Rex Features in privacy payout over Middleton pics

Picture agency Rex Features has paid damages to Royal girlfriend Kate Middleton after a photographer defied a request from the Queen for journalists to lay off the Royals over Christmas.

Middleton was photographed playing tennis whilst on holiday in Cornwall.

Rex today issued a statement saying: “On 24 and 25 December 2009 a photographer not employed by Rex Features followed and took photographs of Kate Middleton and her family during the course of a private holiday in Cornwall.

“Rex Features subsequently syndicated a number of the photographs for publication in the foreign media.

“Although at the time Rex Features did not know that an infringement of privacy had occurred, we now accept that this was the case and that by distributing the photographs we were a party to that invasion of privacy. Accordingly we have agreed to pay compensation to Ms Middleton and have undertaken not to syndicate any further private photographs of her. We apologise to Ms Middleton for what has taken place.”

Press Gazette understands that damages of £5,000 have been paid. Middleton has said she will be donating the money to charity.

At the beginning of December the Queen wrote to newspaper editors informing them of their privacy obligations under the Editors’ Code of Practice and urging them to abide by them over the Christmas period.

Prince William has previously voiced concern after his girlfriend Middleton was hounded by the paparazzi in 2007.

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