Paparazzi debate flares over royal bridesmaid pictures | Pakistan Today

Paparazzi debate flares over royal bridesmaid pictures

As Prince William and Kate Middleton honeymoon in a secluded spot, the paparazzi who stalk them are back in the spotlight. There’s a brewing legal battle over publication of 5-year-old photographs of bridesmaid Pippa Middleton sunbathing topless, and anger about gruesome photographs of the late Princess Diana in the moments after her 1997 car crash appearing in a documentary about her death. The publication of the Pippa pictures — showing the 27-year-old on a powerboat with older sister Kate and William — prompted the Middleton family to file a formal petition to Britain’s independent Press Complaints Commission.
That complaint is seen as the first salvo in what is expected to be a conflict between the monarchy and the press as both sides try to establish boundaries in a new royal era defined by William and Middleton, now the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and their determination to live a normal life. The prince and his bride jetted off this week to a secret honeymoon spot that royal watchers believe was chosen specifically to keep them out of the lenses of the paparazzi. Many Britons — mindful of how Princess Diana was tracked by the paparazzi in the moments leading to her fatal car crash — want the new royal couple, and the rest of the Middleton clan, to be able to move about without facing a constant barrage of flashing cameras.
The nation has been astir with news that “death photos” of Diana moments after her high-speed crash in a Paris tunnel will be shown in a new film about her death, “Unlawful Killing,” premiering at the Cannes Film Festival. The Middleton family’s complaint cites four British tabloids — the News of the World, Daily Mail, the Mail on Sunday and the Daily Mirror — for publishing photos that violated family privacy, including those of the sisters and William on the luxury boat off the coast off the Mediterranean island of Ibiza. Other pictures of Pippa Middleton have also received wide exposure on the Internet and in various publications, including one of her dancing with an unidentified man wearing boxer shorts.
Sensitive pictures of younger brother James Middleton have also circulated on the Internet. The independent press commission will determine whether the newspapers have violated the Middletons’ privacy and whether there are any “public right to know” issues that might justify publication of the photos. While freedom of speech is protected in the United States by the First Amendment, European law protects privacy as well as free expression, often leaving it to judges to balance the two competing concerns.
A key European Court of Human Rights judgment in 2004 bolstered privacy protection by ruling that three German magazines infringed on Princess Caroline of Monaco’s privacy by publishing photos of her and her children at a Monaco beach club. The recent British newspaper coverage, including front-page photos of Pippa Middleton reflects her status as a surprise star of the royal wedding. Experts believe her newfound fame offers a raft of commercial opportunities — but could be undone if more embarrassing photos surface.

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