Prince Harry and Meghan Markle issue warning to paparazzi

Mercedes Leyh / January 22, 2020

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are firing back at the paparazzi after photos of Meghan were allegedly leaked without her permission
(sussexroyal / Instagram)

Lawyers for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have released stern warnings to photographers in Canada after photos of Meghan Markle were recently leaked. The couple’s lawyers claim that the photographer in question was hiding in the bushes while Markle was walking her dogs with her son Archie along a trail in Victoria, BC. According to Markle, the photos were taken without her permission. Paparazzi were also reportedly camping outside their home trying to get a photo of the couple, using long-range lenses. 

Privacy laws in BC are different from those in the UK, which begs the question – what action can Harry and Meghan take if they feel their privacy is violated? 

Vancouver lawyer, Daniel Reid said BC is unique from the other Canadian provinces because, since 1996, the Privacy Act allows people to sue another party for a violation of privacy.  According to Reid, determining whether something is a breach of privacy is entirely based on the circumstances of the situation.

“Factors the courts will look at if determining if this is a violation of privacy or not depends on the circumstances, the lawful interest of other people, the nature of the incidents, occasion of the act of contact and relationship between the parties. “-Daniel Reid, Vancouver Privacy & Media Lawyer

When talking about public figures such as Harry and Meghan, Reid explained how the situations might be different for when they can have an expectation for privacy.

“If someone takes a picture of the royals at a sporting event or walking down Granville street or at a concert, they probably don’t have a high expectation for privacy. If someone takes a video or are recording them from 500 meters away looking through their bedroom window their expectation for privacy is probably a lot higher. “ -Daniel Reid, Vancouver Privacy & Media Lawyer

Reid concludes that when it comes to privacy law it is not all black and white. Each privacy case will turn to facts and what relationship the two parties have with each other.

Warnings from the couple’s lawyers comes just weeks after they released a statement saying that they would no longer be senior members of the Royal Family. The statement also read that they would spend time in both the United Kingdom and North America. This created a lot of buzz with royal watchers suspecting that the couple would move to Canada. The couple are currently residing on Vancouver Island.

There is currently no information on what further actions the couple will take if their warning is not abided by paparazzi.

It has been a few weeks since the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced they would be stepping back as senior members of the Royal Family.
(Mercedes Leyh/BCIT News)