Lawyers acting for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have contacted photographers and asked them to stop following and taking pictures of their son George.
A spokesman for the royal couple said the behaviour of the photographers, who have been following Prince George during walks in London parks with his nanny, amounted to “harassment”.
“It’s more the fundamental weirdness of two grown men following a 14-month-old baby around London that we’re concerned about,” the spokesman said. The move comes after an incident in a central London park last week when one individual was spotted near George and his nanny.
“They are obviously concerned,” the spokesman said. He said the men had “over a period of time established a pattern of behaviour that we think amounts to harassment of Prince George and his nanny.”
Prince George’s birth attracted a global media frenzy in July last year, with reporters and photographers camped outside St Mary’s Hospital in London for weeks leading up to his birth. Since then, Will and Kate have tried to keep George out of the spotlight when possible.
“They want Prince George to lead as ordinary a life as possible as a child and he obviously can’t do that if people are going to parks where children play and taking pictures of him,” the spokesman added.
The issue of harassment by the paparazzi is particularly sensitive for Prince William, whose mother Princess Diana was killed in 1997 in a car crash in Paris after she and her lover Dodi al-Fayed tried to flee chasing photographers.
A year after Will and Kate married in 2011, some European magazines printed topless pictures of Kate taken whilst the couple were on holiday in France. The palace said “a red line had been crossed” in response to the incident, and compared the breach of privacy to the media’s treatment of Princess Diana.
“The incident is reminiscent of the worst excesses of the press and paparazzi during the life of Diana, Princess of Wales, and all the more upsetting to The Duke and Duchess for being so.”