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number one target

Paparazzi are using playground children as bait to lure Prince George out into the open

It’s just one of the “extreme lengths” they’re going to.

KENSINGTON PALACE HAS released details of the “extreme lengths” paparazzi photographers are going to to get photographs of Britain’s Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

A spokesperson for The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge said in an open letter published today that a number of recent incidents demonstrate this “distressing activity”.

Jason Knauf, communications secretary for Kensington Palace, says that in one such incident last week, a photographer rented a car and parked in a quiet 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.

Kensington Palace says that this type of activity is “not uncommon” adding that Prince George is seen as a paparazzo’s  ”number one target”.

The letter detailed that in recent months other behaviour has been observed. This includes photographers using other children to draw Prince George into view around playgrounds.

The palace also claims that photographers have pursued cars leaving the family home and monitored the movements of Prince George and his nanny around London.


The statement says that the royal couple have been “delighted to share official photographs” of their children but that they wanted to start a discussion about “the unauthorised photography of children”.

The couple say they are grateful to media in Britain and abroad who have refused to publish unauthorised photographs of their children.

They say the letter is partly aimed at media who pay for these unauthorised images.

“It is hoped that those who pay paparazzi photographers for their images of children will be able to better understand the distressing activity around a two-year old boy that their money is fuelling. “

There’s also a warning that it can be difficult to distinguish between someone taking photos and someone intending to do more immediate harm to the children.

Sky News / YouTube

There is also a message for people who read the publications who publish the photographs:

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.

Although this is not the first such letter that royal officials have released pleading for privacy, the warning is the strongest and most detailed so far.

Read: Palace releases first official photographs of Princess Charlotte >

Read: Princess Charlotte’s official christening shots have been released >

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