Prince William's 'bad days' with paparazzi revealed

Photographers would try to provoke the Duke of Cambridge when he was younger in the hope of getting a reaction out of him on camera

(Image credit: Getty)

Photographers would attempt to provoke Prince William by verbally abusing Kate Middleton before the couple was married, a royal insider has revealed. 

Shameless paparazzi tried to ‘goad’ Prince William into a reaction by insulting Kate Middleton in public, a royal insider has revealed. 

The abusive incidents reportedly took place when the A-list couple was in their mid-twenties, a couple of years after they had graduated from their alma mater of St. Andrew’s University in Scotland. 

“There was a time when William and Kate would leave a nightclub - and William told me this himself - that Kate was called a sl*g by the photographers, to goad him [William] into a reaction so that the pictures were more worthy,” Duncan Larcombe, Former Royal Editor of The Sun, told the Royal Beat this week. “Those were bad days.” 

The insight was shared during a discussion on the recent video of Prince William confronting a photographer who was allegedly following him, Kate, and their three children near their country home of Amner Hall. Kensington Palace has since said that the Cambridges’ privacy was breached by the release of the clip, which was recorded in January 2021, and is seeking to have it removed altogether from the Internet. 

Prince William

(Image credit: Getty)

Russell Myers, Royal Editor at the Daily Mirror, voiced concerns over the incident, admitting he was “really struck” by the length of time it took for William’s protection officers to reach the family. However, he also emphasized that such intrusive behavior from the UK paparazzi, at least nowadays, is rare. 

“They are left alone by the British press, there is an agreement that they have a degree of privacy. The children won't be bothered unless it’s [events] where they have been invited too,” he explained. 

Unfortunately, this hasn’t always been the case for the future King and his loved ones. William and Kate were infamously subject to ongoing harassment from the paparazzi in the earlier stages of their relationship, especially when they attended evening events together. 

In 2007, the prince’s then-spokesperson, Paddy Harverson, condemned photographers’ ‘aggressive pursuit’ in capturing the couple after their joint departure from a popular London nightclub. According to the royal aide, Will and Kate were “pursued in his car by photographers on motorcycles, in vehicles and on foot” - a tactic that was eerily similar to those used right before the car crash that killed Princess Diana. 

"Having already been photographed leaving the club, he and Kate Middleton were then pursued in his car by photographers on motorcycles, in vehicles, and on foot. The aggressive pursuit was potentially dangerous and worrying for them," the royal aide said. 

Kate also endured harassment from the British media when she was alone, with her private residence in London becoming a hotspot for paparazzi to gather in the hope of catching ‘off-duty’ snaps of her. 

Photographers even camped out outside her former workplace, Jigsaw, creating chaos for both the royal icon and her fellow staff members. In 2012, a French magazine printed photos of Kate sunbathing topless on holiday in France. The Cambridges sued the publication for breaching their privacy and in 2017 were awarded £100,000 in damages. The compensation was donated to charity. 

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.