Prince George photos fuel media frenzy

Our royal watcher explains why those who leaked photos may have a price to pay

The two new pictures of infant Prince George are delightfully innocent snaps taken by his grandfather, Michael Middleton. One is a close-up of George and his parents, Prince William and Kate. In the other, the new family is seated on the lawn of the Middleton home with their dog, Lupo.



What isn’t so innocent is the way a surprising number of Class A media organizations jumped right over the embargoed release time of 1 minute after midnight, London time. The embargo, a common tactic used for everything from federal budgets to blockbuster medical studies, is way for media to work ahead on stories. (When the embargo ends, everyone publishes at the same time.) Not this time, as organization after organization received the embargoed pictures and then broke the terms of the agreement by publishing early, with Twitter tallying the bad boys. (USA Today helpfully printed a link to another site, which had the photos)




While those media organizations may have got a few minutes jump on the rest of the world, there’s more than aggrieved competitors to worry about. Royal household officials are a tad like elephants–they don’t forget.