Prince William and Kate Middleton have announced their engagement and set a date for their wedding next year. Given the role the tabloid press played in Princess Diana's death, commentators are wondering whether the paparazzi will see Kate, in particular, as "fair game." Is being harassed by the paps an inevitable part of the fairy tale, or can the couple ensure their private lives stay private? (Watch Prince Andrew comment on the media obsession)
They'll be targets — if they can't keep the fairy tale alive: Photographers are a lot more ferocious now than in Diana's day, says PR expert Max Clifford, as quoted by CNN. "If you thought it was bad then, just watch." However, "as long as [the couple maintain a] popular and fairy-tale marriage, then the press are going to behave themselves because it will backfire on them."
"Will lawsuit fears keep photographers away from Kate Middleton?"
The Royals are ready to fight: Both the Queen and Prince William are prepared to take legal steps to "draw the line of what's public — and private," says Charlie D'Agata at CBS News. Prince William promised Kate's father that he would protect her from the media, and he "has already made clear he takes a 'zero tolerance' approach to the paparazzi, threatening to take both criminal and civil action against any photographer who steps over the line." The prince blames the paparazzi for his mother's death, and "he's determined his future wife will not have to tolerate the same kind of harassment."
"Queen determined to stop prying photographers"
Who cares? Royals aren't the draw they once were: In Diana's day, she was the primary focus of the paparazzi. Now, celebrities like the Beckhams and Kate Moss are on the same level as the young royals, says Max Cisotti, a paparazzi industry insider, as quoted in the London Evening Standard. "Kate and William are not more valuable than other A-list celebrities."
"Fair game or respect: paparazzi are at odds over pursuing Kate Middleton"