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The BBC's Nick Higham
"The Palace hopes the resignation will help it rebuild bridges with editors"
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The BBC's Jennie Bond
"She jumped before she was pushed"
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Saturday, 10 June, 2000, 08:32 GMT 09:32 UK
Privacy fear for William
Sandy Henney
Sandy Henney was respected press secretary
The row over photographs taken to mark Prince William's 18th birthday has raised questions about his future treatment by the Press.

The controversy prompted the resignation of Sandy Henney, the Prince of Wales's press secretary for the past seven years, and has led to accusations that the palace had been naive.

william
The photos of William were taken at Eton
The dispute has also raised questions about future relations between St James' Palace and the press.

It has prompted Press Complaints Commission (PCC) chairman Lord Wakeham to postpone a speech on Prince William's privacy.

He was due to speak next week as William turns 18 - his birthday is on 21 June.

Media frenzy

The PCC chief is expected to appeal to editors to allow the teenager to continue to enjoy a private life free from media harassment, but there are fears the Prince's coming of age will usher in a media feeding-frenzy.

The worries follow a very public dispute with the Daily Telegraph whose royal photographer Ian Jones had been given special access to Prince William to mark his 18th birthday.


I shall gladly assign the copyright as the Prince of Wales may direct

Ian Jones
It later emerged that the issue of copyright had not been formally settled before the pictures were taken, while other newspapers were angered at what they regarded as an unfair advantage given to a rival.

Mr Jones agreed late on Friday to transfer the copyright of the photographs according to the directions of the Prince of Wales. It is thought he could have made more than 1m from syndication rights to the pictures.

In a statement he said: "I was offered the opportunity to take exclusive pictures of Prince William at Eton which I was honoured to accept.

"The law conferred the copyright on me and no suggestion has been made until today that I should donate it to the Crown.

Ian Jones
Ian Jones agreed to Palace request
"Now that the suggestion has been made, I shall gladly assign the copyright as the Prince of Wales may direct."

'Acted in good faith'

Prince Charles, who has always been anxious to avoid the suggestion that anyone might profit from selling photographs of his two sons, had earlier appealed to Mr Jones to donate the proceeds to charity.

Telegraph editor Charles Moore accused the palace of acting "unprofessionally" over the affair whereas Mr Jones had acted entirely "in good faith".

Media analyst Roy Greenslade said: "The idea that you could in the face of fantastic competition from the rest of the press think that you could get away with what was a 'nudge and wink deal' was naive and maybe even a little duplicitous."

Ms Henney, who had been in the job for seven years, tendered her resignation. It was accepted by Prince Charles "with deep regret". She had worked with the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) and with the approval of newspaper editors to safeguard the Princes' privacy as schoolboys.

Charles moore
Charles Moore was appalled at the photographer's treatment
Mr Moore said: "While I am personally sorry that Sandy Henney has resigned, we see this as an acceptance by the Prince of Wales's office that they did behave unprofessionally towards the Telegraph.

"Our concern throughout has been that agreements made with our Royal photographer Ian Jones should be honoured and we were dismayed that this did not happen."

It is understood Mr Jones was chosen by Ms Henney to take the pictures because he was considered most likely to get on well with the teenage Prince.

Ms Henney, who is married to the former head of Scotland Yard's Royalty Protection branch, has worked in press relations for more than 20 years.

She had a straight-forward, no-nonsense approach and achieved a close working relationship with the Prince of Wales and his two sons.

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09 Jun 00 | UK
Protecting the princes
10 Jun 00 | Northern Ireland
Speculation over Royal visit
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