In August 2015, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were forced to issue a statement via their private secretary, Jason Knauf, detailing the “dangerous” and “distressing” methods paps were using to obtain photos of their children, George and Charlotte.
The statement told of paparazzi hiding in private fields and woodlands, obscuring themselves in sand dunes to take photographs, using other children to lure Prince George into sight and monitoring the movements of the Princess Charlotte (then just a baby) and her nanny around London parks.
But this public statement was a mistake, says Princess Diana’s former bodyguard Ken Wharfe.
Instead, Kate and William should restrict their children to royal grounds, he says.
“My argument, having worked in similar circumstances, is if you don’t want that intrusion, if you don’t want that negative publicity, why do you need to take a baby that doesn’t know where she is to a park in South London that’s open to the public?” Wharfe tells Kate Thorton during episode six of Yahoo UK’s ‘The Royal Box’.
“They are in such a privileged position that that baby could have walked round the gardens at Buckingham Palace, Windsor castle, anywhere else in the world, without that intrusion,” he continues.
“I think one has to be careful there.”
Wharfe, a Scotland Yard Protection Officer, guarded the princess and her sons from 1986 to the end of 1993.
The 2015 statement warned the Cambridges wanted to ensure that “history should not repeat itself”; that the young royals should not endure the kind of intrusion Prince William, Prince Harry and their mother Princess Diana faced.
William and Harry have been public about holding paparazzi photographers responsible for the death of their mother Princess Diana, who died in a car crash in Paris in 1997 after being chased by paparazzi at high speed.