Editors warned against using paparazzi shots of Royals

The Queen has warned newspapers against publishing paparazzi photos of members of the Royal family.

The hard line follows growing exasperation about intrusion into the private lives of the Royals family their friends.

The Queen’s lawyers have contacted newspapers informing them of privacy obligations under their own code of practice.

The move is thought to have the full support of high-profile members of the Royal family such as The Prince of Wales and his sons Princes William and Harry.

Paddy Harverson, the Prince Charles’s communications secretary, explained: “Members of the Royal family feel they have a right to privacy when they are going about everyday, private activities.

“They recognise there is a public interest in them and what they do, but they do not think this extends to photographing the private activities of them and their friends.”

The first test of the new approach is likely come in the next few weeks when the Royal family gather as is tradition at the Sandringham estate in Norfolk, for Christmas.

Previously freelance photographers have spent many hours monitoring the area to get pictures of the family on the estate.

William has previously voiced concern after his girlfriend Kate Middleton was hounded by the paparazzi in 2007.

And the role of the paparazzi in the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, in a Paris car crash, has also been widely scrutinised.

But campaigners Republic, who have called for the monarchy to be replaced with an elected head of state, said the Royal family must remain open to scrutiny.

Spokesman Graham Smith explained: “While everyone has a right to a certain level of privacy the Queen cannot expect the media to dance to her tune.

“The media are not there to act as promoters of the royals.

“The Windsors routinely use the media when it suits them, to promote their activities and their personal lives.

“Our press is awash with positive stories about the personal lives of the Windsors. The palace should not be the ones dictating where the line should be drawn.”

“Given the high level of secrecy already surrounding the monarchy the press must be allowed to pursue stories and take photos if there is genuine news value or public interest.”

“There have been a number of photos taken of Windsors apparently hitting or killing animals, highly questionable actions that the public have a right to know about.

“If people who claim a god-given right to head our nation are falling out of night clubs then clearly there is a public interest.

“The Windsors cannot have it both ways. If they demand privacy then they must submit to accountability, transparency and scrutiny.”

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