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Kate Middleton and Prince William fear that their ability to provide Prince George with a childhood free of harassment has become impossible because of the paparazzi. In a letter shared by Kensington Palace, communications secretary Jason Knauf describes photographers' tactics as "increasingly dangerous."
In releasing the notice, the royal family hopes that "those who pay paparazzi photographers for their images of children will be able to better understand the distressing activity around a two-year-old boy that their money is fueling." Although all images of members of the family are valuable, the letter makes it clear that Prince George is "their number one target."
Knauf expanded upon the measures taken, bringing to light a common strategy recently used by a photographer seeking a snap of Prince George. He wrote:
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, waiting in hope to capture images of Prince George. 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.
That's one of several recent incidences. Others include:
• on multiple occasions used long range lenses to capture images of The Duchess playing with Prince George in a number of private parks;
• monitored the movements of Prince George and his nanny around London parks and monitored the movements of other household staff;
• 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
Will this educational campaign reduce the public desire to see tow-headed famous babies looking "cute" and "adorable" and "kind of surprised to see the camera right there?" Can we, as a people, calm our maternal instinct that survives on royal voyeurism, and deny that "OMG BABYYY" knee-jerk reaction? These are the questions for our times. Read the full letter here.