Just as the furore over Prince Harry's naked photos seemed to have died down, The editors of French magazine Closer have published topless photos of the Duchess of Cambridge, also known by her maiden name Kate Middleton. The circumstances surrounding Harry and Kate's indecent exposures are, of course, starkly different. Whilst Harry's snaps were taken during a drunken game of 'strip billiards,' Kate's photos appear to have been taken without her consent, with a telephoto lens, whilst she was on private property.
According to The Telegraph, no British publication has touched the photographs. Whilst The Sun made a point of reprinting the pictures of Harry that the world had, quite frankly, already had a good old giggle at, the invasion of privacy involved, in this instance, has discouraged even the British red-tops from getting involved. A Downing Street spokeswoman has said "The view from Downing Street is that they are entitled to their privacy." According to Sky News' Twitter feed, the Daily Mirror was offered similar pictures last week but chose not to publish them. The editor of Closer has said that he sees no harm in publishing the photos, adding that they are "not in the least shocking." It remains likely, though, that the magazine will incur a fine, under French privacy laws, for publishing the snaps.
The fact that this debate has been sparked by the French media will of course have hit a nerve. After all, it was Prince William's mother, Princess Diana, who was killed in a car crash whilst being pursued by the French media, in 1997. Stéphane Bern, a French royal expert, was critical of those responsible for printing the photos, saying "This intrusion into the intimacy of the royal couple marks the return of a press that appeared to have learned its lessons from the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, 15 years ago." Prince William and his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge, are currently on royal business in Borneo.