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Paparazzi Chase William Through London

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JILL LAWLESS | October 5, 2007 04:05 PM EST | AP

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LONDON — Paparazzi aggressively pursued Prince William and his girlfriend early Friday as they left a nightclub, following them by car through the streets of London after photographing the couple, the prince's spokesman said.

The chase came just days after the start of an inquiry into his mother's death in a 1997 car crash after being pursued by photographers.

British newspapers on Friday ran pictures of William and Kate Middleton, both 25, in a car after leaving a London nightclub in the early hours. "Threatening" paparazzi then chased the couple in their car, Paddy Harverson said.

"Having already been photographed leaving the club, he and Kate Middleton were then pursued in his car by photographers on motorcycles, in vehicles and on foot. The aggressive pursuit was potentially dangerous and worrying for them," Harverson said.

The photos of the couple were published in the same week as pictures of William's mother, Princess Diana, leaving the Ritz Hotel in Paris in 1997, as part of the inquest into her death. The inquiry is charged with determining how Diana came to die with her boyfriend Dodi Fayed in a car crash while being pursued by paparazzi.

Harverson said it "seems incomprehensible, particularly at this time, that this behavior is still going on."

The matter has been raised with the Press Complaints Commission, Harverson said. In a statement, the commission reminded editors that it was "of the utmost importance not to use photographs which have been taken in a manner that may have compromised the safety of individuals, which may include pursuit in vehicles."

William and Middleton met at St. Andrews University in Scotland and dated for several years, but announced their split in April as speculation swirled that they were about to marry. Middleton had been pursued by photographers outside her London home and nightclubs in scenes that drew comparisons to the coverage of Diana.

Newspapers reported this summer that the pair had rekindled their romance.