Friday, April 2, 2004
London A tabloid on Thursday published paparazzi pictures of Prince William on the ski slopes with a young woman described as his girlfriend, earning the displeasure of royal aides who barred the newspaper from future official photo opportunities.
The pictures of William and dark-haired Kate Middleton, spread across five pages of The Sun, are the first major breach of an agreement struck between the royal family and the press to leave Prince Charles' sons out of the limelight.
Newspapers had agreed only to publish photographs of William and his brother Harry taken during official photo opportunities -- arranged twice a year by Charles' office.
The Sun's spread suggested that it could now be open season on the photogenic, 21-year-old prince, who is second in line to the British throne.
"We're very unhappy with the breach of the agreement and the use of the paparazzi pictures," said Charles' communications secretary Paddy Harverson.
"I'm asking newspapers to continue to abide by the agreement."
Charles' Clarence House office said later that it had barred The Sun from official photo calls for an indefinite period.
Royal officials had hoped that in allowing the media to snap pictures of Charles and William enjoying the slopes of Klosters at the weekend, it would ensure the royals were left alone for the rest of their vacation in the Swiss resort.
But under the Page 1 headline, "Finally ... Wills gets a girl," The Sun published a picture of William smiling at Kate Middleton.