Picture credit: Copyright Jason Bell/Camera Press

‘It’s an utter disgrace this was allowed to happen and an even bigger one that Fleet Street allowed it to happen,’ claimed a well-placed industry source who asked not to be named.

The source added: ‘It’s not the money, it’s the principle.’

The portraits were captured at Clarence House by photographer Jason Bell immediately after Prince George’s baptism at St James’s Palace in London on Wednesday, and released yesterday by photo agency Camera Press.

Camera Press says that only one of the four official portraits is free to use, for a 24-hour period that began at 10 o’clock last night.

However, the agency is charging media at least ‘£150 a pop’ for access to the others, according to AP’s source.

The fee is designed to recoup some of the costs incurred in what Camera Press stresses was a ‘private shoot’, an agency representative told AP.

The fee came about following negotiations between the agency and Buckingham Palace.

‘So much for the Royal Rota,’ added the industry insider.

The Royal Rota allows a limited number of photographers and reporters to cover royal engagements – the idea being that they pass on pictures and copy to other local and national media.

It was set up under an agreement between the media and Buckingham Palace, to help avoid overcrowding at royal events.

Camera Press was founded in 1947.

NEWS UPDATE 6PM: AP has tonight been granted free use of the images by Camera Press, having earlier been told that this was not possible.