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Prince Harry landed in Canada in the early hours of Tuesday to begin his new life as a private citizen.
Photographs of the Prince changing planes at Vancouver airport, casually clad in a puffer jacket and beanie hat, appeared on the Daily Mail website, while pictures of Meghan walking her two dogs and carrying baby Archie in a chest harness appeared on the front page of The Sun on Tuesday.
Both pictures pointed up the increased scrutiny from paparazzi that the couple may expect to encounter now that they no longer live in Britain and are not protected by the royal rota system agreed to with the U.K. press.
Within hours of the photos being published, lawyers for Harry and Meghan had issued a warning to British media outlets about reprinting The Sun image of Meghan and the baby. The lawyers said she did not consent and claimed photographers were hiding in the bushes.
Under the royal rota, major U.K. newspapers are given preferential access to royal events; in return they agree not to publish pictures of the royals engaged in private activities. Harry and Meghan made withdrawing from the royal rota a key plank of their terms of departure from frontline royal duties, saying that in future they would only work with hand-picked journalists. Many working in the media argued that Harry and Meghan, contrary to their perception, were treated with kid gloves when it came to photographs of them.
A famous case in point is the moment Harry was pictured playing bar billiards naked in Las Vegas. The royals argued that Harry’s hotel room was a private place and so the pictures should not be published, and although they were immediately flashed around the world the U.K. press did not run them (well, not immediately—eventually the Sun did run them but only after several days of torturous debate in the newsroom and no other major U.K. papers followed suit).
The seemingly innocuous pictures of Meghan walking her dogs or Harry changing planes are the kinds of pictures that would have prompted outraged letters from the royal press office just weeks ago and would never have previously been published in U.K. papers under the series of delicate truces negotiated between the press and the palace, first in the wake of the death of Princess Diana and again after the British inquiry into phone hacking.
Often these pictures were published in foreign media, but tight perimeter control of the royals and the aggressive actions of the British police assigned to protecting the royals made it difficult for photographers to take these kinds of pictures on British soil.
Such pictures were often taken when the royals were overseas and British police could not physically prevent photographers from getting to them.
These protections are all now likely to fade away.
As Harry and Meghan plan their new life of financial independence, a prescient warning of just how tacky royal endorsements can look comes today from Peter Phillips, the Queen’s eldest grandson, whose embarrassing advertisement for a Chinese milk company has surfaced.
In it, Phillips, who is not a senior royal but is 15th in line to the throne, is identified as a “British Royal Family member” on the ads for Bright Dairies Jersey Fresh Milk in Shanghai, according to the Daily Mail.
The advert shows Peter posing with a glass of a milk in front of the backdrop of a stately home that resembles Longleat House in Wiltshire, while the advert features a toy replica of the coach the Queen uses on state occasions.
In an interview, Peter, who is seen being served a glass of milk by a butler, gulps appreciatively and says “As children we used to spend a lot of time down at the dairy. There was a herd of Jersey at Windsor and we were brought up on it and it was always much more full of flavor and much creamier than other milks that we had growing up, and that has something to do with the way the cows are bred and the cows are brought up… they produce fantastic milk.”