Another Royal privacy row has broken out after the first unauthorized pictures of Prince George were published today.
The pictures show Kate Middleton changing planes on her way to Mustique, with Prince George held casually on her hip, and were published in Europe by Hello! magazine today. They are available worldwide on the mag's app.
The pictures are on the front page of the mag and eight further pages inside. Kate, wearing shades, looks happy and relaxed and George is wearing a stripey blue sun hat.
Hmm, I seem to remember someone predicting that Kate and William would have trouble safeguarding George’s privacy once they stepped outside the closely guarded confines of their UK haunts, where photographers and editors are still on their best behavior as the hacking trial continues.
Well, now it has come to pass, and these first unauthorized pictures of the future king point the way to potential difficulties in protecting George’s privacy on the royal tour of Australia next month.
Before now, Prince George has been photographed exactly three times by press photographers since his birth—once when he was carried out of the hospital for the first time in the Duchess’s arms, once when he was carried out of the hospital in a car seat a few hours later and placed into the back of William’s Range Rover, and a third time at his christening. There have been two further photo sets released by the palace; the formal Christening pictures and the snaps taken by Michael Middleton shortly after he was born.
The only other time that photographers got close to being able to photograph the young Prince was when he was taken to Buckingham Palace for the Queen’s Christmas lunch. However the Duke and Duchess made sure that no snaps could be taken by covering the young prince’s car seat in a shawl and driving in and out of the gates at high speed.
Royal sources said that while Kate was not happy with the pictures being published, the royals were not going to seek to block further publication of the images on the grounds that she had not been harassed or chased and that the pictures were taken in a public place.
However, last week, the Palace asked newspapers not to print photographs of a grumpy-looking Duke of Cambridge getting off a train at Cambridge station, also a public place, leading some commentators to suggest that the fact that Kate and William did not object to the publication of the pictures could be construed as evidence that the young Royals are more concerned with manipulating their public image than protecting their privacy.
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.
The Telegraph quoted Chris Hutchings, a privacy expert with the law firm Hamlins, who 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.”