Royal tot tops privacy payouts

A record £53,000 payout for infringing the privacy of a baby in Germany could set a benchmark for future settlements in UK courts.

Princess Caroline of Monaco’s five-year-old daughter, Alexandra, won the settlement after German magazines published pictures of her in 1999. They pictured the princess and her daughter leaving hospital as well as pictures taken by a photographer who had climbed a tree in the grounds of the family home.

Media law expert Caroline Kean, from Wiggin & Co, said: “This is a very high payment -it’s extraordinary when you consider that the child was a baby when these photos were published.

“It is another step showing that rights of privacy are being taken very seriously and it is a benchmark figure that you can expect to have quoted in UK courts when people sue here.”

She added that celebrities who have chosen to lead public lives may be treated differently to Princess Caroline, who has had celebrity forced on her by accident of birth.

In June, the princess won a separate European Court of Human Rights Case which said German magazines were wrong to publish pictures of her on holiday with her family.

The decision has been interpreted as ruling out of bounds paparazzi shots showing celebrities with their children.

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