Prince George fury: How third-in-line to throne ‘became number one target’

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Kensington Palace never issues warnings or threats to the outside world. Such an act is out of its remit. Its work usually consists of royal statements, the announcement of events, and charity work that royals have been engaged in.

Things changed in 2013, on the birth of Prince George.

The media world went royally mad for the newest addition to the family’s inner circle.

His attraction was made all the more intense being what many argued as the most important royal to be born in the 21st century.

This is because George, whose father is Prince William, future King, is himself one day likely to take the throne.

George is third-in-line, with many photographers wanting to get precious snaps of him during his early years.

Yet, the lengths they were willing to go became “increasingly dangerous”, according to an official Kensington Palace statement in 2015.

Paparazzi intent on selling images to foreign publications for hefty sums adopted several tactics.

Some included hiding in car boots and sand dunes, and even using young children as bait to draw their “No 1 target” into view, the Palace said in the strongly worded letter.

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Jason Knauf, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s communications secretary who wrote the letter, claimed that photographers, by employing tactics used by those wishing to put the Prince at risk, were also putting their own lives in danger.

He wrote: “The worry is that it will not always be possible to quickly distinguish between someone taking photos and someone intending to do more immediate harm.

“The incidents are becoming more frequent and the tactics more alarming. A line has been crossed and any further escalation in tactics would represent a very real security risk.

“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.”

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The letter also said paparazzi had “pursued cars leaving family homes”.

This raised fears over a repeat in circumstances of Princess Diana’s death.

Charles Spencer, Diana’s brother, had once described his sister as “the most hunted person of the modern age”.

Diana was killed in a car crash while being chased by paparazzi in Paris in 1997.

Following her death, the British press scaled-back and changed its editors’ code of practice to prohibit the publication of paparazzi pictures involving any kind of pursuit.

A compromise between the media and Royal Family had remained firm ever since.

George’s birth, however, appeared to cause issues.

The birth of Princess Charlotte in 2015 and Prince Louis in 2018 were met with no such intensity from paparazzi.

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