Royals have to draw line in the sand – but it’s a high-risk move

This piece originally appeared on Scotsman.com

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are right to be taking this course of action – they’ve got to draw a line in the sand.

They are boosted certainly by the current mood of the media in this country. I suspect that ten years ago we would have seen lots of long-lens shots and there would have been a few more brutal editors around, but things have changed.

Going to court sends out a signal, but if you’re going to embark on this sort of agressive legal action, then you need to try to win – and that’s going to be incredibly difficult.

Had they not taken this action, I don’t think that would have been the end of it. Part of the rebuilding [of the Royal Family’s image] has been to be available, but it’s also about using legal muscle when they need to. I think that if they fail to draw a line in the sand, it would signal a new era for the paparazzi.

Clearly, these pictures have been taken, they exist, but they need to try to stop it happening again. They’ve got the public with them on this. The majority of the British public think these photos are a step too far. But to those in other countries they are fair game – there’s a price on this couple’s head.

The royal wedding was a PR triumph, the American tour was a triumph and the jubilee celebrations were a triumph, but that success is a double-edged sword.

Clearly, this wasn’t a safe place for them to have gone on holiday – that was a mistake. They have been helped in this country by the changing view of the Royal Family and the neutering of the media due to the Leveson inquiry, but for the world’s paparazzi they are still A-list celebrities.

By allowing these photos to be taken, someone did not do their job properly.

There is so much affection towards them as a couple and there has been a lot of rebuilding the Royal image. It’s a shame they have not really considered the ruthless nature of the paparazzi and the lengths they will go to in order to get that picture.

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