The royal family was blindsided yesterday when after pictures of Kate Middleton sunbathing topless while holidaying in a private chateau in France were published in the French magazine Closer. After recovering from the initial shock, Britain’s Prince William has vowed that his wife Duchess Kate Middleton will not suffer the same press intrusion as his late mother did.
The Duke of Cambridge was left furious and he now wants to do all he can to protect Kate’s privacy.
Those close to him say he doesn’t want the duchess –to be followed by photographers everywhere she goes like Princess Diana was, as he believes the paparazzi contributed to her death in a Paris car crash in 1997.
Vivienne Parry – a close friend of Diana’s – told the Daily Mirror newspaper, “He lost his mother to the foreign photographers; he will do absolutely everything in his power to prevent the same thing happening to Kate.
Don’t imagine for a minute that William, who puts a huge amount of effort into protecting Kate, will take this lying down. He made sure she was surrounded with a great team and they had time alone together in Anglesey to help her adapt to the storm ahead.
And now here is a magazine, owned by that ‘bunga-bunga’ sleazeball Silvio Berlusconi piercing the heart of the citadel he has erected to protect his wife. There might have been a time when photographers could get away with pictures of the royal family because they never took legal action, but William is different. He will protect Kate. It is his duty above all to her but also to the memory of his mother.”
After the pictures were published William and Catherine released a statement saying they “hugely saddened” their privacy had been invaded.
What’s even more disturbing is that an Italian gossip magazine is set to follow the French publication in printing topless photographs of the Duchess of Cambridge, it was reported today.
Chi is understood to be planning a 26-page photo special of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on holiday in the south of France, to run in an edition next week, said the BBC.
The move comes despite St James’s Palace describing the publication of the photos of Kate in French magazine Closer yesterday as a ‘grotesque and totally unjustifiable’ invasion of privacy, and the announcement that the royal couple will sue its publishers.
Chi Editor Alfonso Signorini said: ‘The fact that these are the future rulers of England makes the article more interesting and topical.
“This is a deserving topic because it shows in a completely natural way the daily life of a very famous, young and modern couple in love.”
Both Chi and the French edition of Closer are published by the Mondadori media group, which is owned by former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.
The British edition of Closer has distanced itself from the decision made by its French counterpart, which is run by a different company.
A number of British newspapers have been offered the photos but so far are unanimous in their condemnation of them being published.
Did the paparazzo who zoomed in on Kate Middleton and her naked chest commit a crime?
Sacre bleu—quite possibly!
A French attorney intimated to E! News that the Duchess of Cambridge—who, with the weight of the royal family behind her, has already sued the tabloid that published topless photos of her—has the option of lodging a criminal complaint.
The pics that ended up on the cover (and within the pages) of French mag Closer were allegedly taken from half a mile away while Kate was sunning herself with husband Prince William at what they presumably thought was a private chateau in Provence.
“If photographs of Kate Middleton have been taken and published without her consent during her holidays, she may file a complaint on the basis of article 9 of the French civil code and article 226-1 of the penal code,” says attorney Pierre Hourcade (who is not associated with the royal).
Hourcade says that French law dictates that people have the right to respect for their private lives and, as a picture of a person is considered an attribute of that person, photographic images fall under that protection.
Hourcade has advised the Dutches that if photographer is convicted of violating a person’s right to privacy, punishment is up to a year in jail and a fine of 45,000 euros, or almost $60,000. Even with this new knowledge, Middleton has been under extreme stress as a result of the circumstances.
And even the fact that Kate and her hubby were on vacation factors into what is or isn’t legal, according to Hourcade.
He says that public figures like Will and Kate can be photographed by anyone without personal authorization only so long as they are in a public space performing their official duties. But, he adds, if they are in a public space and on holiday when photographed, that can constitute a violation of the aforementioned codes because there has been a theft of private image.
Moreover, if the sneaky shutterbug who took the photos of Kate is convicted, the magazine that published the images could end up having the photos seized or be compelled to publish the result of the duchess’ legal action on its cover.
Now that sounds sexy.
Laurence Pieau, the editor of the under-the-gun Closer, defended the decision to publish the photos—which have since been removed from the French publication’s website—calling them “beautiful” and “not in the least bit shocking.”
The photos disappeared from their site hours after the magazine’s brand owner, the U.K.-based Bauer Media, demanded that they pull the photos down and desist from publishing any further pictures, calling the so-called scoop a “gross intrusion of their Royal Highnesses’ privacy.”
Half a world away, Middleton — looking demure in a blue lace dress — sipped tea with Malaysian-born shoe designer Jimmy Choo and other VIPs and gave no sign of being rattled. “She is an absolutely beautiful person both inside and out,” Choo gushed later. “Very much like Prince’s William’s mother.”