In fact, Princess Diana’s former bodyguard, Ken Wharfe, says the palace needs to reconsider their approach to all the royal children’s safety.
Exposed to danger?
The littlest royals have been spotted out and about with nannies and security contingent, as their parents attempt to balance their right to a normal childhood with the pressures of being far from regular kids. The pesky and at times scary intrusion of paparazzi have prompted a number of warnings for photographers to keep their distance from Princess Charlotte and Prince George.
As you will know, Prince William’s mother Princess Diana tragically died in a car accident following a pursuit by the paparazzi in Paris. The line between the media and the royals is an understandably fraught and sensitive one.
Kensington Palace issued a firm statement back in August 2015, detailing the harassment the little royals were being subjected to and suggesting that “Prince George is currently their number one target.”
Press have “used long-range lenses to capture images of The Duchess playing with Prince George in a number of private parks; monitored the movements of Prince George and his nanny around London parks; photographed the children of private individuals visiting The Duke and Duchess’s home; pursued cars leaving family homes; used other children to draw Prince George into view around playgrounds; been found hiding on private property in fields and woodland locations around The Duke and Duchess’s home in Norfolk; obscured themselves in sand dunes on a rural beach to take photos of Prince George playing with his grandmother; and placed locations near the Middleton family home in Berkshire under steady surveillance,” a Kensington Palace rep said.
Princess Diana's former bodyguard Ken Wharfe chats to Kate Thornton while royal correspondent Richard Palmer and journalist and royal biographer Claudia Joseph join us on the sofa in Episode Six of #TheRoyalBox
Posted by Yahoo UK & Ireland on Friday, 17 August 2018
Too little, too late?
The statement – which detailed even more privacy intrusions – stressed that the kids need some semblance of normality and asked that they stop being pursued in the name of a fast buck.
“The Duke and Duchess are of course very fortunate to have private homes where photographers cannot capture images of their children. But they feel strongly that both Prince George and Princess Charlotte should not grow up exclusively behind palace gates and in walled gardens. They want both children to be free to play in public and semi-public spaces with other children without being photographed. In addition, the privacy of those other children and their families must also be preserved.”
But Princess Diana’s former bodyguard, Ken Wharfe, thinks this is a naive approach and exposes the children to potential danger. He simply can’t understand why the family allow the royal kids to be exposed to risk when there’s much safer, more secure options at their fingertips.
“Having worked in similar circumstances, is if you don’t want that intrusion, why do you need to take a baby that doesn’t know where she is to a park in South London that’s open to the public?” Ken pointed out on Yahoo’s The Royal Box speaking particular of Charlotte’s outings when she was just a baby.
Read more about the royal family:
- What makes this year’s first day of school different for Prince George?
- Why Duchess Kate takes the official photos of George, Charlotte and Louis
- Revealed: The reasons Princess Charlotte always wears dresses
“I think one has to be careful”
Ken worked for Scotland Yard guarding Princess Diana and her sons from 1986 to the end of 1993. He thinks the palace should keep the royal children much closer to home.
“They are in such a privileged position that that baby could have walked round the gardens at Buckingham Palace, Windsor castle, anywhere else in the world, without that intrusion. I think one has to be careful there.”
While unauthorised images of the youngest royals are now few and far between, you have to wonder if Ken hasn’t got a point – and whether paparazzi are the only worry here.
With incidents targeting high profile London locations popping up way too frequently in the news, is it really worth putting these children at risk in the name of mimicking ‘normality’?