Los Angeles is boosting its red carpet treatment for those with blue blood.
In preparation for the arrival of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who will stay in Los Angeles through the weekend, the Los Angeles Police Department has arranged for paparazzi-free zones for the royal couple. Any photographer that takes shots of Prince William and wife Catherine in certain areas of the city can be arrested on the spot and thrown in jail.
The newlyweds, on their first official overseas trip since their April nuptials, are journeying through Canada and will fly into California on Friday. While in Los Angeles, the couple—traveling with a very light entourage—will stay at the home of the British Consul General in the affluent neighborhood of Hancock Park. Their agenda includes a black-tie dinner hosted by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and a visit to the Inner-City Arts school on skid row.
To keep the couple from appearing in the tabloids, the LAPD issued no-trespassing letters to the residents living in the seven houses around the British Consul General’s pad, which they had to sign. Nearby Angelenos also signed keep-away orders, which will allow officers to arrest paparazzi that attempt to shoot while on private residential grounds.
An anonymous “veteran Hollywood photo pro” is flabbergasted by the restrictions, telling the Chicago Sun-Times: “We really have been put on notice about an unbelievable number of dos and don’ts.” The police department, along with the Secret Service and other state agencies, are making “not-so-veiled threats” about getting in William and Catherine’s faces. “You’d think we were working in Red China,” the source added, “not America!”
But according to the police, it’s about privacy and safety. (Let’s not forget, Prince William’s mother, Princess Diana, died after a car crash partially attributed to paparazzi.) “Our primary concern is to protect the rights and privacy of the residents as well as the safety of the royal couple upon their visit here to the United States,” LAPD spokeswoman Mitzi Fierro told the Los Angeles Times. “If [people] trespass on property where we have a signed trespass letter, they will be arrested immediately.”
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