Stop the shutterbugs. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton and Prince William, spoke out against unauthorized photos of their son, Prince George, in a letter released to Us Weekly on Friday, Aug. 14, after a photographer was found in the "boot of a vehicle" trying to take pics of the 2-year-old royal.
"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," a Kensington Palace spokesperson noted in a statement. (Us Weekly has never run unauthorized photos of the royal children, and continues to work closely with Kensington Palace on all official photo releases of Prince George and Princess Charlotte.)
"This letter is being published now to inform the public discussion around the unauthorized photography of children. 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 2-year old boy that their money is fueling. We also feel that the readers who enjoy the publications that fuel this market for the unauthorized photos deserve to understand the tactics deployed to obtain these photos."
Accompanying the statement was a letter from Kate Middleton and Prince William, detailing a rather scary encounter. "One recent incident — just last week — was disturbing, but not at all uncommon," they shared. "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.... 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."
The royal couple — also parents to Charlotte, 3 months — then detailed a list of disturbances from photographers attempting to capture unauthorized images of their kids.
"In recent months photographers have:
• 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."
The parents of two said protecting their kids was of utmost priority. "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… But they know every parent would object to anyone — particularly strangers — taking photos of their children without their permission," the letter read. "Every parent would understand their deep unease at only learning they had been followed and watched days later when photographs emerged... ...they feel strongly that both Prince George and Princess Charlotte should not grow up exclusively behind palace gates and in walled gardens."
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