Royals lash out at paparazzi for endangering Prince George

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Kensington Palace Is Fed Up With Aggressive Paparazzi


Kensington Palace issued a scathing message Friday warning of "increasingly dangerous" tactics being used by photographers that are potentially threatening the health and safety of Prince George and his new sister Princess Charlotte.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge highlighted a specific "disturbing" incident that occurred last week in which a paparazzo allegedly rented a car with darkened windows and camped out all day near a play area in hopes of catching an image of the young prince.

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"Police discovered him lying down in the boot of the vehicle attempting to shoot photos with a long lens through a small gap in his hide," according to the palace.



The statement also includes a plea to the tabloid media and its readers, noting that while the "vast majority of publications around the world – and all British publications – have refused to fuel the market for such photos" that those willing to purchase and support the surreptitiously-obtained photos "deserve to understand the tactics deployed to obtain these photos."

See the photos of George the royals are happy to share with the public:

70 PHOTOS
The best photos of Prince George
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Royals lash out at paparazzi for endangering Prince George
Prince George onboard after a ceremony to mark the departure of the royal visit at Victoria Harbour seaplane terminal in Victoria during the Royal Tour of Canada.
Prince George arrives with family to attend a ceremony to mark their departure at Victoria Harbour seaplane terminal in Victoria during the Royal Tour of Canada.
The Duke of Cambridge with his son Prince George at a children's party for Military families at Government House in Victoria during the Royal Tour of Canada.
Prince George plays with bubbles at a children's party for Military families at Government House in Victoria during the Royal Tour of Canada.
Prince George plays with bubbles at a children's party for Military families at Government House in Victoria during the Royal Tour of Canada.
Prince George plays with bubbles at a children's party for Military families at Government House in Victoria during the Royal Tour of Canada.
Prince George stands between his parents the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as the Royal Party, including his sister Princess Charlotte, arrive at Victoria International Airport, in Victoria, Canada, on the first day of their official tour of Canada.

Prince William carries George as they leave Charlotte's christening.

July 2015

Photo: Matt Dunham - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Prince George makes a face at the camera as he celebrates his little sister's big day.

July 2015

Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Prince William hold George's hand as they walk to the church.

July 2015

Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Curious George peers over his shoulder at the crowds nearby.

July 2015

Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Kate and George play while watching Prince William in a polo match.

June 2015

Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Prince George chats with his dad William after the match, with his grandfather Charles looking on.

June 2015

Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Prince George makes his balcony debut! He sits in his dad's arms during the Trooping the Colour to celebrate the Queen's birthday.

June 2015

Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

George watches his mom and dad arrive during the Trooping parade, having a lot of fun with his nanny Maria.

June 2015

Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

The little Prince has mastered the royal wave!

June 2015

Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

George has fun watching the parade.

June 2015

Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

George gives a final wave to his adoring public.

June 2015

Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Prince George holds his newborn baby sister, her first official photos, photographed by Duchess Kate herself.

May 2015

Photo: HRH The Duchess of Cambridge via Getty Images

George gives Charlotte a kiss -- too cute!

May 2015

Photo: HRH The Duchess of Cambridge via Getty Images

On the day Princess Charlotte was born, Prince William ran to pick up his son to visit his little sister.

May 2015

Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

George gets a kiss from dad as they entered the Lindo Wing at St. Mary's hospital. 

Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

William tries to walk with George -- who just wanted to be carried! -- as they visit Charlotte and Kate. 

Photo: JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images

Christmas photographs of Prince George sitting on the Kensington Palace steps, released by his proud parents William and Kate. 

November 2014

Photo: Handout via Getty Images

Christmas photographs of Prince George sitting on the Kensington Palace steps, released by his proud parents William and Kate. 

November 2014

Photo: Handout via Getty Images

Christmas photographs of Prince George sitting on the Kensington Palace steps, released by his proud parents William and Kate. 

November 2014

Photo: Handout via Getty Images

Happy birthday George! This photo of the royal baby confidently walking around on two feet was released for his first birthday.

July 2014

Photo: Associated Press

The royal cutie pie plays with butterflies when he and his parents visited the Natural History Museum's butterfly exhibition. 

July 2014

Photo: Associated Press

So adorable, but anyone else terrified for this butterfly right now? #babieswillbebabies

July 2014

Photo: Associated Press

Prince George was up on his feet watching William play polo on Father's Day. 

June 2014

Photo: Max Mumby/Indigo via Getty Images

Kate holds wiggly George at the polo match.

June 2014

Photo: Getty Images

"Okay bye mom!" 

June 2014

Photo: Max Mumby/Indigo via Getty Images

"Um Mom, who is this lady?" 

April 2014

Photo: WireImage

The always fashionable George was decked out in red for the last day of the royal tour. 

April 2014

Photo: WireImage

"Wait! I think I dropped my toy - no seriously, I can see it from here!" 

April 2014

Photo: Chris Jackson via Getty Images

This cutie touches down in Australia's capital. 

April 2014

Photo: Cole Bennetts via Getty Images

William, Kate and George visited the Taronga Zoo in Sydney and George got to meet a bilby! He was really excited about it. 

April 2014

Photo: Chris Jackson via Getty Images

Just a dad and his boy!

April 2014

Photo: Getty Images

Testing out his Princely roar.

April 2014

Photo: Getty Images

Just look at those chubby little cheeks!

April 2014

Photo: Samir Hussein via Getty Images

We couldn't help but laugh out loud at George's mean mug right here.

April 2014

Photo: Samir Hussein via Getty Images

Playing with his toy bilby.

April 2014

Photo: Getty Images

"Okay mom. It's really bright out here... AND I'm wearing ruffles. Can we talk about this?"

April 2014

Photo: Samir Hussein via Getty Images

"What's up, Australia?"

April 2014

Photo: Getty Images

Ah, the Princely handshake.

April 2014

Photo: Getty Images

We're obsessed with William and George's matching fly-away hair as they left New Zealand.

April 2014

Photo: Getty Images

Looks like it's nap o'clock!

April 2014

Photo: Getty Images

"Here, mom, let me help you."

April 2014

Photo: Getty Images

Too cute for words.

April 2014

Photo: AFP/Getty Images

This photo is Kate's favorite from their royal tour, where baby George had just woken up from his nap and was so happy to hug his mom.

April 2014

Photo: Getty Images

Little George during his New Zealand playdate!

April 2014

Photo: Getty Images

Baby George arrives in New Zealand.

April 2014

Photo: WireImage

This photo might just be our favorite -- Georgie looks like he's trying to dive out of Kate's arms! Good thing she has a solid grip.

April 2014

Photo: WireImage

Such a cutie!

April 2014

Photo: WireImage

The palace released this official photo just a week before the family takes off for Australia and New Zealand. Oh how he's grown! Cutie George gazes at his pup, Lupo (in a dashing sweater with his name on it).

March 2014

Photo: Jason Bell/Camera Press/Redux

Kate and William proudly presented George on his christening day.

October 2013

Photo: Getty Images

Quite the outfit, Georgie!

October 2013

Photo: Getty Images

William and George.

October 2013

Photo: AFP/Getty Images

William and George.

October 2013

Photo: Getty Images

Kate, in Alexander McQueen, and George in the royal christening dress.

October 2013

Photo: Getty Images

Kate and George.

October 2013

Photo: Getty Images

George's first official portrait! Lupo got to be in this one, too. 

August 2013

Photo: Getty Images

Kate debuts her son, Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge.

July 2013

Photo: Getty Images

Kate, William and George.

July 2013

Photo: Getty Images

George made his public debut just a day after being born!

July 2013

Photo: AP

Kate, William and George.

July 2013

Photo: Getty Images

Kate wore a simple, pretty, polka-dotted dress by Jenny Packham.

July 2013

Photo: FilmMagic

William carries George to the car.

July 2013

Photo: Getty Images

Cutie heads home!

July 2013

Photo: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

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Read the full statement below:

I am writing to provide an overview of the current challenges facing Kensington Palace as we seek to protect Prince George and Princess Charlotte from harassment and surveillance by paparazzi photographers. I hope our experience will inform the ongoing effort to uphold standards on the protection of children in a rapidly changing media landscape.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have expressed their gratitude to British media organisations for their policy of not publishing unauthorised photos of their children. This stance, guided not just by their wishes as parents, but by the standards and codes of the industry as it relates to all children, is to be applauded. They are pleased also that almost all reputable publications throughout the Commonwealth – in particular Australia, Canada, and New Zealand – and in other major media markets like the United States have adopted a similar position.

The Duke and Duchess are glad that leaders in the media industry share the view that every child, regardless of their future public role, deserves a safe, happy, and private childhood. They have been delighted to share official photographs of Prince George and Princess Charlotte in recent months to thank the public for the thousands of kind messages of support they have received. News photographers have had several recent opportunities to take photos of the family and these will be a regular occurrence as both children get older.

Despite this, paparazzi photographers are going to increasingly extreme lengths to observe and monitor Prince George's movements and covertly capture images of him to sell to the handful of international media titles still willing to pay for them. One recent incident – just last week – was disturbing, but not at all uncommon. A photographer rented a car and parked in a discreet location outside a children's play area. Already concealed by darkened windows, he took the added step of hanging sheets inside the vehicle and created a hide stocked with food and drinks to get him through a full day of surveillance, waiting in hope to capture images of Prince George. Police discovered him lying down in the boot of the vehicle attempting to shoot photos with a long lens through a small gap in his hide.

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.

This incident was not an isolated one. In recent months photographers have:

• 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;
• photographed the children of private individuals visiting The Duke and Duchess's home;
• pursued cars leaving family homes;
• used other children to draw Prince George into view around playgrounds;
• been found hiding on private property in fields and woodland locations around The Duke and Duchess's home in Norfolk;
• obscured themselves in sand dunes on a rural beach to take photos of Prince George playing with his grandmother;
• placed locations near the Middleton family home in Berkshire under steady surveillance

It is clear that while paparazzi are always keen to capture images of any senior member of The Royal Family, Prince George is currently their number one target. We have made the decision to discuss these issues now as the incidents are becoming more frequent and the tactics more alarming. A line has been crossed and any further escalation in tactics would represent a very real security risk.

All of this has left The Duke and Duchess concerned about their ability to provide a childhood for Prince George and Princess Charlotte that is free from harassment and surveillance. They know that almost all parents love to share photos of their children and they themselves enjoy doing so. But they know every parent would object to anyone – particularly strangers – taking photos of their children without their permission. Every parent would understand their deep unease at only learning they had been followed and watched days later when photographs emerged.

The Duke and Duchess are of course very fortunate to have private homes where photographers cannot capture images of their children. But they feel strongly that both Prince George and Princess Charlotte should not grow up exclusively behind palace gates and in walled gardens. They want both children to be free to play in public and semi-public spaces with other children without being photographed. In addition, the privacy of those other children and their families must also be preserved.

Rest assured that we continue to take legal steps to manage these incidents as they occur. But 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.

We hope a public discussion of these issues will help all publishers of unauthorised photos of children to understand the power they hold to starve this disturbing activity of funding. I would welcome constructive conversations with any publisher or editor on these topics. And I would ask for your help as we work to encourage the highest standards on the protection of children in every corner of the media. The Duke and Duchess are determined to keep the issues around a small number of paparazzi photographers distinct and separate from the positive work of most newspapers, magazines, broadcasters, and web publishers around the world.

The text from this letter, which has been sent to a number of people in leadership positions, will be placed in the public domain to raise awareness of the issues discussed.

Jason Knauf,
Communications Secretary, Kensington Palace


Take a look at how the paparazzi swarms the Royal Family:
19 PHOTOS
Media and the Royals
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Royals lash out at paparazzi for endangering Prince George
Britain's Prince William, centre right, and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge hold the Prince of Cambridge, Tuesday July 23, 2013, as they pose for photographers outside St. Mary's Hospital exclusive Lindo Wing in London where the Duchess gave birth on Monday July 22. The boy, who is third in line to the British throne, has since been named George Alexander Louis by his parents and will be known as Prince George of Cambridge. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: A general view of the photographers lighting outside St James' Palace after the christening of the three month-old Prince George of Cambridge by the Archbishop of Canterbury at St James' Palace on October 23, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Danny Martindale/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 23: Reporters and photographers gather outside St Mary's Hospital on July 23, 2013 in London, England. The Duchess of Cambridge has given birth to a baby boy yesterday at 16.24 BST, with William the Duke of Cambridge present for the arrival. A bulletin announcing the birth was posted in the forecourt at Buckingham Palace. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 23: Reporters and photographers gather outside St Mary's Hospital on July 23, 2013 in London, England. The Duchess of Cambridge has given birth to a baby boy yesterday at 16.24 BST, with William the Duke of Cambridge present for the arrival. A bulletin announcing the birth was posted in the forecourt at Buckingham Palace. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 23: Reporters and photographers gather outside the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital on July 23, 2013 in London, England. The Duchess of Cambridge yesterday gave birth to a boy at 16.24 BST and weighing 8lb 6oz, with Prince William at her side. The baby, as yet unnamed, is third in line to the throne and becomes the Prince of Cambridge. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
A media cameraman carries his camera outside the Lindo wing at St Mary's hospital in central London, on May 2, 2015 after the announcement was made by Kensington Palace that Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William's wife, was admitted to hospital on May 2 in the early stages of labour with her second child. AFP PHOTO / LEON NEAL (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)
Media wait for the arrival of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge at Macdonald-Cartier International Airport on June 30, 2011 in Ottawa, Canada. (Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - APRIL 11: British Media on a follow-boat photograph Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge as they race in America's Cup Yachts in Auckland Harbour on April 11, 2014 in Auckland, New Zealand. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are on a three-week tour of Australia and New Zealand, the first official trip overseas with their son, Prince George of Cambridge. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Media video camera's are trained on the door of The Lindo Wing of Saint Mary's Hospital in Paddington, west London on July 21, 2013. There's still no sign of Britain's royal baby, even though the world's media have been camped for three weeks outside the London hospital where Prince William's wife Catherine is due to give birth. AFP PHOTO / ANDREW COWIE (Photo credit should read ANDREW COWIE/AFP/Getty Images)
Members of the media gather outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in central London, on May 2, 2015. Prince William's wife Catherine gave birth to a baby girl on Saturday to cheers from a crowd outside the hospital as Britain celebrated the royal family's new fourth in line to the throne. AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLIS (Photo credit should read JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Members of the media congregate opposite Buckingham Palace, after the announcement of the engagement of Britain's Prince William and his girlfriend Kate Middleton, in central London on November 16, 2010. Britain's Prince William will marry long-term girlfriend Kate Middleton next year, ending feverish speculation about when the second-in-line to the throne would wed, the royal family announced Tuesday. William, the eldest son of heir to the throne Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana, and Middleton, the daughter of a wealthy businessman, got engaged in October while on holiday in Kenya, said Clarence House, Charles' official residence. AFP PHOTO / CARL COURT (Photo credit should read Carl Court/AFP/Getty Images)
Photographers make final adjustments as they prepare to take pictures of Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and their new baby boy outside St Mary's Hospital in London, on July 23, 2013. Britain's new baby prince follows his father and late grandmother by being born under the zodiac sign of Cancer, suggesting he will be a strong leader, according to astrologists. AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLIS (Photo credit should read JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Photographers make final adjustments as they prepare to take pictures of Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and their new baby boy outside St Mary's Hospital in London, on July 23, 2013. Britain's new baby prince follows his father and late grandmother by being born under the zodiac sign of Cancer, suggesting he will be a strong leader, according to astrologists. AFP PHOTO / CARL COURT (Photo credit should read CARL COURT/AFP/Getty Images)
CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 24: (EDITORS NOTE: This image was processed using digital filters.) Media photograph Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge meets members of the public outside the Portrait Gallery on April 24, 2014 in Canberra, Australia. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are on a three-week tour of Australia and New Zealand, the first official trip overseas with their son, Prince George of Cambridge. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - APRIL 11: British Media on a follow-boat photograph Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge as they race in America's Cup Yachts in Auckland Harbour on April 11, 2014 in Auckland, New Zealand. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are on a three-week tour of Australia and New Zealand, the first official trip overseas with their son, Prince George of Cambridge. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 23: Media organizations pack up following the departure of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge from the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital with their newborn son on July 23, 2013 in London, England. The Duchess of Cambridge yesterday gave birth to a boy at 16.24 BST and weighing 8lb 6oz, with Prince William at her side. The baby, as yet unnamed, is third in line to the throne and becomes the Prince of Cambridge. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 24: A camera from the media area outside Kensington Palace and gardens, home of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge on July 24, 2013 in London, England. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge returned to their royal apartments at Kensington Palace yesterday with their newborn son, who was born at 16:24hrs BST, weighing 8lb 6oz, at the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital, Paddington on July 22. The baby, as yet unnamed, is third in line to the throne and becomes the Prince of Cambridge. (Photo by Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images)
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - APRIL 07: Media wait in a hangar for the arrival of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince George of Cambridge at Wellington Airport on April 7, 2014 in Wellington, New Zealand. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are on a three-week tour of Australia and New Zealand, the first official trip overseas with their son, Prince George of Cambridge. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)
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