Topless photographs of the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton in France’s Closer magazine have caused cries of shame to resonate across the English Channel, just weeks after the photographs of Prince Harry were published.
Despite the fact that the British press have steered clear of publishing the photographs in the same vein as they did with Prince Harry, the genie has been fully out of the bottle. Although the Royal family has initiated legal proceedings against France’s Closer, this hasn’t stopped an Italian magazine and an Irish newspaper from publishing the photos. The sad reality is that the winners from all of this are the gutter press.
The Kate Middleton case is not entirely dissimilar to the Prince Harry case; both were photographed in a place where there was a reasonable expectation of privacy, both were doing perfectly normal activities that you would expect any normal person to do within the privacy of their own homes, neither were involved in any serious criminality, and both would’ve in some sense evoked a security issue of some form.
But this time it’s different; memories of Princess Diana’s treatment by the press still haunt the British press and the paparazzi are all the more wary, given Kate’s lack of experience in dealing with press intrusion.
Despite the announcement from St. James’ Palace that legal action will be launched against France’s Closer, this is far from a victory for the Royal Family as an Irish newspaper has now published the photos, with an Italian magazine following suite.
We can climb onto our moral high horse proclaiming the immorality of such publications in going ahead with the publication of these photos, but the harsh reality is this is how the media works. Although France’s Closer is likely to lose in the legal fight, they emerge the winners from this, as the scandal has given them the publicity they wanted.