The National, Thursday, May 12, 2011
THE Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have begun their honeymoon at a destination widely reported to be in the Seychelles.
But, having tried to keep the location secret, can they still avoid the attentions of the paparazzi?
There is near insatiable demand across the world for pictures of the royal couple.
And, there will be paparazzi who will be desperate to get long-lens shots of William and Catherine on the beach during their honeymoon.
The palace has asked for the couple to be left alone, with the privacy debate having intensified in recent days after the publication of five-year-old photos of them on a yacht off Ibiza, prompting an appeal to the press complaints commission.
A month before the yacht pictures, Carole and Pippa Middleton also complained informally to the commission that they had been harassed by snappers on mopeds.
Secrecy has shrouded William and Catherine’s honeymoon plans but speculation that they are in the Seychelles appears to have been confirmed by the tourist board there.
Which of the 115 islands in the Seychelles archipelago they are on is not clear.
But, with only four of them privately owned, it may not take the paparazzi long to track them down.
Already, the German property mogul Farhad Vladi has been quoted in a Hamburg paper saying that the couple are renting North Island, which he owns.
The royal couple and their aides will have made careful efforts to keep their honeymoon under wraps.
“It is unfortunate when you are the hottest couple in the world; there is a huge demand for pictures and stories,” the Sun’s Royal photographer Arthur Edwards said.
But, he believes that Prince William is capable of keeping their honeymoon bolthole private.
“William is an old hand at dodging photographers. And, if anyone invades their privacy, they are not going to take it lying down, they will fight back.”
Only three people will have known where they were heading, Edwards guesses – and the Queen and Prince Harry might not have been part of the privileged triumvirate.
“William is media savvie. He keeps things to himself, Catherine and his private secretary.”
The prince would be determined to avoid a repeat of the pattern in which his mother Diana had her privacy repeatedly breached, Edwards said.
“He is a clever guy, he’ll do it his way. He will not let what happened to his mother happen to his wife.”
In any case, a number of British papers appear to have a gentlemen’s agreement with the royal family, vowing not to publish any honeymoon pictures that have not been officially released by St James’ palace.
Mark Borkowski, founder and head of Borkowski PR, believes that after giving the media what they want at the wedding, including two kisses on the balcony and the Aston Martin moment, the press will reward them with peace and quiet.
The way the duchess’ wedding dress was kept under wraps before the big day suggests the royal household are good at keeping secrets. A couple of publications guessed it would be Sarah Burton, but the design itself was successfully concealed.
And Katie Nicholl, royal editor of the Mail, last Sunday said that William and Catherine had a strong record in keeping their plans secret. Not only was there the stag do – which no one found out about until later – but their engagement in Kenya last year was kept hush-hush. – BBC