25/07/2013 13:36 BST | Updated 24/09/2013 06:12 BST

Prince William's Loathing for the Media Begins to Mellow


Maybe it's marriage, maybe it's fatherhood, but it seems that Prince William's long-standing loathing for the media is beginning to mellow.

When he came out of St Mary's Hospital, Paddington, with Kate and the new baby, William was positively oozing charm to the baying press mob.

He seemed easy and comfortable - and there was also a liberal splash of that quintessentially British trait, jokey self-deprecation.

Who's the baby look like, Wills was asked - "He's got her looks - thankfully," comes the pat reply.

Then, after a question about the baby's hair, Wills gives another silky smooth riposte - "He's got way more than me, Thank God!"

It's not much, just a little light banter - but it reveals a complete transformation in this young Prince, who for years was quite content to stonewall even the most sycophantic questions from the press.

It is true, of course, that both William and his brother Prince Harry have had their fair share of being monstered by the paparazzi. And there is also the horrific manner in which Princess Diana died - perhaps caused, in part, by her being chased through Paris by photographers.

But generally, the press wishes these Royals nothing but the best.

The problem is that there are always going to be rogue photographers - and a few rogue reporters, too, come to that. But it's the pictures that are really worth the money. A good exclusive picture of Kate with the royal baby could be worth hundreds of thousands. That's a lot of money: more than enough to tempt a paparazzo to start bending the law.

If these rogue paps have broken the law, then obviously they can be arrested.

But most of the time, they're just taking a damn liberty - provoking stars into a reaction; stalking them for miles; taking long-range shots with their metre-long lenses.

In the last couple of years, though, it looks as if William has come to accept the rough with the smooth. Whatever he does, whatever he says, he knows that there are photographers out there who'd give their right arm for a good shot of him and Kate.

But he realises also that for the most part, photographers - and reporters - are going to behave decently, respectfully.

The press won't be leaving Prince William's life any time soon. Or Kate's. Or the baby's.

And there will always be the occasional blip. There is always going to be some pap who's prepared to spend a month up a tree in the hope of getting a picture of Kate in her bikini.

But for the most part, William knows that life will be much easier and much more jolly, both for himself and his family, if he joins in this merry media dance. Not that William has to do it all of the time. But just tossing the few odd scraps to the press is a good way to keep everyone happy.

And you never know - there may come a time, eventually, after William and Kate have started their own royal charity, when William actually wants to use the press for his own purposes. Now wouldn't that be a turn-around?