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Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Duchess Kate Middleton Photographed Sunbathing Topless

Ashley Riegle |
September 17, 2012 | 3:26 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

French Tabloid, Closer Published Exclusive Photos of Will and Kate
French Tabloid, Closer Published Exclusive Photos of Will and Kate

On Friday, the French tabloid magazine Closer  printed topless photos of Kate Middleton while she sunbathed with Prince William during a vacation in the South of France. Although controversial, the tabloid stood by its decision to run the photos. The Royals are unsurprisingly appalled and taking legal action.

That same day, a spokesman for the couple issued the following statements:

"St James's Palace confirms that legal proceedings for breach of privacy have been commenced today in France by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge against the editor and publishers of Closer magazine, France."

"The incident is reminiscent of the worst excesses of the press and paparazzi during the life of Diana, Princess of Wales, and all the more upsetting to the duke and duchess for being so."

Undoubtedly and rightly so, the memory of paparazzi's aggressive treatment toward Princess Diana and her untimely death make the photos of Kate all the more sensitive for the Royal family. Many people see Kate as stepping into Diana's shoes and it is no surprise the family is highly protective of her.

Furthermore, this nude photo scandal comes just weeks after Prince Harry was photographed engaging in a naked pool party in Las Vegas. The photos of Harry were arguably more salacious then the topless sun-bathing photos of Kate. At the time of the release of Harry's nude photos, Palace lawyers allegedly warned UK papers against printing them, claiming a breach of privacy code. However, due to the globalized nature of the modern-day press and online news sharing, the Palace was unable to suppress the images, which circulated widely.

These two incidents are not the first public scandals for the young members of the Royal family. Pippa Middleton, internationally famous since Will and Kate's Royal Wedding, has gotten herself in hot water more than once since the said wedding. In April 2012, Pippa's pal was photographed pointing a gun at photographers while they were driving around Paris in a convertible with friends. She later explained the gun was a toy and apologized for her involvement; nonetheless, it created quite a stir. This incident occurred just about a year after she was photographed topless and braless while vacationing in Ibiza.

Given the realities of globalized media and the fact that these young Royals are fun-loving and free-spirited, it seems that it is going to continue to be a battle between the quest of the paparazzi to expose their wild ways and the goal of the Palace to uphold an image of perfection.

Reach Ashley Riegle by email here. Follow her on Twitter here.



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