December 12 2013 Latest news:
Friday, September 14, 2012
An international row has erupted after a French magazine published topless photographs of the Duchess of Cambridge.
The move has been condemned as “grotesque and totally unjustifiable” by St James’s Palace.
In a strongly-worded statement, the palace compared it with the “worst excesses of the press and paparazzi during the life of Diana, Princess of Wales”.
Lawyers were being consulted by royal aides after the images showing the future Queen wearing just a pair of bikini bottoms were published in the French magazine Closer.
William and Kate were said to be feeling “anger and disbelief” at the publication of the photographs, taken while on a private holiday.
The St James’s Palace statement said: “Their Royal Highnesses have been hugely saddened to learn that a French publication and a photographer have invaded their privacy in such a grotesque and totally unjustifiable manner.
“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.
“Their Royal Highnesses had every expectation of privacy in the remote house. It is unthinkable that anyone should take such photographs, let alone publish them.
“Officials acting on behalf of their Royal Highnesses are consulting with lawyers to consider what options may be available to the Duke and Duchess.”
The photographs were taken last week while the couple were staying in Provence at a chateau owned by Lord Linley, the Queen’s nephew, ahead of their trip.
The pictures have reignited the controversy over privacy which raged around Prince Harry last month, when embarrassing images emerged of him frolicking naked in a Las Vegas hotel.
Staying in a £5,000-a-night hotel suite, Harry was filmed wearing a hat, sunglasses and colourful swimming shorts, and socialising with bikini-clad women at a pool party.
The Sun was the only British newspaper to defy a royal request issued via the Press Complaints Commission not to publish the photos of Harry in the nude with an unnamed woman.
Publishers of the UK edition of Closer distanced themselves from the French magazine today.
They said the two publications made “entirely independent editorial decisions”, and pointed out that the French magazine is published by a separate, Italian company.
But there has been speculation as to whether some members of the British press would end up publishing the latest pictures.
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