But yesterday Prince Michael I, 12, and Paris Michael, 11, were seen enjoying the fresh air with their faces revealed to the world as they joined their famous father at a Los Angeles recording studio.
Not realising they could be seen from the street, Prince and Paris looked like regular pre-teens as they strolled through the car park.
Unmasked: Michael Jackson and his two oldest children Prince and Paris walk through a car park at a Los Angeles studio
It was only when they left the studio two hours later, they were wearing masks again.
Also joining the Jacksons at the building was High School Musical director Kenny Ortega, who is creative director of the star's This Is It UK tour.
Michael has been hard at work in recent weeks preparing for his 50-date residency at London's O2 Arena, which kicks off on July 13.
He recently upset fans when he postponed the first four dates by a week, meaning many are frantically trying to rearrange travel plans.
The Thriller singer has kept his children's lives shrouded in mystery since he first became a father in 1997.
Similar: Prince (L) and Paris share family resemblances, but have no similarities with their father
As well as fathering Prince and Paris with ex-wife Debbie Rowe, Michael also has a seven-year-old Prince Michael II, aka Blanket.
While the physical similarities between the elder Prince and Paris is striking, Blanket is much darker than his older siblings in skin tone and hair colour.
Blanket was the child famously dangled off a hotel balcony in Germany in November 2002.
In an interview last year, former nurse Debbie insisted it was her choice to have the children's faces covered.
Cover up: Two hours later, Michael happily waved to fans and made sure his children's faces were covered as he left the studio with choreographer Kenny Ortega (R)
She said: 'The veils were my idea, not Michael's. I had kidnap threats when they were babies. I did not want them to be recognised.'
Despite widespread belief the children are not biologically his, Michael insists he is the father of all three.
During his infamous 2003 interview with Martin Bashir, he said: 'I used a surrogate mother (for Blanket) and my own sperm cells. I had my own sperm cells in my other two children.
'They are all my children but I used a surrogate mother and she doesn't know me, I don't know her.'
Debbie reiterated in 2008: 'Of course it was artificial insemination. Paris was conceived in Paris, that's how she got her name.
'I turned out two pretty good-looking kids. For that I am proud.'
What a masquerade: Paris and Prince leave the studio with masks on