Why Kate’s paparazzi policy may be wiser than Harry and Meghan’s (2023)

Why Kate’s paparazzi policy may be wiser than Harry and Meghan’s (1)

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan. Image courtesy: AP

Indian celebrities, especially in Mumbai, have evolved a cosy live-and-let-live policy with the ‘paps’. They both oblige each other: one with ready smiles and poses and the other with adulatory photos and running themes of ‘airport looks’ and pre-arranged sneak-peaks of engagement and wedding revelry. But Prince Harry and his wife Meghan seem determined to follow the tragic policy of Princess Diana — avoiding, and if need be, out-running them.

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The car chase with the paparazzi in purported hot pursuit of the Duke and Duchess last week as they tried to get back to their lodgings in New York after a glitzy awards ceremony almost deliberately harked back to the tragic death of Princess Diana. The question is, why would today’s paparazzi even want to rekindle the animosity that the public felt towards them after what their fellow paps did in Paris in 1997 by doing a redux in 2023 with her son and bahu?

Considering the couple have shown an amazing alacrity for court cases against the media, it seems a rather foolhardy tactic. More so because in the age of social media — a post-Diana phenomenon — the paps anyway are not the only people able and willing to capture images of celebrities. Trying to avoid being clicked, that too in a public area (not private property) is a fruitless exercise that would be exhausting and annoying for both sides, particularly in the US.

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A high speed car chase in New York, as those familiar with that city would vouch, happens only in the movies, given the traffic. It’s as unlikely as a car chase in Mumbai outside Hindi films. In any case, even if the media did get to find out which hotel or billionaire’s apartment they were dossing down for the night, they could not exactly break down those doors. Both would also have private entrances which the couple’s security detail would have already scouted.

Also, as the Duke, Duchess and her mother were apparently zooming around Manhattan for two hours, it is amazing that no quick-witted pedestrians or drivers managed to capture it on their phones. A car being followed by a posse of cars and two-wheelers should have caught many a curious bystander’s eye? But it did not. It seems the couple’s patently litigious reputation precedes them these days, making even the casual clicker wary of using her phone camera!

The media is a crucial part of the Sussexes’ gameplan as much of their allure and income depends on publicity. Yet they have decided to aggressively guard and control access to their faces (which are their fortunes) via the courts rather than arrive at a modus vivendi with the paparazzi and other media. At one level it leads to the kind of pointless dodge’em game played out in New York but on the other it does now seem to discourage opportunistic phone-camera shots.

India has its share of ‘royalty’ — mostly from the world of sports, cinema and politics — but most understand their symbiotic relationship with the media. Today’s public is increasingly voyeuristic and wants to peek into every aspect of the lives of famous people. Reality shows likeKeeping Up With the Kardashiansor theFabulous Lives of Bollywood Wivesalso whet the audiences’ appetites for more than just videos and photos of the celebs’ public appearances.

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Celebrities here have realised the value of these peeks and agree to them, often for a fat fee. This trend has reduced the relevance (and income) of the paparazzi so they are eager to not miss out on whatever opportunities remain of celeb photo-ops. This has even led to a new kind of ‘airport reporting’ in Mumbai, which has nothing to do with aviation but with stars: catching the ‘airport looks’ of celebs of sports, cinema and even those ‘famous-for-being-famous’.

Instagram is full of videos of pouting and preening celebs amicably heeding calls from shutterbugs to look this way or that. Even selfie-takers are accommodated as the stars stroll slowly from their cars to the entry doors of Mumbai airport. Had they ducked or dodged cameras like, say, those being taken by the police for arraignment in court, there would have been pandemonium with paparazzi jostling to get shots of hidden faces. And no one would be happy.

Even the British royals, traditionally allergic to media ‘intrusion’, have learnt their lesson from Diana’s death and its fallout. Kate, now Princess of Wales, for instance, has even cleverly snatched the initiative from the paparazzi by posting photos and videos she personally takes — or supervises — of her husband and children so that the public’s ‘hunger’ is sated without chasing and dodging. She controls the narrative, and the paparazzi have no mandate to stalk.

A watershed moment for intrusive paparazzi was when in 2017, a judge ordered a French magazine to pay Prince William and Kate 100,000 euros in damages and fined two of its photographers 90,000 euros for publishing photos of the then Duchess of Cambridge vacationing topless in Provence in 2012. Though it was a fraction of the 1.5 million euros the couple had sued for, the judgement made it clear that the media had no excuse for blatant breach of privacy.

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Kate realised that they were dealing with a hydra-headed monster and court battles would never end; they would have to change the game. Which is what they did (while still Cambridges) by releasing visuals of themselves in enough “private” moments, to give the paparazzi no cause to peek through windows and doorways for “candid” shots! A good example was the video of the Waleses at home, kids and all, before leaving for King Charles’ coronation.

Most British royals whom the public want to see and know about — the extended Windsor clan does not excite the same curiosity — have followed Kate’s cue and now allow enough visuals of themselves to the satisfaction of both sides. The paparazzi have little reason to chase them down London’s streets — or ambush them exiting restaurants and gyms as they once used to do to Diana. Which makes Harry and Meghan’s New York chase even more inexplicable.

Celebrity reportage has moved on from the time of Fellini’s 1960 filmLa Dolce Vita, whose intrepid photographer character Paparazzo provided the name for this relentless band of shutterbugs. And the apparent reluctance of bystanders to click-and-post about the Harry-Meghan car chase could mark a new turn in the game that changed totally when camera phones and social media turned the public into rivals of paparazzi as prime sources for candid celebrity visuals.

But it is premature to say that Harry and Meghan’s litigious strategy is as effective as Kate’s current one when it comes to tackling the paparazzi phenomenon. Legal challenges harden stances, though fines are awarded to the plaintiffs by courts and paid by media houses. Earning the goodwill of the public by at least appearing to understand their interest and trying to address it within reason, can not only tame the paparazzi ‘beast’ but also benefit those being ‘papped’.

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The author is a freelance writer. Views expressed are personal.​

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Did Harry and Meghan get chased by paparazzi? ›

In a statement to USA TODAY Wednesday, the couple's office said that the paparazzi's chase to capture photos of Harry and Meghan "resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians and two NYPD officers." The statement called the incident "near catastrophic."

Is Harry still a Duke? ›

Harry remained a Prince, and the couple kept their Duke and Duchess of Sussex titles, but are no longer addressed as His/Her Royal Highness (HRH). He also gave up his military titles and no longer wears army uniform in public.

What does Prince Harry do now? ›

Following his departure from the royal family, Prince Harry has taken residence in the US with Meghan. They have since established their base in the country and are building their portfolio with deals with Netflix and Spotify.

Where are Harry and Meghan now? ›

In 2020 Meghan and Harry announced their decision to step back from the royal family. They now live in California.

What paparazzi said about Meghan car? ›

The paparazzi working for Backgrid went so far as to accuse one of the vehicles in Harry and Meghan's security escort of “driving in a manner that could be perceived as reckless.” The photo agency alleges that video footage shows the SUV “blocking off streets” and “being pulled over by the police.”

How do Meghan and Harry have so much money? ›

Since the establishment of The Office of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, 95 percent of the funding received for their Office expenditure is derived from income allocated by HRH The Prince of Wales, generated through the Duchy of Cornwall.

Could Prince Harry ever become king? ›

So, the bottom line? Yes, Prince Harry could one day be King... but there'd need to be a lot of unfortunate and premature deaths in order for that to happen. And even if it did happen, there's no certainty that the present Duke of Sussex would actually want to take on the role (he could very well choose to abdicate).

How big is Frogmore Cottage in Windsor? ›

How many bedrooms does Frogmore Cottage have? Frogmore Cottage is a ten-bedroom house on the Windsor Estate.

Does Prince William get a salary? ›

According to Bloomberg, William will now earn $24 million a year from the Duchy of Cornwall.

Who pays for the royal family? ›

Much of the royal family's expenses are covered by an annual taxpayer-funded payment known as the Sovereign Grant, which in the 2021-2022 financial year was set at 86.3 million pounds ($108m) – roughly 1.29 pounds ($1.61) for every person in the UK.

Is Harry still in line for the throne? ›

Harry is still fifth in line to the throne. His father is king, his brother, Prince William is first in line and William's children – Prince George, Prince Charlotte and Prince Louis – are second, third and fourth in line, respectively.

Who has lived in Frogmore Cottage? ›

19th and 20th century tenants

The cottage was a retreat for Charlotte, the queen consort of George III, and her unmarried daughters. The theologian Henry James Sr. and his family lived at the cottage in the 1840s.

What is Meghan doing now? ›

Harry and Meghan stepped back from royal duties in March 2020 and now reside in Montecito in the US. The couple have launched their Archewell organisation and have signed deals with Netflix and Spotify to produce content.

Why did Harry arrive late? ›

The Telegraph reports that this Harry omission “was because the heir to the throne had initially been summoned by his father in his constitutional capacity as a Counsellor of State.” Which would make perfect sense if not for the fact that Harry is a Counsellor too.

Were Meghan and Harry chased? ›

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were chased by paparazzi in New York City, spokesperson says - CBS News.

Who is the most paparazzi celebrity? ›

The World's Most Photographed Celebrities
  • Prince Harry – 119,379 images.
  • Jennifer Lopez – 107,997 images.
  • Paris Hilton – 101,438 images.
  • Jimmy Kimmel – 100,520 images.
  • Bill Murray – 92,194 images.
  • Rihanna – 86,247 images.
  • Jimmy Fallon – 82,464 images.
  • Camilla Parker-Bowles – 79,602 images.
May 27, 2022

How did Diana feel about paparazzi? ›

Even though Diana generally shied away from pursuing legal action against invasive photographers, she was unquestionably distressed and humiliated by the paparazzi's endless pursuit of her.

Do Harry and Meghan still receive money? ›

A spokesperson for Charles confirmed in June 2021 that while the sovereign set aside “a substantial sum” for his youngest son and his wife at the start of their royal step back, the “funding ceased in the summer of [2020].” The rep told Variety at the time that Harry and Meghan “are now financially independent.”

How much money does Prince Harry receive from the royal family? ›

Inheritance From Princess Diana and the Queen Mother

Prince Harry inherited £10 million (roughly $13.3 million) from one of the world's richest women, his great-grandmother, the Queen Mother, upon her death in 2002. He also received $20 million on his 25th birthday in 2014 from his mother, Princess Diana's estate.

Why is Princess Charlotte so rich? ›

Princess Charlotte has been refered as "the richest kid in the world" due to her status as a member of the British royal family, which is one of the wealthiest and most prominent royal families in the world.

Will Kate stay queen if William dies? ›

The last person to hold the title Queen Consort was the current queen's mother. When her husband King George VI died in 1952 she was officially re-styled Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. If William dies before Kate and their son Prince George becomes king, Kate will then become the Queen Mother.

Is Prince Harry still technically a prince? ›

All of these changes to the Royal order beg the question is Harry still a prince? Well, technically, the answer is yes. Harry is still a prince by birthright and is still in the line of succession to the throne, but it isn't as simple as that. Sign up to British Heritage Travel's daily newsletter here!

Why is Princess Anne not in line for the throne? ›

The queen had four children: Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward. Although Anne is older than two of her brothers, she is farther down the line of succession because of an old law that allowed men to skip over women in the line.

Is Frogmore Cottage still owned by Harry? ›

The house was owned by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle until March 2023. They used £2.4m of taxpayer money to renovate the property, before paying it back in full when they moved to California.

Did the queen give Frogmore Cottage to Harry? ›

Harry and Meghan were given use of Frogmore Cottage by the late Queen Elizabeth in 2018 as their relationship with brother William and Kate started to unravel. It had previously been converted into five separate accommodation units for estate staff but was knocked back into one large home with a private garden.

Who owns Frogmore Villa? ›

Frogmore House is a 17th-century English country house owned by the Crown Estate. It is a historic Grade I listed building. The house is located on the Frogmore estate, which is situated within the grounds of the Home Park in Windsor, Berkshire.

What is Queen Elizabeth salary? ›

Overall, the Queen didn't receive a traditional annual salary. Like other Royal Family members she received income through a taxpayer fund called the Sovereign Grant, which amounted to more than 86 million pounds (almost $100 million) in 2021 and 2022.

Does King Charles get a salary? ›

So far, according to a report by Semana magazine and several British media outlets, the estimated income of Charles was 28.5 million dollars a year; William and Kate Middleton would earn about 4 million dollars a year; Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, about 3 million; Princess Anne, 441,000 ...

Who is the richest English royal? ›

The net worth of the British royal family is estimated at $28 billion (£21.3 billion), according to Forbes. Queen Elizabeth II had a separate personal fortune of $500 million (£380.7 million), inherited by her son King Charles, according to Forbes.

How much did Prince Harry inherit from his grandmother? ›

Representatives told Forbes in 2021 that Harry was not a beneficiary of any of the $100 million left to the royal family by his great-grandmother, the Queen Mother. It's unclear if Harry was left any money from his grandmother the late Queen Elizabeth II, whose will is expected to stay sealed for at least 90 years.

What does the royal family do all day? ›

Generally, every royal supports charities, appears at events, and occasionally travels the globe to strengthen diplomatic relationships. But some royals also have day jobs, and others have long military careers.

How much does Prince Edward get paid? ›

According to the outlet, Prince Edward's salary at Ardent only peaked at £119,000 in 1998 (about £267,916.95 or $334,000.00 today.)

What is Harry's official title now? ›

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, KCVO (Henry Charles Albert David; born 15 September 1984) is a member of the British royal family. He is the younger son of King Charles III and Diana, Princess of Wales. He is fifth in the line of succession to the British throne.

What will Harry's last name be? ›

His full name is Prince Henry Charles Albert David, Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton, Baron Kilkeel. However, he used to be referred to as Prince Harry of Wales and he previously used the title "Wales" as his last name.

Is William next in line for the throne? ›

Prince William is the heir apparent to the British throne. His eldest son, Prince George of Wales, is second in line.

Does Prince William own Frogmore Cottage? ›

Frogmore Cottage is a historic Grade II listed home on the Frogmore estate. Built in 1801 at the direction of Queen Charlotte in the gardens near Frogmore House, Frogmore Cottage is part of the Crown Estate, and is owned by the King. It is based in Windsor.

How many bedrooms has Frogmore Cottage got? ›

How many bedrooms does Frogmore Cottage have? It was originally a 10-bedroom house, however, following the Sussexes renovation it now reportedly has five. Other rooms include a yoga studio, two orangeries and a vegetable garden.

How large is Frogmore House? ›

Frogmore is an estate within the Home Park, adjoining Windsor Castle, in Berkshire, England. It comprises 33 acres (130,000 m2), of primarily private gardens managed by the Crown Estate.

Will Harry and Meghan attend coronation? ›

"Buckingham Palace is pleased to confirm that The Duke of Sussex will attend the Coronation Service at Westminster Abbey on 6th May. The Duchess of Sussex will remain in California with Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet," the palace previously said in a statement.

Are the Sussexes back in USA? ›

The Duke of Sussex has returned to California after catching a British Airways flight within hours of King Charles' Coronation.

Why was Harry not on the balcony? ›

While Harry was in attendance at Westminster Abbey this morning for his father's crowning, as he was not on the balcony as he is not a working royal. His wife Meghan did not make the trip for the event; she stayed in California with the Sussexes' two children, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet.

Did Harry fly commercial to England? ›

Prince Harry arrived in the United Kingdom on Friday on a commercial American Airlines aircraft ahead of his father, King Charles III's coronation. Harry arrived on American Airlines flight AA136 from Los Angeles alone, as per a Daily Mail report.

Is Harry still in line for the monarchy? ›

Harry is still fifth in line to the throne. His father is king, his brother, Prince William is first in line and William's children – Prince George, Prince Charlotte and Prince Louis – are second, third and fourth in line, respectively.

Does Harry still get money from the Royal Family? ›

A spokesperson for Charles confirmed in June 2021 that while the sovereign set aside “a substantial sum” for his youngest son and his wife at the start of their royal step back, the “funding ceased in the summer of [2020].” The rep told Variety at the time that Harry and Meghan “are now financially independent.”

Did Harry become Duke after marriage? ›

If you want to get specific, their full titles are His Royal Highness The Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton, and Baron Kilkeel and Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex. Queen Elizabeth II conferred these honors on the couple on their wedding day, May 19, 2018, a date you probably have memorized by now.

Can a Duke become king? ›

During the 19th century, many of the smaller German and Italian states were ruled by dukes or grand dukes. But at present, with the exception of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, there are no dukes ruling as monarchs.

Will Camilla be queen if Charles dies? ›

So, what would happen to Camilla's title if King Charles were to pass away? Basically, she'd retain the Queen title but go from Queen Consort to Queen Dowager.

How much did Harry and Meghan get to leave the royal family? ›

That means that when they made the decision to step back from their roles as senior working royals, Harry and Meghan were left with a meager sum of $13 million (estimated by Forbes), largely made up of the inheritance from Harry's late mother's estate.

Are Oprah and Meghan Markle still friends? ›

Oprah has been a loyal friend and neighbor to the royal couple, following their relocation to Montecito, California in 2020.

Will Harry & Meghan lose their titles? ›

Can Harry and Meghan legally lose their Duke and Duchess titles? Legally, the monarch has no powers to remove a family member's royal titles - it would require an act of parliament to actually happen.

Why did Harry move out of royal family? ›

That toxic dynamic, according to Harry, catalyzed their departure: The Sussexes were crumbling under incessant negative media coverage that included an intimate letter between Meghan and her estranged father published in The Daily Mail. (The duchess even began to have suicidal thoughts.)

Will Harry and Meghan keep their Duke and Duchess titles? ›

Do Prince Harry and Meghan Still Have Royal Titles? Yes. Prince Harry and Meghan are still the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, titles conferred by Queen Elizabeth on their 2018 wedding day.

What is a female duke called? ›

A duchess is a female member of a royal or noble family. If a woman marries a duke, she becomes a duchess. Many duchesses inherit their title when they're born — there are still hereditary dukes and duchesses in the U.K., for example.

How much will Prince Andrew inherit from the Queen? ›

Prince Andrew has been left “bewildered” that he has not yet received any inheritance from Queen Elizabeth II, royal sources have claimed. After the Queen's death last September, her £650 million Duchy of Lancaster estate was automatically left to King Charles.

What is the son of a duke called? ›

The duke's son would be a marquess and the grandson would be an earl. Only eldest sons or their eldest sons could bear courtesy titles.


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