When you’re a member of the royal family, dealing with media attention is part of the territory, as Meghan Markle learned all too well these past few years. And though Prince Harry and Prince William have both been in the spotlight since birth, their mother Princess Diana’s death in an incident involving a paparazzi chase has left the royals particularly sensitive to when the media oversteps. So, when the paparazzi came back in full force after the birth of Kate Middleton’s first son, Prince George, heir to the throne and future king, you better believe the Cambridges didn’t waste their time speaking up. A royal statement was issued condemning the paparazzi’s stalking and following of their 2-year-old son, and the photographer tactics they outlined have us so freaked out.
These new revelations about the lengths to which paparazzi went to get photos of the young royal came to light in new royal biography Finding Freedom, by royal reporters Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand. They describe events leading up to William and Kate’s controversial decision to address the media directly, a tactic the Firm prefers to avoid at all costs. But after hearing what these photographers were doing, we couldn’t agree more that action was in order.
“One photographer had gone so far as to hide in the trunk of a car as the boy played in a park,” Scobie and Durand detailed. “The methods used to get images of George including stalking the two-year-old heir, monitoring movements of other members of the royal family, and chasing cars.”
While the Palace was inclined to stay quiet, William and Harry recognized a surge in paparazzi activity they hadn’t seen since their mother’s death. “The threatening behavior raised alarm bells, and lawyers quickly got involved,” the book explains. “William and Harry detected a worrying pattern with the press, who had backed off for a while after Diana’s death but were now reverting to their old mercenary ways.”
Ultimately, the Cambridges had their way and published an official statement decrying the recent harassment of their toddler son: “In recent months, there have been an increasing number of incidents of paparazzi harassment of Prince George. And the tactics being used are increasingly dangerous,” the statement read.
It’s no secret that the paparazzi have always been desperate to get at the royal family, but we (perhaps naïvely) did hope they might’ve learned from Diana’s death. But as long as they’re still hiding in the trunks of cars to take pictures of 2-year-olds, we can assume they’ve learned nothing, and treat them accordingly.
We hope the Palace will continue to support William and Kate as they fight for their children’s privacy, limited though it may be. No one, not even the future king, deserves to have their movements monitored like this — and especially not at two years old.
Click here to see the all-time cutest photos of Prince George.