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“And to think there still exists the notion that the French are somehow more sophisticated than the rest of us,” said India Knight in The Sunday Times. The French tabloid Closer, sister paper to a British rag of the same name, actually sent a photographer—a grown man, presumably—to lurk furtively in the bushes with a telephoto lens and snap pictures of the Duchess of Cambridge as she relaxed topless in the sun. The former Kate Middleton and likely future queen of England can be forgiven for assuming that she might have a moment of privacy with her husband, Prince William, on the balcony of a château in the secluded, 640-acre French estate where the two were enjoying a holiday. Alas, no. The royal family has never sued a newspaper for breach of privacy—but this time, it says, it will. And rightly so. “What we have here is the beginning of the Dianafication of Kate, and it needs to be knocked on the head.
That’s why this breach of privacy is so outrageous, said Victoria Murphy in the Mirror. Prince William fears he and Kate “may now be subjected to the same sort of hysterical paparazzi hounding that haunted his mum, Diana.” A ferocious press pursued her literally to her death in a Paris car crash 15 years ago. It’s said that William personally insisted that the statement from the palace condemning the photos make a direct reference to his mother. And no wonder, said Caroline Davies in The Guardian. When he was just a lad, William saw his mother weep in frustration “as photographers dogged her every step.” Now he desperately wants to spare his wife the same fate.
But the foreign press simply doesn’t care, said The Sun in an editorial. The Irish Daily Star has now also run the photos, its “defiant” editor claiming that they are just tasteful portrayals of a young couple in love. Next to print them was Chi, an Italian magazine that, like the French Closer, is owned by former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. In a grotesque twist, Chi actually added commentary on Kate’s anatomy by a plastic surgeon. Chi editor Alfonso Signorini laughed off the umbrage of British tabloids, noting that they have invaded royal privacy far more egregiously—by, for example, publishing transcripts of racy phone calls between Prince Charles and his then-mistress, Camilla Parker Bowles. Signorini advised Kate to just “shrug it off.”
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What else can she do? said Janice Turner in The Times. Even if a lawsuit succeeds and Closer pays a fine, “nothing can impede those breasts now.” Just like the naked snaps of her brother-in-law, Harry, frolicking in Vegas, the photos of the topless duchess are on the Internet for all time. Continuing to complain will simply keep attention focused on them. “Get smarter security, Wills. Keep your top on outdoors, Kate.” And then just go on with your lives.
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