Setback for Caroline’s paparazzi crusade

Karlsruhe, Germany - Princess Caroline of Monaco suffered a legal setback on Tuesday in her bid to prevent German supermarket magazines publishing paparazzi photographs of her leisure pursuits.

The German Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe ruled that the High Court had restricted the freedom of the press by banning photographs that showed Caroline and her German husband, Prince Ernst August of Hanover, on holiday in Kenya.

The pictures appeared in the weekly magazine Sieben Tage next to a news item about the couple leasing out their Kenyan holiday home.

Germany has abolished its aristocracy. German magazines offer detailed coverage of the private lives of other European royalty and pay freelance photographers well for snapshots of the glamorous.
The court said on Tuesday that reports about celebrity private lives were protected by German constitutional freedom-of-the-press rights.

Those rights did not just cover reports on “scandalous behaviour in breach of moral or legal standards” but also reports about the “normalcy of everyday life,” provided they were useful to forming an opinion about matters of general interest.

The High Court must now review whether the Sieben Tage photos meet this new test.

The Constitutional Court affirmed a ban on all but one of another group of photos, published in the German magazine Frau im Spiegel and showing Caroline skiing in St Moritz, Switzerland.

The Monaco princess, sister of ruler Prince Albert, has won several key victories in the German and Europe-level courts in her long campaign against the paparazzi, arguing that the tabloid media has no right to show her except at public events.

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