Expatica news

Royals take legal action against video images

14 May 2004

AMSTERDAM — Dutch Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Maxima will take legal action against an Argentinean website and Dutch broadcaster SBS after they broadcast video images of Princess Maxima and her baby Amalia.

The images were probably obtained from the expat royal’s digital camera, which was stolen during a recent trip to Argentina.

The privately-recorded images show Princess Maxima lovingly talking to Princess Amalia in her native Spanish. She also sings to the four-month-old future queen of the Netherlands.

Amalia is clearly seen in the video. Her father, Prince Willem-Alexander, also comes into view two times. The film was probably made by Princess Maxima, Dutch public news service NOS reported.

”What do you think about taking a walk in the garden with mum?” Maxima asks. During the short, five-minute video the princess also says: “Oh, what are you a beautiful child” and “Who is that beautiful fatty of mum?”

Some of the images were probably taken in the garden of the royal couple’s Wassenaar mansion, news agency ANP reported.

It was reported on Thursday that the princess’ digital camera was stolen recently in Argentina, where Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Maxima attended a wedding of one of her friends. The royal couple returned to the Netherlands earlier this week.

The Government Information Service (RVD) has warned Dutch media that buying the video images is a crime and that its publication violates the privacy of the royal couple. The video has been offered for sale via international photo bureaus.

The royal couple’s lawyer confirmed on Friday that legal action will be lodged against the website and Dutch commercial TV broadcaster SBS 6, which televised clips of the video images on Thursday night.

Despite the warning from the RVD not to broadcast the video images, SBS used them on its show-biz programme Shownieuws. The precise nature of the looming legal action is not yet known.

But SBS said it has full confidence of winning the legal battle, claiming that Shownieuws acted cautiously and only a few seconds of the video images were seen. They were also clearly broadcast in a “recognisable internet environment”.

Meanwhile, the RVD also said it is investigating what action it can take to prevent the further spread of the video images. It said the video was published on an Argentinean website, which made it more complicated.

Legal action will be taken against the administrators of the Argentinean website, located at www.americatv.uol.com.ar. The website address is difficult to load, probably due to the added number of visitors to the site.

Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Maxima won a legal case at the end of February against gossip magazine Prive, which had published photos of the inside of the royal couple’s Wassenaar mansion without their permission.

The judge ruled that Prive had violated the royal couple’s privacy and could not use the argument of freedom of the press.

Prince Willem-Alexander and Argentinean-born Maxima married in Amsterdam on 2 February 2002 and Catharina-Amalia was born on 7 December 2003. The baby princess will be first in line to the Dutch throne when her father is crowned King.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news