Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: Talking Point
Front Page 
World 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
Forum 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 
Thursday, 15 June, 2000, 17:43 GMT 18:43 UK
Free-for-all?

Prince William turns 18 next week and there are fears it will mark the start of even more frenzied media coverage of his life.

An attempt to control the release of photographs to the press to mark his birthday ended in an embarrassing row, and the resignation of Prince Charles' press secretary.

So now the 'adult' prince is to come under the full glare of the world's media, is there still a case to be made to the press to exercise restraint? What do you think? Should the media be free now to report everything about Prince William?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.


Your reaction

Let him be ... he never chose to be born to such a famous family. How can he mature and learn from mistakes, like the majority of teenagers, whilst trapped by the increasing media frenzy.
Give him privacy while he is still young and he will no doubt become the "Peoples' Prince".
Rowan, UK

The problem is not that the press are getting better or worse, but that we are getting more and more desperate for excitement in other people's lives rather than looking to live our own.
Chris, UK

William is entitled to his privacy just like anyone else. Because he comes from what some might regard as a privileged background, it does not make him 'fair game' for unscrupulous media coverage. Only his public engagements are legitimate news stories.
Paul Brooks, UK

He has not earned his position through merit yet has the money and time to do anything he wants. Take away all his privileges then I would be interested in how he lives.
Philip Johnson, England



I feel no sympathy, it's not like he lives in a council flat and lives off baked beans

James Blair, UK
I think frenzied media attention is a small price to pay for belonging to the wealthiest family on Earth, who owns more land than I care to imagine. Prince William will be able to travel the globe, and will live a life of luxury, fine wines, houses etc. I feel no sympathy, it's not like he lives in a council flat and lives off baked beans and then has to deal with media attention... come on, he's a big boy now.
James Blair, UK

The intrusive and voyeuristic banality of today's media is worrying but is something that could be checked by the public not buying the product.
Gerry, Scotland

We should not blame the paparazzi for 'tailing' the Prince, as they are just doing their job. If there is the demand, there will be supply. Therefore if there is increased public interest on the 'details' of the Prince, it is natural that there will be the supply of these 'details'. Nevertheless I personally feel there is no sense in knowing what birthday cake the Royal family ordered for him.
Steve, Malaysia



After what happened to his mother being chased around by photographers making even her very private life so very public I think he should be left alone

Gayatri, India
After what happened to his mother being chased around by photographers making even her very private life so very public I think he should be left alone. This comes even though I am very excited to know of how, when, where.... but realise that I would stifle myself to death if I was forced into leading a life in front of a camera. It would be something like the movie The Truman Show....
Gayatri, India

Who cares? According to recent figures I think I speak for most of the younger population when I say we are really not interested in William, his life, or what he does. Same goes for the whole royal family.
Lozzer, England

If William does not want the attention of the world media he can abdicate his position in line for the throne, give up his royal title and proceed through his life as William Mountbatten.
Andy Lehrer, Canada

It's about time we ignored them. The media covers them too much, and respects their views even when they have no experience on the subject.
Trevor, UK



If William does not want the attention of the world media he can abdicate his position in line for the throne, give up his royal title and proceed through his life as William Mountbatten

Andy Lehrer, Canada
The Royal family is not an alternative soap opera for us to intrude on their private happiness. I hope the photographers and editors will try to show more restraint than they have in the past. I make it a policy not to buy a paper or magazine for at least a year if I feel their reporting has been unjustifiably intrusive/ speculative on people's private lives.
Helen, UK

The media should refrain from reporting details of an extremely personal nature for all people, Prince William and others. As it is unlikely to do that, one can only hope the young Prince remains strong, well balanced and continues to receive (as he will) the support of his family and friends.
Herman Prager PhD, USA

I think the Press should consider how they treat Prince William, as his mother was subject to the "torture" that destroyed her, and that might well end up destroying William as well. He has had a comfortable, reasonably safe life so far, so why should it be attacked?
Sian, Scotland

If you think that the press is wrong to be so intrusive, the answer's real simple: DON'T BUY THE PUBLICATIONS PRINTING THEIR PICTURES! It is we, the public, who create the demand and then perpetuate it by, at least, our apathy ... until the next tragedy.
Mark M. Newdick, USA/UK

Sometimes Prince William must feel as if he is an animal in the zoo, with people snapping his picture and yelling at him to smile (perform). The more Prince William flees, the more times the press will follow him. He should flood the market place with photos, so that the rare photo of him drops in high money value for those who snap pictures of him. Maybe he should have his image copywritten and go into business with the press. Just kidding Prince William! Happy Birthday!
Vickie Reeves, USA

It is necessary that we and the press should learn our bitter lessons from the gory past. Diana will be the best remembered princess ever. After all, the queen's direct family has stuck on to a rugged traditional life. That is commendable; considering the kind of promiscuity that is being practised throughout the world. Charles and Diana's children should be left alone to practice the tradition passed down to them.Hats off to Charles. He's done them proud!
Viji Varadarajan, Chennai, India

Plenty of teens younger than the Prince handle pop-stardom. And he has a more stable background than most of them that he can retreat to when things get too hectic. Not every Royal is as fragile as his mother was.
Jon Livesey, USA

His Spencer blood will make him a strong King if he survives the flash bulbs. We need a King who knows his prerogatives and exercises them, instead of a Queen whose only urge is to be good, to the extent that she lets the cads and bounders of the Cabinet ride roughshod over the Crown and the House of Lords.
David de Vere Webb, UK

I agree with the current agreement between the royals and the press - leave Princes William and Harry alone, except on official occasions, such as skiing in Klosters, Switzerland, and when they start to undergo official royal duties. If the two boys are hounded too much, such as when they get girlfriends, they very well could decide to walk away, and abdicate. That would probably finish off the House of Windsor. On the other hand, I wouldn't blame him or Harry if they did walk away. Especially after the life they've had.
Lauren Davie, New Zealand

Where tourism is concerned i believe the royals are good value for money (and wouldn't give them back any official power) but must remember that they are people too. I think the press need to grow a brain and at least half a heart!
Matthew Shepherd, UK

The journalists should learn the lesson over the plight of his mother! But I have no doubt that they will behave just as before.
Philip S Hall, UK

The royal family are guilty of breath taking arrogance and hypocrisy. One after another the royals rattle out edicts on the way we should live and then complain about any media coverage that ensues calling it 'intrusive'. Prince William and his family should have thought twice about permitting him to go fox hunting. This offended many of the public who see it as over privileged toffs meddling in political issues. I couldn't care less if the press now hound him to see how he likes it. At the end of the day, the royal family has to live in the real world and if they want to spout on about GM foods or family life then they have to face the media attention too.
Matt Garvey, UK



Considering what Princess Diana went through, the press should show a lot of restraint

Ingrid Grant, USA
Considering what Princess Diana went through, the press should show a lot of restraint and respect to Prince William. Just because he will be 18 does not mean that he should be fair game to the vultures. At parties or other press events, pictures are fine, but hounding him every day, all day, everywhere is just despicable.
Ingrid Grant, USA

It doesn't really matter, as the royal family, plays no significant role in modern society. And any story making is only really for the sad people who buy things like "Hello" magazine!
Ian Harvey, England, in Germany

If it means being hounded day and night, with a photograph behind every bush as it was with his mother, then I say absolutely not. There need to be privacy standards. I, for one, am sick of seeing pictures splashed all over newspapers, magazines and the air waves of celebrities who had no idea their picture was being taken.
Marion G., USA



We the people of the world are eager to know what is behind the prince

Goodwell Lungu, Zambian in UK
Of course the media should as usual be able to able to report whatever is felt to be news worthy. After all the British Monarch is envied by millions the world over and there is always supposed to be something associated with Prince William, which the world will learn to associate him with. We the people of the world are eager to know what is behind the prince.
Goodwell Lungu, Zambian in UK

When will the press learn? You would have thought after Diana, they would wise up and realise that this family are human beings and deserve their privacy. Yes it is wonderful that the young Prince is coming of age, but let him be - lest there be a repeat of what happened to his mother.
Vanessa, London

How proud his mum would be of him on his 18th birthday! Prince Charles has done a wonderful job with both the lads and now the question is what the press can do to ruin all this? Is there really any doubt in any sane person's mind as to that answer? I don't think so! Let's let well enough alone, please. They seem to just now be coming out of their shell shock from all the news trauma of their beautiful mum. I say let them be!
Sharyn Whiting, Usa / Uk

The press and the paparazzi should respect the wishes of Diana and let William grow up like a normal adult. The press has done enough to bring disrepute to themselves and the royalty. It's restraint time now.
Deepak, Canada

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

10 Jun 00 | UK
Privacy fear for William


Links to other Talking Point stories