Hell hath no fury like a royal momma bear scorned. Kate Middleton’s pregnancy-related illness may be keeping her from her royal duties, but that didn’t stop the expecting duchess from releasing a stern warning to one photographer she believes is stalking her 14-month-old son, Prince George.
A Buckingham Palace spokesman released a statement on behalf of Middleton and Prince William Thursday, accusing photographer Niraj Tanna of monitoring and surveilling Prince George's daily activities while under the care of his nanny, Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo. “The duke and duchess have taken legal steps to ask that the individual ceases harassing and following both Prince George and his nanny as they go about their ordinary daily lives,” spokesman James Roscoe told NBC News.
NBC's “Today” show reports that Tanna, whose calls himself a London-based royal photographer and picture agent on Twitter, was seen following George and Borrallo at a London park last week. “No parent will tolerate the suspicion of someone pursuing and harassing their child and carer whilst their child is playing in a public park or going about their daily activities,” Roscoe said.
Prince George’s safety is not the couple’s only concern. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge want to let their son, the presumed eventual king, enjoy his childhood away from prying eyes. “[They] understand the particular public role that Prince George will one day inherit,” Roscoe said. “But while he is young, he must be permitted to lead as ordinary life as possible.”
Tanna’s attorney claimed the photographer’s actions were not unlawful. “He has not harassed or intimidated Prince George, his nanny or any other person. Nor would he wish to,” his lawyer told NBC News. “[He has] lawfully and respectfully taken photographs of the royal family for almost 10 years.”
According to the Telegraph, “royal insiders” claim Kate and William released the statement because they were “sick and tired” of dealing with Tanna, who is known for snapping “intrusive” photos of the prince in an effort to gain exclusive images. Sources said the “final straw” came when Tanna was seen pursuing Prince George and Borrallo while they were on a walk in Battersea Park late last month. The newspaper said some of the images already have been published overseas.
The alleged photo intrusion comes one month after the palace confirmed that Middleton was pregnant with the second royal child. The duchess, currently suffering from an acute form of morning sickness, also known as hyperemesis gravidarum, is believed to still be in her first trimester. She is reportedly due in March or April 2015.