Prince George and Prince William
Freelance celebrity photographers have been warned off trying to photograph Prince George.Chris Jackson/Getty

The Met Police have warned that paparazzi trying to take covert photos of Prince George risk armed intervention from officers.

Their statement comes after the royal family warned media outlets against using unauthorised paparazzi photos of Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

"At a time when the national security threat level from international terrorism is at severe, all officers are at a heightened level of readiness," the Met Police said.

"Officers involved in the security of protected people are armed and have to constantly assess security risks.

"Photographers using covert tactics often come to the attention of armed officers who take steps to stop and verify the details of those who raise suspicions.

"Photographers are potentially putting themselves at risk from armed intervention where our armed officers perceive a risk to the personal safety of their principal, the public and themselves."

'Distressing activity'

On 14 August, Kensington Palace released a scathing letter slamming the tactics paparazzi use to obtain unauthorised images of the royal children.

The open letter, which was sent by Jason Knauf – the communications secretary to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry – warned that photographers were adopting tactics that made it difficult to tell whether they were taking photos or intending to cause harm.

"In a heightened security environment such tactics are a risk to all involved. The worry is that it will not always be possible to quickly distinguish between someone taking photos and someone intending to do more immediate harm," the palace said.

The letter also detailed intrusions of privacy, including an instance of a photographer hiding in sand dunes to take photos of Prince George and the "disturbing" case of another photographer hiding out in a car near a children's play area in order to catch a glimpse of the prince.