'Kate Middleton should have been more careful.'

Closer magazine editor Laurence Pieau

STOP PRESS:  “Topless photos of Kate Middleton reveal she has nipples.” That was the headline on website Jezebel at the weekend and we couldn’t agree more.

But this isn’t just about nipples. Or Princess Katherine. The fact that the Duchess of Cambridge has nipples shouldn’t really be a news story. But it is – in fact it’s the most-read news story on most news sites around the world this week and it’s the second Royal photo scandal in three weeks. The question is why.

It’s just been revealed that the topless photos were taken from a distance of 1.6km from the private chateau where the couple were staying. In other words, the photographer was hardly just walking by when she stumbled upon a topless Princess. This was a deliberate invasion of privacy.

The story developed from the question of whether the French magazine should have published the topless pictures of Kate taken while she was holidaying in the South of France, to a question of what the consequences will be for the person who took them and the people who published them.


The pictures were initially published by French magazine, Closer. The owner of Closer is Bauer, the German publishing giant who just last week bought Australia’s largest magazine group, ACP, making them the new owners of Woman’s Day, the Australian Women’s Weekly, Dolly, Cleo, Cosmo, Madison, Harpers Bazaar and dozens of other magazines.On the Closer website, they described pictures of the couple as “Like you have never seen them before. Gone are the fixed smiles and the demure dresses. On holiday Kate forgets everything.”Here’s Closer magazine editor Laurence Pieau explaining her decision to publish.


The pictures were taken by a photographer named Valerie Suau, who has defended her work. This from news.com.au:

Kate and Closer

Suau said her pictures were published in a French regional paper, La Provence, and were “all decent”.

One of her colleagues said: “Valerie is concerned by the fuss. She says she was given free rein to do what she liked – taking pictures of the couple enjoying themselves in full view of the road.

Ms Suau said there was no visible police presence around the chateau which will put pressure on the royal security team, already heavily criticised for allowing compromising pictures of Prince Harry to be taken in a Las Vegas hotel room.

Ah, so it was Kate’s fault? The pictures were re-published in The Irish Daily Star. After publication, Richard Desmond, the chief of Northern and Shell which co-owns The Irish Daily Star, has said he is “profoundly disappointed” by the publication of the pictures and that he planned to pull his support from the tabloid.This from the UK press:
The Irish Daily Star

Media baron Richard Desmond last night announced he was taking immediate steps to terminate his involvement with the Irish Daily Star after it became the second publication to print topless photographs  of the Duchess of Cambridge.The chairman of Northern & Shell, which co-owns the newspaper with Dublin-based Independent News & Media, said he was ‘profoundly dismayed’ at the decision, which was taken without his knowledge.

The intervention by the multi-millionaire  – who owns British newspapers the Daily Express and Daily Star – came as St James’s Palace reacted with fury to the news, saying: ‘There can be no motivation for this action other than greed.’

Chi magazine

Despite the royal couple indicating that they are willing to take legal action against any European magazines that publish the topless images, Italian magazine Chi – which is published by the company Mondadori (partners of Bauer) which also published French magazine Closer – is expected to publish 50 of the images today.

As to whether the pictures will be published in Australia, Australian publications cannot be sued under a privacy tort, so it will depend on how papers think their readers will react. The Australian Women’s Weekly have already said they will not publish the photos. So have Woman’s Day and New Idea.


The publication of paparazzi shots of a topless Kate Middleton that has called into question what levels of privacy the royal family are entitled to.  The royal couple has revealed that they are suing the magazine, Closer.

Under France’s privacy laws, this would result in a 12-year jail sentence for the editor. William and Kate are also launching a separate case against the photographer who took the photos. (They’re pursuing a criminal case rather than a civil case.) They’re yet to confirm whether or not they’ll launch legal action against the Irish publication.


Contrary to the rest of the world, blogger Vanessa Raphaely from Hurricane Vanessa has suggested that if Kate didn’t want to be photographed topless, she should have kept her bikini top on.

She writes:

Vanessa Raphaely

Enough, I say, with the calls to “stop treating her like Princess Di,” and “Causing her extreme distress?”

Enough of  The Daily Mail, for e.g,: “The couple have launched legal action against Closer France, but managed to put their concerns to one side as they attended a tea party held in their honour in Kuala Lumpur,” and ” As sources close to the couple said she felt ‘violated’ by the pictures, there was mounting fear among royal aides that the Duchess faces being relentlessly stalked like the Princess of Wales. A strongly worded Palace statement compared the photographs to the ‘worst excesses of the Press and paparazzi during the life of Diana’.

Let’s treat her a little more like Prince Harry, I say.

Let’s make a couple of jokes, diminish the shock value of the notion that a very privileged and cossetted woman is somehow incapable of dealing with the consequences of her actions.

The DoC (Duchess of Cambridge) was, after all,  (* whispers* ) sunbathing within sight – (yes not easily, but within easy sight of a pap, let’s be sure of that, not walking from her bathroom to her walk in closet of bikinis) –  of a public road.

And whether they like it or not, a world where her boobs have currency, is the world the Royal couple live in.

Big deal.

So, some unasked-for advice:

Next time, slip on a bikini top, dear Kate.

(Tan lines are not so bad, even though you shouldn’t be tanning anyway. Sun damage, don’t you know, is worse for both your physical and mental your well-being than being photographed topless.)

And with the awesome outfits Princess Catherine keeps wearing, we’re frankly far more interested in what she’s been wearing. As opposed to her nipples.

Be honest, have you Googled the images of Kate topless? Where does the blame lie in this situation?