Media warned over royals’ privacy

Published: Thursday 7th May 2015 by The News Editor

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Letters warning against “acts of harassment” while the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and other members of the Royal Family are at home in Norfolk have been handed to the media by police.

William and Kate are settling down to family life at Anmer Hall, on the Queen’s private Sandringham estate, with their new baby daughter, Princess Charlotte, and son, Prince George, after arriving from London yesterday.

Members of the media were in the Sandringham area yesterday in anticipation of the couple’s arrival and were given the letters, which stated that while members of the Royal Family and their guests are in residence they have “a more than reasonable expectation of privacy”.

The letter, undersigned by the Cambridges’ communications secretary, called for “acts of harassment and breaches of privacy to cease”.

It said: “There have in the past been a number of intrusions into the privacy of the Royal Family which in the main have been as a result of professional photographers using long-distance lenses, not only to observe the Royal Family, but also to photograph them going about their activities on the estate.”

Previous warnings to photographers meant “the position has greatly improved”.

But it continued: “However, we would remind you again of the position. The Sandringham Estate trusts that there will not be a need to take any further action other than bringing these points to your attention.”

In the past the letters have been routinely given to individuals who unintentionally or otherwise find themselves on or near private land at Anmer.

A Kensington Palace spokeswoman said: “The warm-hearted and understandable interest in the Royal Family and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge needs to be balanced with their right to private family life – this is especially important for a family with very young children.

“This is a letter given by police to individuals found operating on or around the Sandringham estate, including Anmer, on behalf of the Royal Household.

“It reminds them of their responsibilities and the rights of the estate. Media are encouraged to speak to royal communications for further guidance about where they can operate on this private estate.”

William is on two weeks’ paternity leave from his job as an air ambulance helicopter pilot and is expected to start the final phase of his training at the beginning of June.

Anmer Hall, a 10-bedroom country retreat, was a gift to the couple from the Queen following their wedding. The secluded red brick mansion is a short drive from Sandringham House and recently underwent a £1.5 million refurbishment overseen by William and Kate.

The Duchess spent much of her pregnancy overseeing major renovations on the building, including the conversion of wood stores into accommodation for the nanny and the creation of a garden room.

The mansion, which already had a swimming pool and a tennis court, has a £500,000 new roof, as well as a new kitchen, garden room, re-landscaped front driveway and new nursery for George and Charlotte. The renovations were paid for mostly from the Royal Family’s private funds.

Published: Thursday 7th May 2015 by The News Editor

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