Rat pack in North

Townsville Bulletin - - Voice Of The North - by Fiona Hard­ing Pho­tog­ra­pher

I HAD heard sto­ries of the ruth­less Lon­don pa­parazzi but even I was shocked at the lengths to which the Poms will go to get a shot.

Prince-ma­nia hit Card­well in a big way over the week­end.

Wher­ever Prince Wil­liam went, the world around him went fran­tic.

Lo­cal po­lice did a fine job cor­don­ing off ar­eas for thou­sands of spec­ta­tors and me­dia out­side the Card­well Com­mu­nity Hall.

In­side, there would be a mee­tand-greet, while out­side, proud Lions Club vol­un­teers would whip up a sausage siz­zle for their guest of hon­our.

I was told to take pho­tos for the Queens­land premier, and I would be given priv­i­leged ac­cess among the me­dia scrum.

Ex­cite­ment bub­bled as lo­cals waited pa­tiently in the swel­teri ng con­di­tions t o catch a glimpse of His Royal High­ness.

I had to wear a spe­cial blue cap to iden­tify my­self as one of the few who could get close to the prince with­out be­ing killed by his se­cu­rity de­tail.

Res­i­dents and vis­i­tors stood back as the me­dia surged for­ward while Prince Wil­liam walked along, greeting peo­ple.

This is where things got crazy, as me­dia peo­ple tripped over each other, strug­gling to get the best po­si­tion for the ‘‘ money’’ shot, the tear­jerker. Crews stood on top of each other and pushed and shoved.

Be­lieve it or not, there is cer­tain eti­quette within the pho­to­graphic com­mu­nity.

How­ever, the Pommy ‘‘ rat paps’’ had gone well and truly over­board to the ex­tent of rest­ing their cam­eras on my head.

As the hot sun rose, so did tem­pers. The push and shove even­tu­ally be­came too much, as one sneaky step turned into a free-for-all. Po­lice were called in and told to ar­rest any­one who wouldn’t move back or went in front of the po­lice tape.

I guess it wasn’t all bad, apart from be­ing picked up, man­han­dled and pushed to the side by some pasty for­eign lad.

I re­tal­i­ated with a few un­la­dy­like words, but t he prince was about to leave.

He flashed his pearly whites and waved good­bye and the rat pack dis­ap­peared.

Photo: FIONA HARD­ING

EX­CUSE ME: That’s one of my pho­tos of Prince Wil­liam, ac­com­pa­nied by Premier Anna Bligh, vis­it­ing Card­well. But where did that cam­era come from, ru­in­ing my shot?

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