Topless Kate photos cause storm

Royal family consulting lawyers, says spokesperson

French magazine ‘Closer’ unleashed a new media tornado on the royal family on Friday with a five-page splash of photos showing the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, sunbathing topless with Prince William in the south of France.

Closer, a weekly round-up of celebrity gossip, ran a dozen shots of the Duchess as she slipped off her bikini top, relaxed on a sun lounger and at one point pulled down the back of her bikini bottoms as William rubs sun cream on her.

Under the headline “Oh my God!”, the photos show the couple, whose regal yet natural conduct since their April wedding has won them fans worldwide, soaking up the sun on the balcony of a 19th century hunting lodge, oblivious to lurking paparazzi.

While the magazine defended its decision to publish the photos, a royal spokesperson called it a grotesque move that had upset the royal couple, currently touring southeast Asia, and said Buckingham Palace was consulting lawyers. “Their Royal Highnesses have been hugely saddened to learn that a French publication and a photographer have invaded their privacy in such a grotesque and totally unjustifiable manner,” a spokesperson for St James’ Palace said.

“Their Royal Highnesses had every expectation of privacy in the remote house. It is unthinkable that anyone should take such photographs, let alone publish them.”
‘Closer’s editor-in-chief Laurence Pieau described the photos as a “beautiful series” that showed a couple in love and were in no way degrading. She said the magazine had more intimate shots from the same series that it opted not to publish. “There’s been an over-reaction to these photos. What we see is a young couple, who just got married, who are very much in love, who are splendid,” Pieau told French BFM television.

‘Closer’, published by Italian company Mondadori, would likely lose any legal case over invasion of privacy, although profits from the issue would likely far exceed any fine faced, likely just a few thousand euros. “It’s without a doubt an invasion of privacy,” said Christopher Mesnooh, a US lawyer who practices in France.

“They were on vacation in a friend’s chateau. There was no expectation the press would be there. So visibly they have been damaged by the fact the pictures were taken and it is likely a French court would rule in that direction.”

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily
GET IT
Comments (+)