London: Months after condemning the harassment Prince George, two, has faced from members of the paparazzi, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge invited just one photographer from the Press Association to take pictures of their first skiing holiday for the public.
While photographers from various press outlets would sometimes be invited to capture images of members of the royal family on holiday in the past, William and Kate arrived at their location in the French Alps on Wednesday in secret. Their trip was only revealed when Kensington Palace shared four photos of the Duke and Duchess and their two children taken by the Press Association on its Twitter account on Monday.
Kensington Palace has also refused to reveal where in the French Alps they went for their holiday.
When approached by The Independent, Kensington Palace would not comment on why only one photographer was invited to photograph the Duke and Duchess and it would not state the location of their holiday. A spokesperson said: “They asked John Stillwell to accompany them and he was delighted to come.”
Prince William and Prince Harry grew up in the glare of the spotlight as media interest grew around their mother, Princess Diana, who was hounded by paparazzi until her death.
But the Duke and Duchess have kept the press at arms length since having children and are keen to ensure Princess George and Prince Charlotte can have “safe, happy and private” childhoods that are not spent stuck indoors and behind walled gardens.
Jason Knauf, the communications secretary for Kensington Palace, criticised paparazzi in a strongly worded letter to leaders of media industry bodies and standards organisations in August 2015.
The letter accused some paparazzi of using long-range lenses to capture images of The Duchess playing with Prince George in a number of private parks, of monitoring the movements of George and his nanny around London parks and of monitoring the movements of other household staff.
“The Duke and Duchess are of course very fortunate to have private homes where photographers cannot capture images of their children,” it reads. “But they feel strongly that both Prince George and Princess Charlotte should not grow up exclusively behind palace gates and in walled gardens. They want both children to be free to play in public and semi-public spaces with other children without being photographed.“