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The reason behind Meghan Markle’s concerns about sending her son Prince Archie to school in the UK have resurfaced after a journalist explained what the Duchess had told her in a previous interview.
Meghan and Prince Harry are now raising their two children, four-year-old Archie and his two-year-old sister Princess Lilibet, in Montecito, California following their decision to step down as working royals.
During the chat Meghan admitted that she felt she would “never be able to do school pickup” in the UK as she would be scared for her and Archie’s safety.
In spite of accusations that it made her “obsessed with privacy” the Duchess insisted her feelings made her a “strong and good parent”.
Archie is currently attending pre-school in Montecito, with journalist Allison P. Davies noting that “two Montecito mums waiting in front of the school stopped mid-chat to do a double take” while Meghan recently collected her son.
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Ms Davies wrote in New York magazine The Cut: “Earlier in our conversation about her goals for the life she’s creating here, she’d remarked upon how, if Archie were in school in the UK, she’d never be able to do school pickup and drop-off without it being a royal photo call with a press pen of 40 people snapping pictures.”
The Duchess added: “Sorry, I have a problem with that. That doesn’t make me obsessed with privacy. That makes me a strong and good parent protecting my child.”
Harry had also voiced his worries about the press surrounding his children ahead of Archie starting nursery, at the time describing paparazzi culture as “this sort of rabid feeding frenzy. Kids don’t get a choice; they don’t get a say in it”.
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In the UK paparazzi are allowed to photograph famous people in public as long as they do not harass members of the public, and they can be prosecuted if they are considered to be intimidating or causing distress.
Not long after the death of Princess Diana, a voluntary body for British publishers agreed that journalists should not engage in intimidation, harassment, or persistent pursuit and should stop if asked to do so by their target.
Since then there has also been an unwritten understanding between Buckingham Palace and the press not to publish unsolicited pictures of any royal children.
When Meghan’s comments were first made public ITV royal reporter Chris Ship rebuked her on Twitter, saying: “Meghan said if she had stayed in the Royal Family, she’d have 40 photographers taking pictures when she did Archie’s school run. But not what happens: William & Kate take and pick up George/Charlotte without any cameras.
“The only time cameras allowed for the school run is on the first day at school. The only 2 cameras are permitted (one TV, one photo) who agree to share footage with other broadcasters and publications. Is simply wrong for #meghan to claim there would be 40 people snapping pictures.”
He later replied to a tweet by Piers Morgan: “There are no cameras at the school run for George & Charlotte. If there ever are, no UK publication buys them. On a first day at school, palace allows TWO cameras with school permission to film and then share with everyone.”
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