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Monday, 20 November, 2000, 02:35 GMT
Prince 'harassed' by magazine
Prince William
Prince William wanted his Chile trip to be private
The celebrity magazine OK! has been censured by the Press Complaints Commission after it published unauthorised long-lens pictures of Prince William.

The shots were taken while he was hiking on a gap-year expedition in South America.

The press watchdog ruled the magazine was guilty of "harassment" and a "breach of privacy".

Prince William spent 10 weeks in Chile with youth charity Raleigh International and was pictured picking his way through the jungle wearing combat gear and a large backpack.

Raleigh expedition in Chile
Chile is a popular destination for Raleigh expedition members
Previously Royal officials had repeatedly called for the prince's privacy to be respected during his gap year.

The pictures also apparently broke rules agreed between the PCC and the British press designed to protect the Prince of Wales' son after he left Eton.

Prince William even gave a media interview before he left for Chile and it was thought such co-operation would discourage press intrusion.

The PCC censure could set a precedent for when the prince starts at St Andrews University in Scotland next year.

A St James's Palace spokesman said: "It is very important to be clear that, during Prince William's gap year and his time at university, if pictures are used and they have been gained in a disruptive fashion, that is unacceptable."

Prince William
The Prince hoped official photocalls like this would discourage press intrusion
According to The Times newspaper the PCC ruling states: "It was clear to the commission that Prince William was on a trip to a place where he had a reasonable expectation of privacy and publication of these photographs was a breach of the code."

"It was clear to the commission that these pictures could only have been taken by people who had pursued Prince William in South America, as the complainants would have made clear if the magazine had approached them."

In the original letter of complaint, Prince Charles' private secretary, Stephen Lamport, called the publication of the pictures by OK! "immensely disappointing".

He warned it could inflate the market for such photographs and encourage more intrusion.

The PCC has confirmed it had made a ruling which had been sent to St James's Palace and OK! magazine.

The adjudication will not be published until January, three months after the complaint was made, in accordance with the PCC's rules.

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