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Photographer denies 'stalking' Queen Silvia

Photographer denies 'stalking' Queen Silvia

Published: 08 Apr 2011 07:46 GMT+02:00
Updated: 08 Apr 2011 07:46 GMT+02:00

The photographer accused by the Swedish Royal Court of stalking Queen Silvia during a recent visit to New York denies that he caused her to fall and hurt her foot.

"I have not stalked anyone. I have not chased after anyone. I have not harassed anyone," he wrote on his blog, according to news agency TT.

The encounter took place in connection with a visit by the Queen and Princess Madeleine to a store in New York, according to the Royal Court.

In a statement, the Royal Court said "the photographer didn't acknowledge their wish not to be photographed, but instead remained in the entryway of the store. The Queen felt the photographer was being obstinate and chose to go out through the store's side door. The Queen walked briskly to a parked car in order to avoid the photographer who ran after her. Unfortunately, the Queen then fell, injuring both her foot and wrist."

"It's not a question of her simply wanting to avoid being photographed. It's more akin to stalking," Royal Court spokesperson Bertil Ternert told the Expressen newspaper after the incident.

"I view of the situation as a case of harassment [Swedish: 'ofredande'] according to Swedish law."

But according to the photographer he did not harass the Queen in any way.

“I was standing at the entrance of the clothes store, in a public place, waiting for the royal party to come out. They, however, chose a side entrance and ran for their cars. In the process, the Queen tripped over a garbage bag and fell,” he wrote on his blog.

The incident has sparked a debate in Swedish media regarding the line between private and public sphere. However, the photographer wants to put the incident behind him and move on.

“I am devastated over what befell the Queen and if my presence there caused her any stress, I apologise,” he wrote on his blog.

TT/The Local/rm (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

10:25 April 8, 2011 by dw
Why si the photographer devasted over this? He had every right to photograph the Queen in a public place in NYC. Who cares whether this complies or doesn't comply with Swedish law, this happend outside of Sweden. If the royals don't like this sort of attention, then they should be a bit more selective on where they visit? Welcome to New York.
10:46 April 8, 2011 by Nemesis
In New York, paparazzi are infamous for all sorts of crazy stunts to get pictures, inlcuding breaking the law.

The Queen should have been aware of that.

If she wants privacy while on holiday, she should holiday in France or Monaco, where she will have privacty protection.

As for the journalist climing he was not stalking. Every jounalistic photographer in New York city meets the legal and criminal definition of stalker, regardless of excuses they make.

Aftonbladet will have been in full knowledge that they were hiring someone who will stop at nothing to get a picture.

Aftonbladets thinking in all this is what should be questioned.

The Queen always stops to let photographers take more than enough pictures. She appears to be happy to do so. She then goes about her business. That should be good enough for any publication.

In this case it is clear, that something has obviously happened. Aftonbladet should be made to explain itself. They hired the stalker. It is there fault and there responsibility
16:31 April 8, 2011 by calebian22
It was the US. The photographer had every right to be there in a public area. If the Queen wanted Swedish law, she should have stayed Sweden.
17:15 April 8, 2011 by marlenekkoenig
Here in the United States, privacy laws extend to one's home, a hotel room, a phone booth. Once you leave these places, you are no longer private. You are in public. There is no such thing as a private space outside a place of residence. Most news photographers are respectful, when doing their job. Some are not. In 1972, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis obtained a restraining order against Ron Galella, one of the first true paparazzi photographers. She could not get a court to stop him from taking photos of her and her children -- it was his first amendment right -- but she could get an order to keep him at a distance - 150 feet.

The photographer was not stalking the Queen - stalking is much more detailed - and the Queen was in town for only a few days. He may have been too close for comfort for the Queen (and where was her security), but he was not violating US privacy laws. The minute Queen Silvia and Princess Madeleine stepped outside the door of where they were staying, they ceased to be in a private sphere. The photographer was also protected by the First Amendment .. he had the right to take the photo because he was in public ... The US privacy laws are very different from European, and not likely to be changed Privacy also extends to dressing rooms, medical facilties, doctors' offices, but not shopping.
17:43 April 8, 2011 by frey
dw you are a punk.

what is the photographer's name?
17:36 April 10, 2011 by cogito
She shirked her duties the week before on the pretext that she was too weakened by illness to carry out her responsibilities on a state visit to Botswana.

But a miraculous recovery permitted her to fly off for a shopping spree in New York.

As for the posters on their moral high-horse, paparazzi is a more respectable job than being a king or queen.
18:34 April 27, 2011 by NachoMan
One would have hoped that the Queen, ostensibly there to represent Sweden, would be better versed in the diplomatic arts and more respectful of the countries in which she is a guest. Why ever would the Queen or anyone else expect people in America to obey Swedish laws and customs? In Sweden perhaps photographers are required to defer to the wishes of those being photographed. In America the photographer was entirely within his rights, especially so as he was photographing a public figure in a public place. Probably the Queen was so desperate to escape press attention more because of where she was and what she was doing, namely spoiling herself at a pricey New York with tens of thousands of taxpayer kronor.
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