Ansley Jottings May 2023

I watched a television programme about King Charles’ earlier life recently.  I was captivated by the film clips of the Royal family when Charles and his sister were young.  There was some lovely interaction with his parents, especially when his father was teaching him fishing skills.  King Charles commented on how his father enjoyed teaching his son various skills.  The other thing that struck me was the scenes of photographers crowding round to get images of him.  Some were agreed photo opportunities, but he has also suffered intrusions into his private life as the media attempt to take pictures at all times and in all places.

Attitudes towards image taking without permission have changed radically since the previous coronation.  As a youngster I would have known when photographs were being taken of me and they would have been taken by close family or friends.  Nowadays none of us knows when an image is being taken and certainly when visiting tourist spots or in the street you have no idea if you are featuring on someone’s social media or a security camera.

It must be very disconcerting to receive the media and public attention that the Royal family and celebrities experience.  Positive media interest is greatly sought after but appears to be impossible to keep in check.

It is not just royalty and celebrities who experience close attention from photographers.  As for many people, members of my family live abroad and the grandparents do not see their children or grandchildren very often.  The film clips and images that can be sent so easily nowadays are a joy for families separated by many miles.  During the pandemic these images and face to face screen time were especially important.

I do wonder what effect the concentration on visual media may be having, especially on young children.  My little great niece living in the USA seems to have daily film clips sent to her parents from nursery.  Children can be very camera shy at times.

I suppose that, like so many things, media attention can be positive or negative.  Hopefully we can enjoy the positive aspects but help children and people in general to recognise the drawbacks to our use of images and insist on regulation against intrusion into the lives of Royalty, celebrities or the general public..                                                                                          D. K.