Duchess Kate pap photos cover Hello Mag: where are the legal threats?

kate hello

Duchess Kate is on vacation. Again. Forever. As I said a few days ago, I don’t think this vacation is any big deal because at this point, I’ve grown accustomed to Kate’s lackadaisical work schedule, and it doesn’t even feel like her lack of work is even her choice these days. Prince Charles doesn’t want anyone paying attention to her, Prince William is going back to school so he won’t have to spend time with her and the baby, and so of course she went on vacation with her family. The January/February Mustique trip is an annual thing for the Middletons, and they usually fit in a ski holiday in March too.

So, Kate is vacationing with her family and she brought Prince George along, of course. And somehow, a paparazzo snapped some photos of Kate and George exiting the British Airways plane, and now those photos made it into Hello. And People Magazine bought them too, according to reports. And this – the publication of these photos – has set off a firestorm in the UK media. Do you want to know why? Because the royal family did not throw any tantrums about these photos. Prince William did not bitch out any editor or threaten to get people fired. The Queen’s press secretary did not slam Hello. But… but… these are candid photos taken by a paparazzo?! So, now the UK media is all, “Okay, so what are the rules again?”

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been warned by a legal expert not to “cherry pick” which privacy cases they pursue, after a paparazzi photo of Prince George was published in a magazine. The image showed Kate Middleton and her six-month-old son George leaving a British Airways plane thought to be on the Caribbean island of St Vincent, en route to their holiday in Mustique.

The long-lense photos featured on the cover and in eight pages of Hello! Magazine from late January, marks the first time his image has been seen publicly since he was christened in the autumn.

It has sparked questions as to why the couple has not tried to stop the photo being published, when they have previously expressed concern that allowing photos of Prince George to be published would breach his privacy.

In the past the palace has taken legal action against “off-duty” photography of the couple and appealed to photographers to follow their industry’s code of practice. Last week, Kensington Palace had asked newspapers not to publish pictures of the Duke of Cambridge looking unhappy getting off a train in Cambridge.

Jeremy Clarke-Williams, a media lawyer with the firm Slater & Gordon, said: “It seems in this case the Royal Family or Kate and William have decided they can live with this particular unauthorised photo even though it shows their child’s face.”

He added that while he does not think the couple’s message is “anything goes” and that “pictures will be viewed on a case by case basis,” he said there is a danger they could be seen to be “cherry picking the cases they pursue”.

“The courts might look dimly on that,” he said.

It is thought their decision to not launch a case may be based on the fact that the photos are of a low quality, and do not show the baby’s face in any great detail.

The couple previously sought redress through the French legal system after topless photos of the Duchess were published in French Closer magazine in 2009, when she was not married to Prince William. She later won £5,000 in damages and an apology from Rex Features for invasion of privacy.

Kensington Palace declined to comment on the photos published in Hello! But Royal sources told The Telegraph that it did not object to the pictures because they were taken “in a public place, without any harassment or pursuit”.

[From The Independent]

I have a theory about this. My theory: the royal family knows they can’t pitch a fit about these photos because they know Kate – or the Middleton family – arranged for these photos to happen. It’s just like any other celebrity arranging to be pap’d when they have something to promote. Kate knew she would be away from William’s iron grip, she knew that everyone loves baby photos, and so she arranged to have some taken from a distance. I mean, she’s practically looking into the camera on the cover of Hello. She knew the guy was there. Plus, Hello is very much like People Magazine – they only run stories and photos that are pre-approved by the celebrity subjects. Bottom line: Kate approved of these photos at some point, before or after they were taken.

I also think it’s past time for the UK media to grow a set about their coverage of the royal family. If the new “rule” is “you can take photos of the royal family whenever they’re in a public space,” that opens up a lot opportunities. Why NOT publish the daily photos of Kate shopping on High Street? Because then the public would be like, “God, all she does is shop.” Why NOT publish the photos of William looking grumpy as he takes the train back to London? Because people will begin to ask questions about how often he really travels back to London and how often he stays at his little pied-à-terre in Cambridge?

(PS… I’m including some photos of Kate in London last October. I think she’s wearing the same outfit as she was for her arrival in Mustique.)

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Photos courtesy of WENN.

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128 Responses to “Duchess Kate pap photos cover Hello Mag: where are the legal threats?”

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  1. Mia4S says:

    Ummm look I’m no fan of the royals (and Katie’s useless) but there is a legal explanation here. They said it: they were in a public place, without any harassment or pursuit. The topless photos were on private property. Expectation of privacy. Sorry, the excuse holds up. (Ugh, I can’t believe I just defended this lot!)

    • Meme says:

      Katie’s useless? Harsh.

    • My2Pence says:

      The problem is, they haven’t been consistent:

      - Photographed from a footpath playing tennis, she didn’t file suit until three weeks after the photos were published (after she allegedly took the photog a blanket during the shoot and said she hoped he wasn’t too cold)

      - Two photographs taken at the same time (on a public street) by two different photographers. One published with a caption about how happy she looked, the other captioned saying she looked unhappy. She only complained against the publication that said she looked unhappy.

      - Smiled and posed with her mother inside a shop years ago, photos published, no complaints

      - Middleton family having a history of asking paps for copies of photos they take

      - Bill and Kate photographed walking on a public beach with their dog (first pics of the puppy) and they complain. Photographer stood up, proved no harrassment, and the Press Complaints Commission publicly slapped William down about how he was trying to stifle freedom of the press.

      - Right before or after that beach incident, she was photographed walking on the same public beach with her sister and smiling at the photographer. No complaint. But gee, her sister was promoting her book failure at the time.

      This lack of consistency is what both the Telegraph and Guardian articles examine. To the “respectable” press it looks a lot like celebrities practicing image control.

      • LAK says:

        My2pence: don’t forget these other papped hello exclusives:

        - Ski trip when William returned from the Falklands

        - ski trip/wedding in Switzerland whilst early stages of pregnancy

        - shopping with Carole for moses basket whilst pregnant (boy did their pap on speed dial have a hissy fit when those pics leaked without permission!)

        - same time frame, complaint when they were pictured on Mustique on a public beach during early pregnancy

      • My2Pence says:

        You’re right! So many incidents to remember! And let’s not forget the exclusive of her in a second tiara. Secret event yet a Tanna-agency photog just happens to be the only one there and gets the close-up, in-focus shots of her in a moving vehicle?

        Footnote about Tanna:
        http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/165633/Royals-target-scapegoat-in-privacy-fight

      • fairy godmother says:

        Tanna is the Midds go-to guy. He knew about baby scan, day of birth, gets 1st photos. PW is the one who supposedly forced Waity to sue Tanna for the pics he took of her playing tennis @ Christmas time (before engagement). He lost everything, but appears to be back in the swing of things (claims he knows things about the Midds, but does not leak for leverage perhaps?). In fact over the years Midds have asked him to send copies of some photos he took. Terrible friendly to Tanna.
        Lamebridges are too inconsistent- I am thrilled PC has combined the press offices to control imo abuses of the press that PW has exerted over the press.
        As for privacy issues- is it not interesting how cameras are all over London scanning people and saving them when the majority are private citizens. Before anyone starts I realize it is for security- so why shouldn’t royals be subject to same “invasion” of private life in a public setting? They are working *choking* public figures are they not?

    • LAK says:

      From Ken Wharfe’s twitter regarding these photos:

      “”Hello’- The palace drawbridge is down to welcome the Paps! The gloves are off! back to the Diana days, with a Royal precedent. Snap!”"

    • zana says:

      Useless and manipulative (who got her husband by following him all his life until she got him). Not to mention she is a famewhore on her own…

    • Carrie says:

      I think that the “without pursuit or harassment” statement was made for the average reader, who thinks these are what they mean by “public space” and the palace is drawing the line at privacy such as the pregnant bikini photos from last year’s trip or the 2012 topless scandal. They probably don’t know about the daily shopping pics or the grumpy shots of William at Cambridge that have been quarantined and make the palace seem hypocritical.

      Yet I contest the notion that these pictures are “public.” It’s not like the Duchess was photographed at the baggage claim or walking out of the airport to her car (how we usually see celebs at airports). These were taken or her getting off the plane — when was the last time you were given access to the runway? I have to think that to get such access, the photographs had to be arranged beforehand — and considering the palace isn’t raising a stink about the security of the Duchess and the third in line to the throne, they likely knew who had made the arrangements.

      I might be wrong, but it just strikes me as an unusually prominent place for a pap to wander into.

    • Sara says:

      Rude. She is a wife and a mother, that isn’t useless. She does a good job at doing what people tell her to do. That’s her job. She isn’t Diana people. William is Diana.

      • My2Pence says:

        I think Harry is more Diana, in the caring and human interaction departments anyway. Likeable, clearly flawed, but concerned about doing something for humanity = Diana and Harry.

  2. Neffie says:

    Why are you insinuating that William is controling and a grump?This is new to me,but i did see a bit of that side when they introduced George to the world.

    • Jackson says:

      Yeah, I was wondering about that “William’s iron grip” comment myself. If that’s the case then I say take all the vacations away from him as you want, chica.

    • Talie says:

      I don’t but the fact that he hates being around his wife and son — that theory seems so kooky to me. Sure, it’s possible he would rather have more freedom, but I don’t think it’s quite so extreme.

      • FLORC says:

        Hate may be a strong word. If nothing else he’s certainly spent more days away from her than with her. I am not including days where he had legit reasons to not be around her.. RAF duties, royal duties. All those aside he is often with friends and she lives with her parents.
        He never seems to spend more than 3 weeks at a time with her then he’s gone and she’s seen at her family’s home consistently. Around the 2 week mark we get lots of photos and videos of him scowling and giving her the side eye.

  3. Esti says:

    So it’s a problem if they go after pap photos, and now it’s a problem if they don’t? I highly doubt Kate or her family arranged these pictures — they know their vacations don’t make for good PR, why would they draw extra attention to them by arranging for new pictures of Prince George?

    • Inconceivable! says:

      Esti – excellent point. Vacationing pics are never good PR. Your comment makes me think these were not set up by the Middletons.

      • Suze says:

        Some pap was staked out on the island of St. Vincent at exactly the time the plane landed, so there had to be some tip off, somewhere, from someone. That’s a pretty isolated place, and the Middletons could have landed anywhere in the Caribbean to puddle jump to Mustique.

        Whether it was the palace, the Middletons, or a “friend”, there was help in getting this photo.

      • bluhare says:

        Agree with Suze. It’s not like these shots were at Heathrow, where one could argue that there are a ton of famous faces coming and going. But a pap at the airport at the exact time a BA flight from London arrives, just happening to get shots of Kate deplaning? Set up.

        Perhaps it was arranged that the photos could be shot and published after their return so they had some privacy there?

      • LAK says:

        Here is an explanation from the pap himself:
        http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/press/prince-george-and-the-paparazzi-9107692.html

        extract:

        “The deal for the photographs, taken by an unnamed paparazzo, was brokered by Max Cisotti of Xclusive Pix!, a picture agency set up in 1992 and specialising in shots of royals. He says that the magazine had spoken to the palace and “got the green light” for publication. “We also waited until she came back [from Mustique], so there was no security issue.”

        “…….the shots were sold to a celebrity magazine famous for its approving treatment of the royals and other celebrities. “It’s a favoured destination because once it’s in Hello!, it’s a bit more accepted and that makes it easier,” explains Cisotti. “Usually Hello! manages to clear things because of its reputation.”

    • Hazel says:

      Yeah, but…. Everybody knows the Middletons go to Mustique at this time every year, they know Kate and/or William always go, they know we haven’t seen PGTips since his christening & that we WANT to see new photos of him–I think it’s all in the timing. Tip off your house-pap, but hold off on publication until AFTER the vacay so that other paps don’t show up for more pix.

    • FLORC says:

      Esti
      There are mountains of evidence that the Middletons do set up photos and give tips to their favorite paps.
      For example.. When Kate was leaving her parents home when William came and picked her up for the hospital check in to give birth details of who was in the car, what it looked like in there, how everyone was doing, and what door they would enter the hospital in (and when) were all leaked to a pap that gets almost all the exclusives from that family. So, either he’s psychic or 1 of 6 people that could know those details was given him the play by play.

      Also, accounting for how much William hated the press and was still battling the “boob-gate” issue It had to be one of the Middletons.
      And everything LAK and My2Pence have stated just paints a strong history of how they play the PR game.

      1 last thing. They also have a PR consulting team they are very active with.

    • Nikkie says:

      Better PR to get a picture of Kate fully dressed lovingly taking care of baby George than pics of her when she lands sunbathing and swimming in a string bikini while the nanny looks after the baby. They were going to get pics of her anyway but arranging to get motherly pictures is better for public support.

  4. m says:

    Interesting how you can’t see the kids face in any of the pics. What curious baby looks down all the time with all of that activity around it? Oh thats right, one during a photo op when the family poses it.
    Also she needs to learn how to hold a baby. You would never know that she’s the mother based on how she acts around him.
    And one last thing, Will and Kate can work for their charities as much as they want, its just tours and city visits that are assigned by the Queen. Kates lack of work is her own choice.

    • Marigold says:

      Are you insinuating they told a baby to keep his head down? And that he listened? Okay, then. Babies look down all the time. Perhaps he liked her shoes or something on the ground.

      And I hold my baby like that all the time. She actually only ever liked to be held facing out for a long while because it gave her arms and legs freedom to move.

      Pick on her for something real. You’re grasping at straws here to throw shade.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        +1
        Ridiculous

      • m says:

        No Im saying that she is positioning him so his head is down.
        And she’s holding him fine in this pic but in all of the others, she wasn’t supporting him, she was just holding him around the waist while the rest of him just dangled there while she twirled her hair (no joke).

      • Marigold says:

        @M, he’s 6 months old. He has the neck and body strength to move himself or complain if he is uncomfortable. There’s nothing wrong with how she’s holding him in any pictures here. She’s not positioning him any way. He’s being held like babies are held. There’s nothing more to it.

      • FLORC says:

        M
        While I agree with your last sentence the rest is way off base. George is likely also very squiggly and these are just split second photos. She seems to be supporting him just fine.

    • Catk says:

      The baby is looking down, call the child psychologists! Or maybe we can get some highly scientific body language experts to comment. Ridiculous to call her out on how she’s holding the baby. 4 kids here, and I held them facing out all the time. They would wrench away to be able to look at what’s in front of them.

    • Suze says:

      Oh m, I am not Kate or a royal family apologist, but I have to say babies look down at the ground like that all the time. Even the non-royal ones!

      • Kiku says:

        I agree! My son was born just 5 days before Prince George and he loves to be held like that and look at his feet- just like PG is doing. I’m not a huge Kate fan- but that critique is ridiculous.

    • Seagulls says:

      I well remember that age. He’s looking down and being held awkwardly because he wants to make a break for it and play with something (or just crawl around) on the ground. You can pick on her for any number of things, but lots of babies are like this.

  5. Meme says:

    Prince George is so adorable. I like Wills and Kate … No apologies here.

  6. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    I think if you are famous, and you appear in a public place, people are going to take your picture. There are limits, and lines that can’t be crossed, as I believe they were with the topless photos, but if you’re getting off a British Airways flight and someone snaps your picture, don’t waste everybody’s time filing a lawsuit. You can’t use the media to your own advantage and then complain when they use you back.

    • Kaiser says:

      The problem is that other photos of Kate and William taken in public spaces are the subjects of many legal threats.

      • Ice Maiden says:

        If what I read on here is correct, the presence or absence of William is key. Perhaps the fact that he is not in these photos means they can be published without fear of repercussions.

      • Kaiser says:

        *touches nose* Yep, Ice Maiden.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Oh my God, I feel like I’ve been called to the principal’s office. I understood the problem with cherry-picking photos to oppose. I only meant that the Royal Family should not oppose any pictures taken in a public space unless a line is crossed, in my opinion. As a rule, going forward. I sort of thought I was agreeing with you. Did the boat sail without me?

      • FLORC says:

        GoodNames
        For what it’s worth, I thought you were also in agreement.

      • bluhare says:

        It’s OK, GoodNames. No caning for you. I think they are pretty much agreeing with you, and it’s William who is the one who needs a talking to from the head master.

      • FLORC says:

        Canning?
        Did something happen to the wet wiglet bluhare?

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        @Florc and Bluhare
        You ladies make me smile.

    • Dame Snarkweek says:

      Getting pap’d in public is such a huge price to pay for a life of privilege and ease. Sigh. My only defense of Will is that at least this is a consistent demon of his. He has always harbored an almost pathological hatred for/dread of the press, even long before his mother’s death, and certainly afterwards. The few times he has played nicely it was due to extenuating factors and a pretty powerful risk/reward ratio. I hope he realizes it is not going to get any better.

      • Suze says:

        I think the whole family hates it to differing degrees. I think open mikes have picked up Charles making derogatory comments about certain paparazzi.

        I’m of two minds on this. Some times I think making more public appearances would help William control the press better, and at times I just think it would stoke the machine.

        I agree, though, that it’s a high price to pay. However, the family has to play the hand they’re dealt.

      • Dame Snarkweek says:

        For every country estate weekend there is a journalist buying secrets frrom your “friends”, for every leisurely Gstaad ski getaway there is a pap hiding behind a fir tree and for every tiara there is a photog with a telephoto lens raking in the cash every time you have a gin soaked fight with your spouse on some luxury hotel balcony. It is what it is.

    • Kaiser says:

      I’m not mad at you Good Names, I was just reiterating my point! If the new rule is “public space = okay to pap” then the royals should stop threatening lawsuits over most photos.

      • Faye says:

        I think the difference is that someone (aka the Mids) approved (arranged?) this photo. That seems the most likely answer.

        My (English) sister in law said she heard somewhere that “Hello” never publishes photos of famous people without their advance permission. This may not be true. But given the proxmity to Kate, the way she’s looking toward the camera, etc., I’m inclined to believe it.

      • Ice Maiden says:

        Faye,

        I’d say it is true. ”Hello” magazine isn’t about sneaky shots of celebs falling out of nightclubs or looking bleary eyed and hungover the morning after. It’s all about soft-focus photo spreads of expertly made up celebs looking immaculate in their ‘beautiful beachside home’. In order to maintain their reputation as the go-to place for a celeb looking for an unctuous write-up, ‘Hello’ have to make sure never to get on the wrong side of any of them – especially the ‘royals’.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        @Kaiser
        Oh, good. I see. Thank you!

  7. Francesca says:

    The baby is sweet and she looks happy. The family is able to take awesome holidays. Sounds pretty nice to me.

    • My2Pence says:

      Accompanied by $100,000+ of taxpayer-funded security makes it a lot less “awesome” for the taxpayers. If they had vacationed at home(s) like the royal family does, the costs of security would have been a lot less.

      • Francesca says:

        If the English really had a problem with the costs associated with their royal family, they should do so,ething about it. Otherwise, i say let them enjoy the perks as they also have to endure the difficulties.

      • FLORC says:

        *reads francescas comment and grabs the popcorn*

      • My2Pence says:

        @ FLORC. We’ve all been chowing down on the popcorn for years watching these two and their antics.

        @ Francesca. Membership in the anti-monarchy group Republic skyrocketed after their wedding, so the taxpayers are moving towards making changes as slowly as it may seem. General consensus is that big changes are potentially coming in the UK and across the Commonwealth after Her Majesty passes.

        Much of the criticism stems – as in the case of these vacations – over the fact that the Middleton family is not royal but is receiving security and services from the taxpayers by extension. Ex: When Pippa was promoting her book, it was proven that taxpayer-funded security provided the security at an event even though no member of the royal family was to be present.

        Kate Middleton’s insistence on staying at her parents house so frequently is costing the taxpayers a mint in patrols. Security additions were also made using taxpayer money to the Middleton’s house that the family will benefit from when they sell in the future. “The cost implications of this operation for just a week would run into hundreds of thousands of pounds,” he claimed (former royal bodyguard when asked about the security needed for this). Every time she runs home to mummy instead of living in the 40+ room Palace, it costs the taxpayers and they are taking note.

        http://www.entertainmentwise.com/news/118440/Kate-Middleton-Duchess-Of-Cambridge-Warned-To-Keep-Royal-Baby-Away-From-Parents-House

        The public aren’t idiots, they are keeping track, they are biding their time, and waiting until the (mostly) respected Queen is no longer here. The more Bill and Kate mess up, the more reasons taxpayers have to boot them when the time comes.

      • FLORC says:

        My2Pence
        Then let me offer you some fresh popcorn as your years old popcorn must be stale by now.

        And I still can’t believe those home upgrades happened with out a fuss. It’s just amazing. And those KP renovations are nice enough. I’m sure the staff will enjoy them whilst dusting away the cobwebs of an uninhabited home.

  8. The Original Mia says:

    Of course, these were planned with the Cambridges’ approval. That’s the only way they made it to print. If public pics are okay, then those daily pictures of our dear lazy Waity shopping should be printed, but they aren’t. With her guards going so far as to approach and bar anyone attempting to take a picture of her.

    Babies are good PR, so to blunt the exasperation people in the UK are starting to feel towards Kate & William, they trot out little George & an unkempt, travel- weary Kate and viola…BABY! No one will comment on the fact that William isn’t there for George’s first vacation and hasn’t been seen going to/fro to Cambridge in awhile. No one will comment on the fact that Kate is on vacation from nothing. All anyone will comment on is little George. It’s PR 101.

    • Ice Maiden says:

      Also, while it’s hard to tell when she’s wearing sunglasses, Kate seems to be looking at the camera and smiling. In other words, it looks as though she’s happy to be photographed. Maybe these aren’t ‘pap’ pics at all, but sanctioned by Kate and her people. ”Hello” magazine is generally very careful not to annoy celebs after all – it’s far from a tabloid.

    • Suze says:

      And it’s great PR! Cute baby, happy relatable non-gussied up mum, sunshine – really what’s not to like?

      The royals are controlling the story. Score one to the new PR office.

      • AmandaPanda says:

        Of COURSE it’s PR! There’s no way Hello! would buy those pics if they weren’t sanctioned by the Palace. And there’s no way they would have been held onto for a fortnight either, if they weren’t approved. I don’t understand why anyone’s even debating this. Presumably the media are calling attention to it as a subtle MASSIVE EYE ROLL at William’s controlling stance. But other than that, nothing to see, move along….

  9. janet says:

    If they take legal action, do they take it against the photographer or the outlet that publishes the photos? Just curious. If someone takes a photo of Kate picking her nose on the plane and sells it to the tabloids does the passenger get off scott-free? Just wondering how it works.

    • jules says:

      Highly doubt that someone would have the balls to take her picture on the plane. Seriously

      • My2Pence says:

        Just the other day a member of the public took Harry’s picture while he was sitting on a train, put it online, and said what he (Harry) was watching on his computer at the time. Maybe they wouldn’t have taken her picture on the little prop plane, but on the bigger one it is possible. That seems to be happening more and more to people in the public eye. Cell phone cameras have made it possible for every individual to invade other people’s privacy in many ways (and obviously not just the privacy of the wealthy and famous but everybody’s privacy).

      • AmandaPanda says:

        Doubt it, my 2pence – if she had james + 2 bodyguards with her noone would have got close. BA First cabins only have 12 seats in them, and the first 2 “rows” only have 1 seat on each side (next to the windows on each side. If Kate was in 1A, James in 1B and the 2 bodyguards in e.g. 2A and 2B/3E (inside middle) noone would be able approach her really.

      • My2Pence says:

        Unfortunately, I’ve never been in first class on BA. I can dream! Hopefully she would have had the baby in the seat just across the aisle from her rather than her brother, but I’m getting a better idea of the visuals from your explanation.

        The picture of Harry was taken by someone a few rows ahead of him, taken secretly through the spaces between the seats. If I remember correctly, a fellow passenger snagged a picture of Jennifer Aniston in a BA first class cabin a few months ago and it was put online. She probably travels with security too, but the photo was still snagged quickly/secretly and probably unseen by her security. Just looked like somebody checking their cell phone screen.

        So not highly-likely that they’d get a photo of KM on a plane, but unfortunately increasingly-impossible for any of us to have any privacy in a public space (like a train or plane). That’s part of the reason they’ve made it illegal to disable the “camera sound” function on cell phones in Japan; the harassment and secret photo taking (mostly up women’s skirts) on public transit.

  10. Sixer says:

    Don’t forget, the UK press is generally unhappy at the moment, what with the disagreements about where to go post-hacking. There is no happy compromise being worked out – and it’s not just the tabloids who are miffed. We can expect quite a bit of muscle-flexing as it all plays out and I’m not surprised to see the possibility of exposing any royal hypocrisy about press reporting becoming part of it.

    • Suze says:

      You bring up a good point.

      Charles may have smelled the blood in the air and organized their PR office into one unit to forestall any cross-communications.

      • Sixer says:

        I certainly think he may have wanted to plug any holes in the dam.

        If the British tabloids get any whiff of photo-placing by the Middleton camp that they have been pressured into agreeing not to run, then it will feed into the whole post-hacking dissatisfaction. And they’ll be backed up by the broadsheets, who are equally furious at every option for future regulation they’re being presented with.

        I think it’s entirely possible this is just a part in a much bigger game insofar as the British press is concerned. They know the royals can easily become an Achilles heel for the agents of regulation within it.

    • fairy godmother says:

      I wish PW would follow CP Victoria of Sweden and her husband with regard to permitting photos of their daughter. It seems like a win-win situation and hopefully deters having to sneak pics.
      Knowing that certain members of the BRF have now legally claimed their images as a brand- does anyone think that may additionally influence the rare occasion PW allows photos? It would make sense since it would up the value of a rare photo.
      Hello mag sealed the arrangements of the sale of these photos- who do you think gets the money or a large % of the monies made from the sale? Why was the deal sealed?
      These two numpties seem to bring more havoc and chaos to the BRF than good imo. I wish they would just go away quietly.

      • bluhare says:

        Estelle is the cutest!! I saw the photos of her with them this week.

        I love the word “numpties”. LOL!!!

  11. Kiku says:

    Totally planned PR move. Instead of talking about how she is on a vacation- people will talk about what a hands on mother she is and how she is “just like us”. Mmhmmmmm.

  12. Lila says:

    I actually think that this is evidence that Charles’ changes are not all about blocking Kate and William’s popularity. Even if they didn’t file suit, no way would the royal family skip at least some nasty comments about these pics if they didn’t approve. They didn’t because pictures of a smiling, gorgeous young mother holding her happy baby without any signs she posed for the pics are gold for positive public opinion. They get the good feelings from the aww-inducing pictures and manage to keep their image that if the paparazzo had been close, they wouldn’t have happened.

    I don’t know that I agree the Middletons arranged the pictures but I don’t believe they were by accident either. Just like other celebs, the royal family can move undercover if they want to. I think someone let it slip that she was on this flight, landing at this airport at this time and George was with her. So it wasn’t a setup so much as making the situation available for the pictures. And just in case, she made sure all she was carrying was the baby and she looked happy and pretty as can be rather than annoyed and tired like most people after a long flight with a six month old.

    I agree not going after these pictures is a recipe for trouble and hypocrisy. I don’t really think they have grounds to go after them but that’s never stopped the royal family before. If they don’t mind these being published, what about all the other photos of the family in public but not on ‘duty’? I think if the royal family starts allowing certain photos to be published without complaint, then quickly there will be photos taken that they don’t want published and they will throw a fit. Instead of the careful lines that have been drawn in the past, they will be called out for hypocrisy and things will get messy.

    • Suze says:

      I agree. I don’t think Charles PR changes were about blocking WillKatGeorge access at all. I think it’s all about building up goodwill for them and by extension, for the whole family. It’s a pretty subtle move.

    • My2Pence says:

      I agree it isn’t about limiting their PR, it is limiting bad PR and building up goodwill.

      Kaiser I don’t agree with the “Prince Charles doesn’t want anyone paying attention to her” idea. He probably doesn’t want people paying attention to vacations, 3x a week hair appointments, and her getting photographed shopping every day. He’d like people paying attention to the causes the royal family supports and the work they do. Again comes the problem that she just doesn’t do much of anything. If they can get her to work, and her “fans” start supporting the causes that she is seen to support, that would be a great thing for the royals to leverage.

      • Suze says:

        Right – some pap photos have always been all right. Some have not.

        Therein lies the current battle.

      • Lila says:

        I think he is trying to refocus her image. He doesn’t care that she’s young, pretty and on fashion lists. That’s a plus for their profile. But after all the press about her work habits, short skirts, vacations, and the cost of their home renovations, they need to get some other headlines for her. So why not hands on mother? I wouldn’t be surprised if we got some pictures of her and George in the park as it gets warmer. They can cut back on the film premieres and do a few more events like the scouting trips that can be photographed throughout with no designer clothes for all the press to focus on. I don’t think it is about restricting their public profile at all. Much like the article the other day about the Queen planning to change Kate’s wardrobe, it’s about maturing it and getting away from some of the celeb headlines.

      • My2Pence says:

        You called it Lila. She was photographed pushing the stroller in a public park today.

      • cass says:

        My2Pence – the stroller pictures are from the beginning of december

      • bluhare says:

        cass, there were a couple taken yesterday I think it was in Kensington Gardens. They’re on a fan blog. She’s wearing the same clothes as December, though. Smart tactic. The photos all look the same.

      • My2Pence says:

        Trying again, apologies if this ends up posting way too many times.

        I meant the new photos taken today (or yesterday in London) and posted on a Kate fan blog: hrhduchesskate(dot)blogspot)dot)co(dot)uk/2014/02/kate-takes-george-for-stroll-mustique(dot)html

  13. Sam says:

    I would guess that the difference here is possibly because they’re outside the UK. Remember when an Italian magazine published some pics of Kate, William pitched a fit and the Italian editor was basically like “You’re not royalty in Italty, we can treat you just like anyone else.” Maybe now they get that they’re not really that special outside of their homebase? It seems like the British press has an understanding about the royals, but the international or foreign press – not so much.

    • Ice Maiden says:

      Yes, but this is the UK edition of ‘Hello’ so if any rules were broken, they could be sued in the UK courts.

      I think the obvious answer is that these were pre-approved pics. ‘Hello’ isn’t a tabloid – it’s not going to bite the royal hand that feeds it.

  14. Suze says:

    Kaiser can I say that I love how your posts about Kate have moved our conversation about the royal family from the purely frivolous (clothes, hair, who is wearing what) to sophisticated conversations about the value of PR and the tug of war between entrenched institutions and the press?

    Not that there’s anything wrong with the frivolous – I’m pretty shallow – but these royal posts have led to some fascinating conversations here on CB!

  15. LAK says:

    A Hello ‘exclusive’ (the coverline on the magazine is trumpeting an exclusive) doesn’t happen without express permission of the people in the pictures.

    Hello’s bread and butter is royalty. They’d never ran the risk of destroying their relationship with royalty by publishing unapproved pictures.

    The fact that the palace put out a statement about these pictures that approves their publication says this was a planned event.

  16. RedWeatherTiger says:

    I think they are fools for not showing that baby off a bit more. If old Prince Charles wants good will for the RF, then showing a cute baby and his happy (?) mother is a fine way to do it. Keeping him hidden away does not make the public love him or any of them. Is the last sighting at his baptism? I’m not suggesting they “use” him, but dang, people love babies, and George happens to be super cute!

  17. Karen says:

    Hello is very British Royal friendly. They would never post anything that would get them in trouble. William and Kate even gave them an interview during the engagement, and different members of the family have sold them photos (weddings, christenings, etc.)

    The family probably knew the photos were taken (in a public place) and decided that they can’t threaten legal suit so they approved it for use in a tabloid they trust will be as sugar-coated as possible (the royal version of People). Also, the last few times they’ve been to this airport to change over to the smaller planes to go to Mustique they’ve been photographed (usually blurry), so if they really wanted to “hide” Prince George they would have been more careful to cover him up exiting the plane. Kate’s smiling right into the camera, she’s aware of what’s going on.

    Plus they need some good publicity: Kate’s on another holiday (without her husband), hasn’t worked in months, and if they had threatened legal action they’d be seen as tyrants who take money for vacations but won’t be public figures (again). Now, then, distract them with a photo of the bouncing baby boy, and ta da, Kate’s a beautiful mother and the baby is so cute. What vacation?

    • Ice Maiden says:

      Yes, we’ve got a cute baby and a mother who’s pretty and fresh without being overdone and looking almost ‘normal’ – no fancy clothes or heavy make-up. She could be at her local school sports day. You’d never guess this was yet another luxurious and massively expensive holiday in an exotic location. So it’s win win!

  18. AmandaPanda says:

    Btw, there’s something going on a Kensington Palace now – helicopter has been circling for the last 30 minutes (I’m working from home today & am only a couple of streets away). It’s really annoying!

    • Suze says:

      We have our own royal mole!

      Sorry about the helicopter. We live near an airforce reserve base and helicopters are ridiculously loud.

    • Dame Snarkweek says:

      Oh! Are you near the Gloucester Millenium?
      I loved it there :)

      • AmandaPanda says:

        Closer to the park/High St Ken, Dame Snarkweek – on the other side of the big road near the Millennium. But it’s nice.

        Yes, the helicopters are annoying. It wasn’t a problem before last year! But we’re not moving – we were here first :)

  19. PeriS says:

    Just a little add in to the pre-approved theory: If you notice, she’s the only one smiling in all the pictures. This could be because her staff is carrying her stuff, protecting her and George, and trying to get them from plane to another without a hitch, but it could also be that she’s in on a secret they don’t know, and that is that there is a photographer a distance away snapping pictures to use as good PR. Just my two cents

    • caitlin says:

      What do you mean “In all the pictures?” There’s only one picture on this post and besides Kate and the baby the only one I see is Christie Brinkley.

  20. HappyMom says:

    My only comment is I am so tired of this outfit on her. We know she shops-could she at least switch it up a little?

    • SoCal says:

      I was going to make the same comment. This is the third time. She wore it at the SportsAid visit (pictured above), during the 2012 Olympics, and now landing in Mustique. I think its a Zara top, and we know how much she loves Zara, but she must have other tops.

      • AmandaPanda says:

        It was reported as being Ralph Lauren. Maybe that’s her trick to downplay the shopping. She buys expensive stuff but then buys a replica/high st knock off that she wears when “on duty”.

      • FLORC says:

        AmandaPanda
        You are on fire today. She shops all that time yet we see select outfits and are sure to know the label and price tags. If it’s pricey it doesn’t get the wide range of coverage as her high street polk a dot dress and RL blazer for example.
        Here and there a civilian will take a shot of her shopping and she wears cute outfits that are sometimes seen on Pippa or Carole, but not more than once.

      • My2Pence says:

        @ FLORC. You’re right, and sometimes we get the prices but rarely. Remember when she spent a whopping hour at the children’s hospice, wearing an old dress of her mother’s? That afternoon she went shopping for several hours wearing a $2000 blazer. The borrowed dress was reported a lot, but the shopping and $2000 blazer weren’t reported in the main stream press.

  21. Juliette says:

    Were there two naked photo scandals with Kate Middleton and Closer Magazine?

    The Independent paper references a 2009 topless scandal when she was not married to Prince William, but the more recent scandal was in 2012. The end of the summer of 2012 is when Kate and William skipped the Paralympics to sunbathe in the South of France, and Closer Magazine published those photos too.

  22. Dame Snarkweek says:

    So now is confirmed that the palace gave the okay for these pictures. That means it was not William nor was it the Middletons but rather Charles. What a mess. Between Skirt Gate and now these vacay pics Charles is not exactly hitting homeruns with his pared down press office consolidation. He hired a stellar PR team to get us onboard with Cam but he can’t strike the right chord with WillKat brand placement. Perhaps he should hire Cressy’s PR firm.

  23. p says:

    Everyone wonders how Midds ca

    n afford this that and other. Perhaps its money from pap tips thats funding lifestyle.?????

    • Lisa says:

      Yes +million. Mustique and ski trips don’t pay for themselves, you know. Same with Pippi’s fashion parade.

  24. anne_000 says:

    So apparently Kate & her family are like the Leann Rimes of the Royals when it comes to alerting the paparazzi? #Famewhores

    If Prince Charles’s goal is to get the press to make it look like the family is about work & the Middleton’s goal is to make sure to get pap’d as much as possible while doing no work & William is seemingly not telling the Middletons to stop, then William’s reign is going to be a clownish one.

    • ya says:

      All celebs do it……… for various reasons. I wouldn’t be surprised if the queen signed off on this.

      • anne_000 says:

        Celebs do it for work-purposes. More attention means more possibility to get jobs. Also, some celebs apparently get money from paps 2 get pap’d.

        If the Middleton’s are doing it, it’s either for money from the paps and/or because they’re famewhores.

      • Dame Snarkweek says:

        It was not the Middletons this time. The Italian journalist has confirmed that it was the palace. So blame Chuck and Granny if you like. And trust me – royals have been manipulating the media/public opinion forever. It is part of the job.

      • FLORC says:

        Dame Snarkweek
        It’s part of their job, but also how they keep their job.
        To bend opinion like this! It’s like they’re actively reaching into your pocket and pulling out your money while you’re reading an article about how great they are for doing so.
        Good effort on Charles for trying, but the moment the Queen passes it’s all downhill.

  25. Alina says:

    HELLO! is extrem Windsor-friendly. These photos are permitted! PR move to show mummy Kate with George … distracts from her lazy lifesytle for a while, because she´s just a normal mother and bla…

    And The Queen is a Hello!-reader! No joke!

    Look at the table -> http://i3.mirror.co.uk/incoming/article1757991.ece/ALTERNATES/s2197/ITV%20documentary%20'Our%20Queen'-1757991.jpg

    • vava says:

      yes, can you imagine Hello mag showing those topless AND bottomless of photos of our dear duchess a couple of years ago??? LOL……….

  26. MSTHANG says:

    @ Kaiser, I’m so relieved others see this girl and her family for what they are. If they’re behaving this way now I shudder to think what they’ll be like once Charles is King.

  27. WM says:

    Why is this site determined to portray Prince Charles as some control freak attention hoarder? As far as I can see Kate has done nothing you could class as serious work before her marriage or now during it. Apparently it’s his fault and he’s been locking poor waity down in case her hair playing and nude shoes steal his thunder… PLEASE.
    Charles works really hard and has done for a long time and he has been right about a lot of things people ridiculed him for when he started voicing opinions.
    Clearly Charles doesn’t have a problem with Harry doing all the great things that get him attention so why would he be holding William and Kate back? Charles will be King and Camilla will be Queen and that’s a fact, This isn’t a popularity contest and if Charles wasn’t covering for Bill and Fake they wouldn’t be so popular. Ever think that’s one of the reasons he incorporated their press offices into his own? Because they were so incompetent at covering for W&K and he’s paying for that too.
    The fact is that will and Kate are just selfish lazy and entitled and don’t want the work just the perks, I hope they get it together but at the moment it would be so much better if Harry was the heir but like I said it isn’t a popularity contest.

  28. vangroovey says:

    Hmmmmmm. Interesting. When the story came out a week or so ago that Willy was photographed looking pissy coming off a train, I thought, “Well, where are these pictures? Every outlet is talking about this “grumpy photo” — but where is it?”

    Then these photos came out.

    I’m now wondering if his “grump” now had anything to do with the fact that he found out that his wife had orchestrated yet ANOTHER PR pic?