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Ruling on Breach of Privacy Complaint filed by the Duchess of Cambridge

It’s a victory for the Duchess of Cambridge when the breach of privacy complaints she filed were upheld. The Duchess may not see this as a victory of sorts, but simply a mother doing what she can to protect her child’s privacy.
Catherine complained to the Independent Press standards Organisation, Ipso, about stories of herself and Prince George published by Ok! and The Express back in May.

The stories in question contained photos of Catherine and her son, George. The little prince is sitting on a police motorbike, his tiny hands reaching for the bike’s controls. Surrounded by four police officers, his mother is seen beaming in the background. It turns out though, that the four officers were present at Kensington Palace because a member of the royal family was to arrive by helicopter.

The IPSO committee said that the photograph had been taken when Catherine and Prince George were thought to have a ‘reasonable expectation of privacy.’ It went on to say: “They were engaged in a private activity; the images had been taken while they were on private, protected land where commercial photography is prohibited; and no permission for the images to be taken or published had been sought or obtained.”

The committee further went on to say that The Express and OK! denied that this photo showed the Duchess and Prince in a ‘private interaction.’ The defendants stated that the officers were on duty when the picture was taken. They simply wanted to give the public the opportunity to see how the younger members of the royal family: “interacted with public servants, particularly when the officers had been ‘commandeered for a three-year-old’s entertainment’.”

The committee upheld both complaints filed by the Duchess of Cambridge. It ruled that no public interest had been served with the publication of the images. It was acknowledge though, that as members of the royal family, the Duchess and Prince George are public figures: “however, they were photographed standing within the grounds of their private home, in a position that was not easily visible to the photographer; they were not carrying out any official duties, and they were unaware that they were being photographed.”

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