Happy One Year Anniversary to my favorite couple, Wills & Kate! Just a few days ago, on April 29th, 2012 the United Kingdom’s Prince William and his wife Princess Catherine
celebrated their first wedding anniversary in Suffolk, England at a country cottage…well according to People magazine.
If you can’t tell by now, I love reading about everything “royals” especially when it concerns the real life Cinderella, commoner to princess in a few short years, Kate Middleton. But with all the press coverage that the royal couple has received over the past two years, I couldn’t help but wonder how that affected the princess and her non-royal family, so I did a little research. As it turns out Kate Middleton has had quite the rough time
dealing with all of her attention in the news and the tabloids.
In 2010, the then 28-year-old Middleton (at the time not yet engaged to Prince William) hired the Queen’s solicitors to take legal action against the Rex Features agency and their photographers for taking and then publishing pictures of herself playing tennis on Christmas, just a few weeks earlier. Middleton was seeking damages under the Protection from Harassment Act, enacted by the U.K. in 1997, stating that these pictures were an invasion of her privacy.
Though the agency claimed that the photographer was not in their employ they still contributed to distribute and publish the pictures online and in print. The judges ruled that Rex Features had gone above and beyond what was acceptable in trying to capture these photos of Middleton, as she was not out in public but rather at her family’s manor. The princess was awarded an apology from the company as well as 5,000 pounds in damages, which she then donated to charity.
Although I do understand the paparazzo’s viewpoint that if you are a celebrity in the media, you have chosen to accept the fact that you will be photographed at all times of the day, I also believe that the judges were right in their ruling of Middleton’s case. In my opinion if the celebrity being photographed is not in a public setting then any pictures taken are extremely intrusive and unnecessary.
After a while Kate Middleton was no longer the press’ main focus as they dubbed her “Waity Katie” (because of her lengthy relationship with Prince William) but when the prince and Middleton announced their engagement in November of 2010, the media frenzy was renewed, and this time they had even more targets to shoot, the Middleton family. Kate’s younger sister, Pippa became the press’ new favorite subject as images of the future maid-of-honor’s history began to resurface. The royal family tried to ignore details of the youngest sister’s party girl past, but the harassment that followed Middleton and the rest of the family came to a head just a few short weeks before the April wedding, when the family contacted the Press Complaints Commission to discuss concerns over their constant hounding by the photographers.
The excitement of the royal wedding and the prince and princess’ future soon took over the press though and the attention on the royal couple became much more positive. Many industry “insiders” believe that the reason there has not been that much negative attention cast on the prince’s future with his new wife is not only out of fear of legal repercussions but also out of respect for the prince’s past, as the wedding brought to re-attention the death of his mother, the late Princess Diana.
However not all are as optimistic about the press as others are, many believe that at the first sign of a baby bump or trouble within the marriage (god forbid!) the media circus will once again ensue. Speaking to CNN, public relations expert Max Clifford compared the paparazzi today to those during the time of Princess Diana, saying “it is a lot more ferocious now, believe me, if you thought it was bad then, just watch.”
As ominous as that may seem, now that the first year anniversary has passed with no signs of legal scrapes for the press, let’s hope that no more trouble with the paparazzi befalls the royal couple. Although you can bet, I will be reading any piece of information on the illustrious Kate Middleton and her princely husband that I can get my hands on :).
- Do you think the Judge’s ruling was fair?
- How do you see the interactions between celebrities and the press?