Queen Elizabeth Helped Kate Middleton Stop Publication of Private Pictures Before She Married Prince William

In 2005, Queen Elizabeth reportedly had her lawyers work to stop the publication of private pictures of Kate Middleton, who was only Prince William's girlfriend at the time. The photos showed Kate and her family on Christmas holiday.

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The royal family has a long and complicated at best (and downright devastating at worst) relationship with the press and, specifically, with paparazzi. Given the role hounding photographers played in Princess Diana's untimely death in 1997, it's not surprising that the Queen has been willing to put some of The Firm's resources behind cracking down on the gathering (and publication) of private pictures of the royal family.

That protective instinct extended to Kate Middleton long before she was officially a member of the Windsor fam, apparently. According to Express, a 2005 documentary appropriately called Chasing the Royals, reveals that the Queen put her personal lawyers on the case when paparazzi stalked and photographed Kate, who was only dating Prince William at the time.

The photos in question were apparently taken when Kate was on Christmas holiday with her family at Resormel Manor in Cornwall. The future royal and her relatives were photographed playing tennis on Prince Charles’ courts. The Queen's legal team went to work and, um, persuaded all UK press outlets not to buy or run the pictures (which still ran in Germany, where threats of legal action from the Queen's lawyers apparently don't carry as much weight).

"[The royals] do not want any private, unofficial photographs released to the press whatsoever, so they are clamping down like there is no tomorrow," Niraj Tanna, the photographer who took the pictures, said in the documentary. "If I’m on a public footpath, I would assume it is all fine. It has been okay up to now, and suddenly, the goalposts have been changed."


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Kayleigh Roberts
Weekend Editor

Kayleigh Roberts is a freelance writer and editor with more than 10 years of professional experience. Her byline has appeared in Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, The Atlantic, Allure, Entertainment Weekly, MTV, Bustle, Refinery29, Girls’ Life Magazine, Just Jared, and Tiger Beat, among other publications. She's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.