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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 April, 2004, 13:46 GMT 14:46 UK
The Sun banned by Royal Family
Prince Charles and Prince William
The prince posed for photos earlier this week with his father
The Sun newspaper has been told that it will not be allowed to attend any media events in which Prince William and Prince Harry are taking part.

The temporary ban has been issued after the UK's largest circulation tabloid published photographs of Prince William with a female friend.

Prince William was said to be "unhappy and disappointed" at the pictures which were taken during his skiing holiday.

The 21-year-old heir to the throne is visiting the Swiss resort Klosters.

The decision was taken by Clarence House, the Royal Household of Prince Charles who is also said to be upset with the photographs.

They did not involve the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) which has a set code agreed with the media on the way the press deals with the two princes.

Currently, photographs of the St Andrews University student are published once a term in exchange for his privacy while in education.

Flagrant breach

A Clarence House spokesman said: "It's not PCC. It's not legal. It's exclusion from some future opportunities."

We're very unhappy with the breach of the agreement
Paddy Harverson
Prince of Wales's spokesman

He refused to comment on how long the ban could last, except to say that it would be for the time being and that legal action was not planned.

Earlier Clarence House said that the publication "flagrantly" breached an agreement with newspapers.

But in an editorial the Sun said the pictures had been published in the public interest and that Prince William was a mature adult.

The newspaper said: "One of William's girlfriends could become Queen one day. Her subjects will be entitled to know all about her."

The editorial went on to say that there had been public interest in Prince Charles's romantic interests before he married Princess Diana in 1981.

Paparazzi pictures

Of the decision not to involve the PCC, the Clarence House spokesman said: "It's best dealt with between Clarence House and the Sun without bringing in a third party."

The agreement between the prince's advisers and the press was that the prince would be left alone in return for a photocall on Sunday.

The Prince of Wales's new communications secretary Paddy Harverson said: "We're very unhappy with the breach of the agreement and the use of the paparazzi pictures. I'm asking newspapers to continue to abide by the agreement."

According to the Sun, the female friend is Prince William's first serious girlfriend.

Clarence House said: "We don't discuss the nature of William's relationships with his friends.

"There may be speculation about other women he is photographed with. We're not going to get into a debate about the nature of his friendships."

The BBC's Andrew Burroughs
"The Prince of Wales is said to be irritated"

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