LONDON – Photographers snapping Prince William's girlfriend found themselves the focus of attention Monday after her lawyers said they have collected video of them ahead of any possible harassment claims.
Kate Middleton, who turned 25 last week, has been the subject of intense media focus recently after rumors of an impending betrothal to her long-term boyfriend started circulating.
Her pictures have been splashed across Britain's newspapers, while photographers have remained camped outside her house and her office.
Middleton's lawyers issued a request to newspaper editors, saying they have prepared a dossier of video footage ahead of any possible harassment claims. Middleton's lawyer, Gerrard Tyrell, was not available for comment.
"We have received a letter from her lawyers and we'll be sending it to people in the industry," said Tim Toulmin, director of the Press Complaint's Commission, the country's media watchdog.
Toulmin said the letter made reference to video evidence but he had yet to see it.
The Telegraph newspaper it had seen a copy of the letter, and that the video included incidents outside her home and office, and when she arrived at and left nightclubs both with and without the prince.
"The intrusion into my client's private life and the harassment that she has suffered are now amply evidenced by the events of the past seven days," the paper quoted the letter as saying. "We have a large amount of very interesting but disturbing film footage of those events. ... What I should make quite clear is that if there is any further intrusion, then a complaint will be made to you."
Toulmin said that Middleton's representatives accepted that there would be times she would be focus of media attention but felt that permanent coverage was unfair.
"She has said that while she is not with William in public and going about her daily business there is no development or public interest in the story," he said. "She has made it clear she doesn't want to be followed."
Toulmin added that earlier appeals for calm seem to have worked, saying, "as far as I know the paparazzi aren't following her around anymore."
News International, which owns The Sun and The Times newspapers, and the Guardian newspaper group decided announced last week that their titles would not use paparazzi shots of Middleton.
The focus on Middleton has been compared to that on William's late mother Diana. From before her wedding to Prince Charles in 1981 to her death in a 1997 Paris crash, she was routinely followed by paparazzi.