Sun seeks 'royal pardon' for paparazzi pic of Wills

Edwards: left after photo call

The Sun has been accused of breaking a “gentleman’s agreement” and slapped with a royal access ban after publishing unofficial pictures of Prince William on holiday.

The front-page story from Thursday, headlined “Finally Wills gets a girl”, used a paparazzi photo taken without official approval.

According to royal officials, the paper has been punished for not keeping to an arrangement whereby the press leave royals on private holidays alone in exchange for being provided with an official photo call. The deal is also said to ban the use of freelance photos.

The pictures of William with fellow St Andrews student Kate Middleton on the slopes at Swiss ski resort Klosters were supplied by an agency.

Although the story was widely followed up, only the Daily Mail used the contentious pictures.

According to St James’s Palace, The Sun will be excluded from two future press calls involving the young princes. Prince Charles’s communications secretary, Paddy Harverson, said: “We provided a media opportunity at the start of the trip for broadcasters and newspapers.

“We were very disappointed when The Sun broke the agreement and purchased pictures from paparazzi taken of Prince William later in the week.

“If the agreement is to have any meaning it makes sense to have sanctions for newspapers that break it.”

In response to the ban, The Sun this week launched a campaign to obtain a “royal pardon” for its veteran photographer Arthur Edwards.

Edwards, who has been photographing royals for 27 years, was in France this week taking pictures of the Queen. He said: “They were justified in using the picture because it is a true story and in the public interest.

“There is a gentleman’s agreement that you don’t stay on after the official photo call and I flew home on the Sunday night.”

By Dominic Ponsford

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