Paparazzi lie in wait for prince's bride-to-be

Fri Feb 18, 2011 10:25am EST
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By Michael Holden

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - When Kate Middleton said "yes" to Prince William's marriage proposal, she was not just agreeing to become the wife of a future British king.

She was also signing up to massive media intrusion in her private life and years of intense attention from paparazzi photographers.

The question she and her future husband will now be pondering is whether that attention can be managed or if they will suffer from the same insatiable press frenzy that ultimately led to the death of William's mother, Princess Diana.

"There's huge interest. William has become the star of the royal family that his mother was and Kate's an attractive girl, so from a paparazzi point of view she potentially means a lot of money," said Max Clifford, Britain's best-known publicist.

"And these days the paparazzi are anyone -- anyone with a camera, anyone with a mobile phone," he told Reuters.

The couple's wedding on April 29 comes almost 14 years after Diana was killed with her lover Dodi al-Fayed when their limousine crashed into the wall of a Paris tunnel as they tried to escape from a posse of chasing paparazzi.

A British inquest in 2008 concluded the actions of the photographers were partly to blame for the fatal accident.

So far William and Kate, who began dating while at university in Scotland, have been largely spared the level of scrutiny that Diana suffered, partly through media restraint and because of more robust action from the royal family itself.   Continued...

<p>Britain's Prince William and his fiancee Kate Middleton (L) pose for a photograph in St. James's Palace, central London November 16, 2010. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett</p>