wasn’t the one in the centre of the photo, she was not shown as the Mum hovering over George, in fact wasn’t she shown looking at her phone?

    1. I just said to Ellie that as a private citizen I’d be pretty creeped out if a stranger took my photograph without my consent. But since the royals are publicly funded things get murky.

      Kate was not looking at her phone as far as we saw. She was looking down in one of the photos but Charlotte was in a pram right in front of Kate so that may be what she was looking at.

    2. ” I did wonder if Kate didn’t like the photos because she wasn’t pictured at her best…”

      Cathy, that wouldn’t surprise me at all. Kate’s a vain woman with too much time on her hands if she can indulge in this sort of nonsense.

      1. “too much time on her hands if she can indulge in this sort of nonsense”

        How long does it take to file a complaint? An hour, two? To write up the complaint and file online? It wouldn’t take that much time, and someone in Kate’s office probably filed for her. So I’m not sure why filing this complaint means she has too much time on her hands.

        1. I am sure it was her office that did the filing of the complaint ‘cos it was work. Kate has too much time on her hands, as does William, if they are fretting over this sort of thing. It’s a nonsense and it wastes the court’s time. As I said elsewhere, Kate/Middleton’s have employed the press or tipped off the press whenever it suited them so it’s a bit rich to cry privacy. I could understand and agree with their concern if they were behind their big wall and people trespassed to take photos. But that’s not the case here. Kate would be better off using her time to get to grips with her job and not rocking up unprepared.

      2. I thought Kate looked cute (albeit blurry) in the pictures. I wonder why she would choose these photos to make an issue of. Of all the pp shots over the past few years, I thought she looked the best and She and George looked like a normal mother and son for once.

        Why didnt she complain about the photos sith PG and the pram when she was wearing the long 90’s denim skirt? She really looked rough in those photos. Was that an equally or even more public area?

        1. Those photos of her in the long skirt were fan photos posted to social media. The motorcycle photos were published in actual papers. Kate cannot sue over fan photos (or I guess she could but that would be very stupid of her), but she can sue or file a complaint with Ipso over what is published in actual papers.

        2. Oh ok, thank you KMR. I didnt realize a fan took those shots. The motorcycle ones really weren’t really much better quality to have come from a rela photographer.

      3. It’s strange that they’ve only just returned a few days back and they are complaining already. I understand that they are “royals”, but why are they going out of their way to be so very rude?

        1. This complaint was filed back in May when the photos were released. The ruling from Ipso just came out.

  3. The Cambridge’s have played so many games with the media; they enjoy screwing with them but their behaviour blurs the line time and time again. Their hands are not clean because they leak to the media via family when it suits them. For example, pictures at Mustique when all phones of visitors were confiscated; the most likely source was a Middleton.

    Their approach is inconsistent. Why this picture? Who cares? It’s just a kid on a bike. While police were were waiting, they had time to humour a little boy for a few minutes. Just a little kindness.

    And if Kate and George did not file a complaint against the Daily Mail for publishing the same photo, could it be because the Middleton’s employ(ed) an editor from that paper to assist with their media profile? Why did the DM take down the article? Were they forewarned? if so, by whom?

    There have been several examples of pictures taken from public vantage points – didn’t Tanna have a judgement against him for a similar infraction? This was the same photographer that Carole Middleton had on speed dial, yes? And isn’t the media ‘leaked’ information and tipped off as to where to find George, for example, usually with grandma Middleton. There have been several pictures taken and published of Kate getting in and out of helicopters by passers by and to date they have not met the same fate as described in this judgement.

    It’s hard to find the line. I would like the press to band together to not take or publish photos of G+C in Canada in protest. It won’t happen but it would be a nice serve to the Cambridge’s. I see this complaint as wasting the court’s time and public money by entertaining it.

    1. Personally, I wish the press would band together and just ignore the Canada trip. Don’t show up, don’t send photographers, just pretend it didn’t happen. I know their personal photographer (what’s her name’s boyfriend) will be there but the papers don’t have to buy his photos. That would be a shock to their system.

    1. I know. If they don’t want any photos of their kids or themselves to be taken without their consent, they should file complaints against every publication that prints their photos. I don’t understand which photos are acceptable and which ones are not.

      1. The pics of their trip to France a few years ago have completely disappeared. I’m sure she replaced those items she was pictured in. Her father purchased the pics. How wonderful to have rich family. I also read that Mike Midd asked the press to show her some kindness. Daddy’s little girl is rudeness personified.

        I actually feel sorrow for her, especially the pics with her parading around. But, they know this would happen and considering Kate was not in a risque type setting, I don’t see what caused her to fuss.

        Their behavior is borderline adolescent. They are stuck in that stage and will remain like that unless someone makes an effort to pull them out.

      2. I think they don’t issue complaints against every publication because they can’t shut down the press completely. But doing this selectively is a win-win for them: they get to whine about privacy and show the public how mean and invasive the press is while still allowing us some kind of access to the kids. Not to mention they garner some public sympathy since people usually side with them when privacy is concerned.

        It would be really amazing if the press ignored G&C in the Canada tour.

      3. Nor should they be releasing photos of their children, even taken by them.

        If it’s a privacy issue, neither George nor Charlotte are old enough to consent to their parents invading their privacy, either. It’s not a privacy issue. It’s a control issue. if they truly wanted complete privacy for George and Charlotte, they’d hide their faces in public and stay on their private grounds. They don’t. They simply want to control, and censor.

        https://www.theguardian.com/media/greenslade/2016/sep/16/are-william-and-kate-right-to-pursue-zero-tolerance-policy-on-privacy

    1. Right on!! To me, this is silly and frivolous, a little guy on a motorbike and entertained by the police. Fun for him, and fun for the police officer probably since they see so much horror. Not to mention teaching George that the police are his friends. Kate was dressed to the nines if memory serves, so I agree that it was a power play which perhaps Billy initiated and used Kate to hide behind, I don’t know. I am absolutely convinced that no matter what these nimrods do the press will always be at their beck and call. For future heads of state they sure don’t know how to pick their battles in my opinion. I am also of the opinion that there wasn’t any way that Kate would lose. That would not make for ‘good’ press and would really cause a firestorm. I guess I’m a bit arrogant in that reasoning, it’s like fine print and interpretations and all so can’t really say for sure, but I don’t believe that Kate wasn’t wanting to have her picture taken, but then perhaps Billy wasn’t thrilled so she played the ‘those darn photographers just won’t leave me and George alone’ game to avoid Billy’s wrath and focus it elsewhere. I have my suspicions about **other** photos but will keep them to myself.

  4. This ruling is absurd but I feel the system sided with the Cambridges because of their position and how it would open a Pandora’s box on privacy issues if they lost. The law was not impartial in this case and I feel this is yet another example of the privileged few making the system work for them. It actually makes my blood boil thinking about it.

  5. IMO if you are standing behind a fence that you can look out of, you need to expect that people can look in/take a photo if you are someone people take photos of (re expectation of privacy) – if a photo were taken over the top of a wall, THEN I would agree that expectation is of privacy had been breached, but that was not the case, so I think Kate did not have a point and the ruling should not have been in her favour.

    Kate and William’s way of doing things have had the effect of my ceasing to support a monarchy – bravo, you two.

    1. I’ve been impartial to the idea of a monarchy for most of my life but they way these two abuse their privilege has swayed me to become a republican!

  6. Why can’t the press just leave them alone when they are not on duty PERIOD
    They have every right to protect their children and the law says so, those children are very young just leave them be children.

    1. The law of photography in public spaces says there is no expectation of privacy for anyone whether you are joe public or the Queen of the UK.

      Kate was standing in a public place, on the public side of the gates ie not inside the perimeter that constitutes the private side of the Palace.

      If joe public can be photographed in the same position, so can Kate and the kids. We should all be equal in the law which WK try to bend frequently so that they are above the law. And before you post a rebuttal, this is one area of the law that doesn’t provide special status for any citizens of the UK no matter their status.

      Finally, Kate AND the Middletons have paps on speed dial that they’ve alerted to photograph them in the past. With or without their kids and those photos passed onto special magazines like Hello eg Kate with 6mth old PGtips on their way to Mustique – an exclusive to Hello or Kate with 7mth/1yr ( this happened twice) PGtips at a pet farm – exclusive to an Australian magazine.

      1. I also struggle with this. There are several spaces in KP that they could have played police with Georgie i.e. the courtyard in front of their home.

        The lines are so blurred in the fact that they constantly change the boundaries for the kids. I’ve maintained that their selective paranoia has put a bounty on the kids. You hold the kids back, the public wants pics. Plus, the family is funded by the public, which is a whole other issue. They simply can’t pick and choose.

        Thanks for this discussion, KMR.

    2. Then WK should only take enough public money from public coffers which would allow them to do their public duty. They shouldn’t take public money to fund their private lives, which is what they do. If their entire lives are being funded mostly by the public, then they cannot cry and whine about privacy! They can be private citizens then and get out of the line of succession, if they want their privacy so badly.

  7. As someone noted above the Daily Mail should actually be called The Daily Middleton. I think this complaint was ridiculous. Kate and William need to grow up and realize the position they are in and they know there is a public interest in them. Considering the very large amount of money they spend that is basically provided in form by citizens of the Commonwealth I believe the people have a right to see a photo. If you are visible then be aware you will probably be photographed.

    Also no picking and choosing. Complain about all “private” photos or complain about none.

  8. The DM wasn’t sued because it has a very close relationship with the Middleton family. It’s sunday editor is and has been their media advisor for many years.

    Short of keeping to their private walled garden and their private apartments, they can’t expect any privacy in and around KP. Most of the building is a public museum, the palace sits in a public park which makes means the minute they set foot outside the perimeter of they apartments and garden, they are on public property.

    If they were this desperate for privacy, they should have taken apartments in BP which has 40acres walled garden that is only open to the public at the Queen’s annual garden parties.

      1. I’m cheesed because I bet you it’s not private money that pays for these legal ‘handbags’. I’ll put money on it this goes under ‘other’ expenditure that’s allocated to their office expenses. Which to complete the circle means we, the taxpayer, are paying for this vanity project. Given the historical similarities of the photos to W & H this is heavy handed posturring and point scoring. No monarchy ever runs smoothly without the goodwill of the press…..they ought to remember that.

  9. Well I hope Canadians like myself win the right to kick the BRF off as our Head of State. Don’t want these people who expect to be deferred to and just take and take from the public, but give little back.

  10. Can I just mention something I’ve noticed……Have you ever seen Kate clapping? She looks like a seal waiting for fish at feeding time. She really has most unfeminine gait and body language. I don’t know about having elocution lessons, she should have had deportment classes.

    1. yes , her way of clapping drew my attention today , very strange , and I’m with you all the way about her body language , something I remembered when princess Mary of Danmark gathered the children around her instead of the line they formed before a picture , something I think would be very difficult for Kate to do

      1. Queen Letizia visited a primary school the other day and she was so affectionate with the children. WK have their guard up at these events and their body language gives off that signal too.

        1. I saw the footage of that….it was glorious. Michelle Obama also understands the way to make herself accessible but keep her dignity.

          Alia…..you remember Diana with a groups of children don’t you? No one has ever done it better. Down on her knees at their eye level, guiding babies hands to necklaces to play with, letting the blind touch her all over her face to imagine what she looked like. Describing her clothes to old ladies who couldn’t see them but we’re desperate to know what she was wearing. I guess some people have it intuitively and then there is Kate.

          1. lol , and then there is Kate :))))))
            I think Diana was too good to be true , I wish I can post you her pictures of her helping a bride with her train and talking to her little bridesmaids , of course I will not go through her lovely heart to heart gestures with children or all those around her , and what makes it awesome is that she was in so much pain , but it didn’t stop her from spreading happiness , she was simply amazing…and then we have lovely Kate 🙂 and her patronizing ways in talking with others , this or acting like a teenager , although she’ll be 35 in four months and 40 in five years .
            I’m having a board of Diana on Pinterest , a good way to go back to those lovely old days Mrs BBV .

    2. Her clapping is definitely odd. I don’t know if it’s a skill she wasn’t taught as a child or if she’s trying to continually show off Big Blue. Pippa and James have odd clapping styles as well.

      1. That’s strange ; anyway I’m trying to find today’s video of her clapping in the classroom , but I can’t , the Daily Mail seems to have removed it , and I can’t find it anywhere else

    3. I’ve mentioned on this blog previously that Kate is lacking in social graces, and her ugly clapping style is one of them. It’s very obvious from her behavior that her parents concentrated on her snaging a rich man, but they seemed to forget that it’s class that’s important, something they are all lacking. Any aristocrat can spot them as low class people because their behavior gives them away. There were pics of her when she first attended Wimbledon and it was headlined in an article. The woman is not someone young people should look to as a role model. She’s just a bag of bones hipless and boobless that’s adorned with multi-thousand dollar clothes to look OK. I’m not someone who swoons over celebrities and royalty, albeit I like the Queen. Hence, I would not stand in a crowd to catch a glimpse of this mere mortal who has no morals or class.

  11. I’ve thought about this privacy thing about public figures a lot and what I’ve concluded is that it’s really tricky to pick which part is private and which is public. I understand not wanting to have photos of their kids/family splashed on papers and the internet all the time. But I was honestly surprised that of all the pictures published of them she complained about these. I mean, these were pretty harmless photos of them. It even managed to get some nostalgia because Will had done something similar back in his childhood. I think for public figures, it would be wiser to complain if the photos of them taken are potentially embarrassing, like Kate’s naked photos, or done just to harass them. But I believe these photos were not. It’s a bit like when you see famous people out on the street and you can’t help taking pictures of them.

  12. I understand that the Cambridges would not want the press intruding on their children’s’ privacy, but I partly blame Kate for this, as this press intrusion on their lives is such a big issue for the Cambridges maybe she should have been more mindful of the surroundings when this interaction took place. Maybe she should have stopped and looked around and thought, this is way too exposed and someone might get a picture of George. I know this may sound extreme, but given that the Cambridges are so paranoid about this, I would think Kate would be more aware.
    I wonder how this will affect the Canada tour, because it seems as if there is not any real interest or excitement here in the US or UK I wonder if the press will use really unflattering pictures of Kate and William, when they are without the kids, to get back at her. All in all, it is a shame that the Cambridges need to be at war with the press, when they could foster a relationship of mutual respect with them, which would only be to their advantage. I suspect there will be many staged photos of the kids on this trip and not much spontaneity.

  13. On the subject of timing, it is likely that the photographer was returning from a rehearsal of the Trooping of the Colour ceremony, these events are practised extensively for timing etc.

    1. This true.

      In the months ahead of Parade season, you see or hear them practising. The horses are walked through London streets very early in the morning to acclimatise them to town and or possibly size of event.

      Hyde Park Barracks is actually in Hyde Park, not far from the Palace.

  14. This may, indeed, be a stupid question, but what are the consequences of IPSO’s finding? Are the news organizations fined? If so, where does the money go–into the public coffers? to Kate? Obviously those papers cannot republish those photos, but they probably wouldn’t anyway. The complaint seems like nothing but arrogant intimidation by the Cambridges to me.

    1. I didn’t say. My bad. They are forced to remove the article in question and write a retraction with wording specified by the Ipso and it must be on the homepage for 24 hours. They are not fined.

  15. For the sake of argument – Technically George was on public property – he was on the motorcycle owned by the public. Being tended to by people with public jobs. The public has a right to know how their funds are being utilized. Would any other little boy and his mother win this ruling? I don’t think so.

  16. Have George or Charlotte ever had a playdate with other British kids? I remember the adorable playdate in New Zealand. How bout a simple get-together at Kensington Palace with some random kids? Instead of W&K’s usual hobnobbing with elites, for once just mingle with the common folk and take a few pics. Shared experiences like that would help endear them to THEIR people. Instead of just flaunting the kids to foreign audiences.

      1. My impression is that W&K merely ENDURE the British public. Who are after all their gravy train and future subjects (how I hate that word). QE may not be all touchy-feely. But she’s out there, hitting the pavement nearly daily, or as often as possible. At age ninety! Letting it be known that it’s about THEM. The people. But once you’re part of the glitzy celebrity 1% global elite it’s probably hard to come back down to earth and focus full-time on mere mortals. Could they ever really, truly, genuinely endear themselves to the British? Can they EARN their respect and admiration? It gets more and more unlikely by the day.

  17. I can say I’ve never disliked WK before this, disappointed in their lack of work ethic, Kate’s obsession with nudes and blues but this really turns me off them. Their whole existence comes from public funds. Yes, they get some privacy but complaining about these pictures is just petty and puts them in a bad light. At this point, I’m wishing for an abolishment of the BRF. Then he can have his normal private life.

    1. Sarah, I agree with you, this is just petty and for me, this has kind of been the straw that broke the camel’s’ back in terms of maintaining a good outlook on W & K’s evolution as the future King and Queen. For some reason this whole episode has made me so angry, I see 2 immature whiny adults, who are totally self-absorbed and arrogant.

      1. That’s exactly how I feel! I was trying to figure out why after all the other things they done was this what made me angry and really dislike them! I think it’s the extreme level of pettiness. The topless France pictures, clear invasion of privacy. These, not so much…

    2. I hope if the BRF was abolished, someone with insider knowledge would write a tell-all about what Kate and Will are really like. Since they are so white washed, I would love a real book about them. I am sure it is just wishful thinking, but maybe someday…:)

  18. I wonder about the recent Balmoral photos with the Queen driving Kate. They were on the estate, which is private. Could she file a complaint? I know the trespass laws are different in Scotland.

    I’m sure she would never complain about a photo showing how “close” she is with the Queen, plus I’m sure it would be the Queen’s call.

    The Queen Mother released quite a few photos of the Queen as a child, and people felt they knew her and Margaret in a way that is missing with the Cambridge kids.

    I think some of this is because William often got bad publicity as a child, i.e., bullying others. It is definitely payback to the press. It is not the way forward to keeping the monarchy, and that may be William’s agenda.

  19. Why are these pics complained about, when very clear ones of George and (pregnant) Kate taken on the farm trip last year weren’t? Those were taken at close range!

    Can’t imagine why not…

  20. I wonder if the press is making its own plans, they are powerful and the “House of Middleton” might be lulled into a false sense of being untouchable and in complete control, only to be taken by surprise at some point down the road. Not sure if that comment makes sense but it’s not a good idea to underestimate the power of the media. Sooner or later a ‘Serpico’ might ignite a fire.

  21. I have thought about it and also suspect that they’re trying to create a catch-22. There was a reasonable expectation of privacy partially because the photographer wasn’t seen and used a long lens. But when they are met by many visible photographers, they call that egregious abuse and it would scare the children. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

  22. I agree that taking a photo of someone particularly a stranger is rather creepy. My cousin plastered photos of my nieces on her facebook page and I found that strange. However when Kate married William, Kate knew there would be interest in her as a Public figure and before that as the girlfriend Kate let photographers photograph her at events and walking down the street. I did feel for Kate on her 25th birthday and it was obvious that the relationship was in trouble or heading that way. I would be interested to see for myself at Kensington how close the photographer was but if the lens was powerful then I think there was an intrusion but Kate was using the public services. Kensignton is a beautiful place to go . I do not see much eye contact with Kate and Charlotte. Kate and George seem much closer and I can sense that Kate is either his strongest supporter or severest critic. Above all protective.

  23. I would like to add didn’t a lady pass by a cafe in Sweden or London I forget where. Madeleine was with Leonore and Chris in the cafe and Madeline came out and took a photo with the lady and Leonore. I cannot imagine Kate doing the same. Madeleine and Victoria realise that the media is vital to keep communication with the press and yet better photos of the children are released compared to the grainy photos that we see from the paps so the children are not hounded.

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