She wasn’t even royal at the time, but Queen Elizabeth reportedly interceded on Kate Middleton’s behalf when it came to paparazzi photos being taken of her while she was just Prince William’s girlfriend.
According to the 2005 documentary “Chasing the Royals,” the Queen’s lawyers threatened legal action at one point over private photos that were taken of Middleton during a Christmas holiday with her family at Resormel Manor in Cornwall, where she was playing tennis on Prince Charles’ courts. The Queen’s lawyers stepped in on Middleton’s behalf and media organizations in the UK wound up not publishing the photos, though they did appear in the German press, according to Express UK.
In the documentary, the photographer who took the photos, Niraj Tanna, commented on the royal family cracking down on paparazzi photos of them and admitted he had adjusted his thinking when it came to where he took photos so he could prevent potential clashes with the monarchy.
“They [the royals] do not want any private, unofficial photographs released to the press whatsoever. So they are clamping down like there is no tomorrow,” he said. “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.”
“Now, I photograph exactly where I am even if it’s a public road, I put it on a map, exactly where I have been standing, what I have been doing,” he added. “I have even got witnesses.”
Protections of the royal family were then taken one step further in 2009, when, according to the Daily Telegraph, the Queen and other senior royals masterminded a new privacy strategy with Gerrard Tyrell that would allow them to take legal action against what they saw as “intrusive and unacceptable behavior” of photographers.
The move came after paparazzi had once again hounded Middleton in 2007 after she and Prince William were spotted leaving a nightclub together and were pursued by at least seven photographers on motorbikes, scooters and in a car. That incident also happened right around the 10-year anniversary of his mother Princess Diana’s death from a car crash in Paris that was caused when her driver attempted to evade photographers who were chasing her.