11 May 2011 – The fact that Kate Middleton’s sister Pippa has now become a hot media property has the potential to lead to legal challenges that confront the media as they search for old, new or future pictures of the sister-in-law to Prince Edward.
Already pictures have been posted of Kate Middleton about her bridemaid’s dress and her derriere has its own website, but as increased demand for pictures of the princess’s younger sister continue to mount, there are now lines being drawn as to what is permissable or even legal.
Pictures of Pippa Middleton that showed a picture silhouette of one of Pippa Middleton’s breasts has raised the stakes in the boundary between press freedom and personal privacy.
The UK Press Complaints Commission was stating yesterday that the Middletons have as much right to a private life as any other members of the public, commenting: “the same as everybody else, from prince to commoner, in terms of their expectation of privacy.” The important difference is that the Middleton’s are no longer just “commoners”, but among the hottest media properties in the world.
Although Britain’s notoriously aggressive and intrusive newspapers regularly see editors getting quiet letters of prior restraint and reminders of the journalists’ code of practice, which prohibits “persistence in questioning, telephoning, pursuing or photographing individuals once asked to desist, nor remaining on their property when asked to leave and must not follow them” the question that now arises is whether any legal action may arise to protect “topless pictures of Pippa Middleton” and the like surfacing now, or in the future.