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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are said to be “hugely saddened” by what they called a “grotesque” invasion of their privacy, after a French celebrity magazine published pictures of Kate Middleton topless.
Following the experiences of his late mother Diana, William is highly protective of Kate and is said to be furious that ‘Closer’ magazine published a five page spread of her sunbathing on a balcony with him in the South of France.
The pictures were taken while they were on holiday staying at a friend’s home near Aix-en-Provence.
Media lawyer Claire Gill said there need to be stronger penalties to stop these kinds of breaches of privacy from happening: “In my view this case illustrates really that the awards of damages that are being handed out both here (in the UK) and in France are far too low to deter a newspaper from publishing where they calculate that the commercial gain is going to outweigh any damages that they have to pay out.”
With the couple currently touring Southeast Asia, the British royal family issued a statement saying it was “reminiscent of the worst excesses of the press and paparazzi during the life of Diana,” and said lawyers are being consulted.
Beautiful not degrading
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.
“She’s a real 21st Century princess,” she added: “It’s a young woman who is topless, the same as you can see on any beach in France or around the world.”
Closer, published by Italian company Mondadori, would almost certainly lose any legal case over invasion of privacy, although profits from the issue would likely far exceed any fine levied, which is likely to be just a few thousand euros.