The Rt. Hon. Sir John Major KG CH

Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 1990-1997


Sir John Major’s Letter to The Times – 10 January 2007

The text of Sir John Major’s letter to The Times on the subject of the Kate Middleton, published on 10th January 2007.



I was dismayed to see television pictures of photographers in persistent pursuit of Kate Middleton, so eerily reminiscent of those who haunted the life of Diana, Princess of Wales.

Ten years on from the tragic death of the mother of Prince William and Prince Harry – and in the midst of the inquest into the circumstances surrounding it – it seems that we have learned nothing.

Chance brought Prince William and Kate Middleton together. So far as I am aware, Kate Middleton has never sought publicity for either personal or professional gain. It is grotesque that, due to her relationship with Prince William, she should have to endure such an invasion of her privacy.

We are told that laws exist to prevent such intolerable behaviour. If so, they are not effective. We are told that further laws could be introduced to tighten up that existing legislation. This is sheer bunkum. Must everything be done by legislation? Whatever happened to common decency?

There is one sure way to put an immediate end to this hunting down of private citizens, and that is for the proprietors and editors of all British newspapers to state that they will no longer buy or print any photograph taken without the knowledge and consent of their quarry. Rupert Murdoch has instructed his UK newspapers accordingly and I commend him for this. I hope that other proprietors and editors will follow suit. No public – or private – figure should be pursued down British streets against their will, nor should their homes be besieged.

In September 1997 we were assured that serious lessons had been learned. Learned, perhaps, but how soon forgotten.

One day, Prince William will become King. Hopefully, there will be someone by his side to share that heavy burden of responsibility. We, as a nation, should afford Prince William, and those to whom he is close, the same degree of personal freedom, consideration and compassion that, in due course, we will receive from him as our Monarch.

Yours faithfully.

John Major
London SW1