London - Palace officials said on Thursday that Kate Middleton
's family has complained about media harassment after photos of the royal bride's mother and sister shopping were published in the newspapers.
In a sign of the increasingly frenzied media attention ahead of Kate's marriage to Prince William on April 29, the family asked the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) on Wednesday to pass on their concerns to editors.
"Following some incidents of alleged harassment and pursuit by agencies and freelancers, the Middleton family through the PCC has sought to draw the attention of editors to their concerns," said a spokesperson for St James Palace.
He said no formal complaint had been made to the PCC, which enforces a voluntary code of practice for newspapers. The code states that "journalists must not engage in intimidation, harassment or persistent pursuit".Grateful for restraint
"The Middleton family and St James's Palace remain grateful to editors for their restraint and adherence to the code over the past few months," he added.
According to the BBC, the PCC has asked newspapers to "take care" when using images provided by agency photographers, following isolated incidents where Kate's mother Carole and sister Pippa were followed by photographers on mopeds.
On Wednesday, photos were published in the British press of Carole and Pippa - Kate's chief bridesmaid - shopping in London's upmarket Chelsea district.Desperate for new shots
Sources say that as Kate has kept out of the spotlight, her mother and sister have been increasingly targeted by photographers desperate to get new shots ahead of the wedding.
The PCC confirmed that a notice about the Middleton family was sent out on Wednesday to editors, broadcasters and journalists.
"The PCC operates a system whereby we pass on concerns of people in a private and confidential way when people are concerned about harassment, and this is what happened in this case," a spokesman told AFP.
The code of practice was strengthened after the death of William's mother Diana, who died in a car crash in 1997 while being pursued by paparazzi.