The Moment Prince William Knew His Relationship With the Media Changed Forever

The royals are no different from the rest of us when it comes to privacy. There are things that they surely don’t mind us knowing, and there are secrets that they keep to themselves. Living life in the spotlight is one of the most difficult things a person can do, yet members of the royal family deal with this every day. Many things that they do end up in the news media almost immediately and royal fans make it their business to keep on top of everything that is going on. 

Prince William
Prince William | Richard Stonehouse/Getty Images

When Prince William attended the University of Saint Andrews, it is highly likely that he just wanted a normal college experience. This is why the royal family made an agreement with the media, as reported in Express, stating while that they could cover his arrival to school and his graduation, they had to keep their distance during the four years in between. As a result, there is a specific moment when Prince William realized that his relationship with the media had forever changed.

Princess Diana longed for privacy

Prince William’s mother, Princess Diana, was hassled by paparazzi on a regular basis. According to Time, she wasn’t at all happy about it and confronted photographers on a regular basis, at one time even yelling at them that they were making her life “hell.” The unfortunate fact is that Prince William and Prince Harry often had to deal with their lives being an open book, with the media taking an interest in them from the time they were young children. 

The royal family wanted Prince William to have privacy while in school

By the time he entered college, there was an unprecedented agreement in place between the media and the royal family. There is no doubt that this was a breath of fresh air for Prince William, as he was finally able to live his life away from the spotlight. However, after four years had gone by and Prince William was about to graduate, the protection was over and things suddenly changed.

Photographers even followed Kate Middleton

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The Duchess of Cambridge, Patron of Action on Addiction, attended the first annual gala dinner in recognition of Addiction Awareness Week. Before the dinner, The Duchess of Cambridge met former Action on Addiction clients Jay Otty and Melanie Bennett, who worked to prepare food for the gala dinner. Jay is a key member of the ‘front of house’ staff at @Brink_Liverpool – Action on Addiction’s ‘dry bar’ in the city. He has worked in the hospitality industry for seven years, having now been clean and sober for nine years. Melanie says that Action on Addiction’s Self-Help Addiction Recovery Programme, which taught her coping mechanisms and new behaviours, and started the grieving process for her father which she had been blocking for ten years, helped saved her life. Speaking at the dinner, The Duchess said: "What’s remarkable about Action on Addiction is that it goes beyond helping those who are suffering on the courageous journey into recovery – it also lends direct support to the children and families affected by addiction – for as long as it takes." Action on Addiction is the only UK addictions charity that works across all the areas of research, treatment, family support and professional education. The aim of Addiction Awareness Week is to provide a platform for focused conversations about the many different facets of addiction, to enable a wide range of organisations to engage with people and families who may be affected by addiction, and to raise public awareness of the far-reaching and negative effects of addiction. The ultimate aim is that as honest but inspirational stories are shared, those affected by addiction will then feel more able to take the necessary steps to access help, hope and freedom from their addiction. @ActionOnAddiction #AddictionAwarenessWeek

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Even Kate Middleton, who was a commoner before marrying into the royal family, suddenly found herself constantly in the news media. According to Popsugar, photographers were constantly trailing her as well — something that she never experienced before and had a hard time getting used to. Once Prince William and Middleton’s college days were over, paparazzi continued to pursue them, and reported on everything that they did, from their high-profile breakup to their royal engagement. To this day, we always know what is going on in the lives of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

When did Prince William know his relationship with the media changed?

He came to this realization on his graduation day. After four years of leading a seemingly “normal” life, the media was back in full force. In June 2005, a friend of Prince William’s remembers an “unbelievable” number of photographers just waiting to get the perfect picture of the new royal graduate, and everyone knew his time of privacy was over. Since then, Middleton has adjusted to the pressure from the media, and Prince William has as well. They handle everything that they say to reporters with the dignity that we would expect from the royal family.