Heat apologises for publishing Kate shopping pic

Heat Magazine has apologised to the Duchess of Cambridge after publishing a photo of her out shopping.

The PCC-brokered apology came about after lawyers for the princess made a complaint to the PCC under clause 3 of the Editors' Code (privacy) and clause 4 (harassment).

The Duchess and her sister, Pippa Middleton, are both the subject of intense interest from press photographers.

UK publications generally accept the convention that public figures have a reasonable expectation of privacy when on private business. And this also appears to be the line taken by the courts, depending on the individual circumstances.

In evidence to the Leveson Inquiry in January, Daily Mail picture editor Paul Silva said he receives up to 400 pictures a day of Pippa Middleton 'out and about doing her own thing".

He said that the Mail, in common with other national newspapers, does not use the photographs. But such pictures do feature in newspapers and magazines and on websites around the world.

In April last year the PCC issued a warning to newspapers editor over 'harassment and pursuit'of the Middleton family by journalists after mother Carole and sister Pippa were photographed out shopping in London.

The Heat apology, which appears in the current issue, states: 'On our issue cover-dated 3-9 December 2011, we published a photograph of the Duchess of Cambridge, taken while she was shopping in a store. We now accept that we should not have done so, and apologise to her for our action."

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