Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 28 December 2014

Sleazy topless Duchess snaps expose William and Kate's naivety

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge bid farewell to Tuvalu, Solomon Islands (Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA)
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge bid farewell to Tuvalu, Solomon Islands (Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA)
HONIARA, GUADALCANAL ISLAND, SOLOMON ISLANDS - SEPTEMBER 16: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge pose in traditional Island clothing as they visit the Governor General's house on their Diamond Jubilee tour of the Far East on September 16, 2012 in Honiara, Guadalcanal Island. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge are on a Diamond Jubilee tour representing the Queen, taking in Singapore, Malaysia, the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
The Irish Daily Star edition which published topless pictures of Kate, Duchess of Cambridge
HONIARA, GUADALCANAL ISLAND, SOLOMON ISLANDS - SEPTEMBER 16: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge twatch traditional dancing as they arrive at Honiara International Airport during their Diamond Jubilee tour of the Far East on September 16, 2012 in Honiara, Guadalcanal Island. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge are on a Diamond Jubilee tour representing the Queen taking in Singapore, Malaysia, the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Britain's Prince William, left, and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge speak to each other during their visit at the Borneo Rainforest Lodge in Danum Valley, some 70 kilometers (44 miles) west of Lahad Datu, on the island of Borneo Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012. (AP Photo/Mohd Rasfan, Pool)
Britain's Prince William, left, and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge look down on the three-hundred meter in length Canopy Walkway during their visit at the Borneo Rainforest Lodge in Danum Valley, some 70 kilometers (44 miles) west of Lahad Datu, on the island of Borneo Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012. (AP Photo/Mohd Rasfan, Pool)
Britain's Prince William, fourth left, and his wife Kate, fifth left, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, arrive at Honiara International Airport in Solomon Islands, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012, as warriors in traditional dress dance around them. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)
Britain's Prince William, left, and his wife Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge walk through a bridge at the Borneo Rainforest Research Center in Danum Valley some 70 kilometers (44 miles) west of Lahad Datu, on the island of Borneo, Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012. (AP Photo/Mohd Rasfan, Pool)
Prince William, left, and his wife Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge walk through the rainforest in Danum Valley Research Center in Danum Valley, Sabab, Malaysia, Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian, Pool)
People gather on and around a caterpillar dozer as they wait on the side of the road to view Britain's Prince William and his wife Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, as they arrive in Honiara, Solomon Islands, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)
Prince William and his wife Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive at Danum Valley Research Center in Danum Valley, Sabab, Malaysia, Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012. (AP Photo/ Vincent Thian, Pool)
Prince William and his wife Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive at Danum Valley Research Center in Danum Valley, Sabab, Malaysia, Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012. (AP Photo/ Vincent Thian/ Pool)
Prince William and his wife Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive at Danum Valley Research Center in Danum Valley, Sabab, Malaysia, Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012. (AP Photo/ Vincent Thian/ Pool)
Britain's Prince William, right, and his wife Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive at the Borneo Rainforest Research Center in Danum Valley some 70 kilometers (44 miles) west of Lahad Datu, on the island of Borneo, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2012. (AP Photo/Mohd Rasfan, Pool)
KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - SEPTEMBER 14: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge depart Kuala Lumpur airport for Sabah Maylasia on day 4 of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge's Diamond Jubilee Tour of the Far East on September 14, 2012 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Photo by Arhtur Edwards - Pool/Getty Images)
Closer magazine front cover - at the centre of a storm over topless pictures of Kate, Duchess of Cambridge
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (L) and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (R) pose with four-year-old Maeve Low as they tour the Rolls-Royce Seletar Campus during the Diamond Jubilee tour at Seletar Aerospace Park on September 12, 2012 in Singapore.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge is given flowers by a young girl as she attends a cultural event in Queenstown on day 2 of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge's Diamond Jubilee Tour of the Far East on September 12, 2012 in Singapore. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge are on a Diamond Jubilee Tour of the Far East taking in Singapore, Malaysia, the Solomon Islands and the tiny Pacific Island of Tuvalu.
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge is given a gift as he attends a cultural event in Queenstown on day 2 of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge's Diamond Jubilee Tour of the Far East on September 12, 2012 in Singapore. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge are on a Diamond Jubilee Tour of the Far East taking in Singapore, Malaysia, the Solomon Islands and the tiny Pacific Island of Tuvalu.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge tours the Rolls-Royce Seletar Campus on day 2 of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge's Diamond Jubilee Tour of the Far East on September 12, 2012 in Singapore. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge are on a Diamond Jubilee Tour of the Far East taking in Singapore, Malaysia, the Solomon Islands and the tiny Pacific Island of Tuvalu.
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge listen to a speech during their tour of the Rolls-Royce Seletar Campus on day 2 of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge's Diamond Jubilee Tour of the Far East on September 12, 2012 in Singapore. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge are on a Diamond Jubilee Tour of the Far East taking in Singapore, Malaysia, the Solomon Islands and the tiny Pacific Island of Tuvalu.
The Duchess of Cambridge meets well wishers during a visit to Queenstown in Singapore, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific, with the Duke of Cambridge, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
Prince William and his wife Kate
Britain's Prince William, left, and his wife Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge tour Gardens by the Bay in Singapore, Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012.
Britain's Prince William, left, and his wife Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge tour Gardens by the Bay in Singapore, Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during their first engagement, an orchid-naming ceremony, in Singapore, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (Far- R) attends the welcome ceremony on arrival at the Istana during the Diamond Jubilee tour on September 11, 2012.
The Duchess of Cambridge attends an orchid-naming ceremony during the first engagement in Singapore, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific, with the Duke of Cambridge, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
Photographers photograph an orchid named in honour of Diana, Princess of Wales at Singapore Botanical Gardens ahead of a visit by Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge on day 1 of their Diamond Jubilee tour on September 11, 2012 in Singapore.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge leave Singapore Botanical Gardens after a visit on day 1 of their Diamond Jubilee tour on September 11, 2012 in Singapore.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge leave Singapore Botanical Gardens after a visit on day 1 of their Diamond Jubilee tour on September 11, 2012 in Singapore.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge smiles as she views an orchid named in honour of Diana, Princess of Wales at Singapore Botanical Gardens on day 1 of their Diamond Jubilee tour on September 11, 2012 in Singapore.
The Duchess of Cambridge visits a cultural fair at Kuala Lumpur City Centre Park
Pippa Middleton, the sister of Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, watches a quarterfinal match between Andy Murray of Great Britain and Marin Cilic of Croatia at the 2012 US Open tennis tournament, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Prince William and Kate Middleton
Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton kiss on the balcony of Buckingham Palace
Kate Middleton and Prince William are married by the Archbishop of Canterbury
Spuds-u-like - Prince William and Kate Middleton as created by children's TV programme Small Potatoes (BBC)
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge

Let's be clear. The Duchess of Cambridge had her privacy invaded. Contrary to the guff spouted by the editor of the French magazine which originally published the photographs of Kate topless, these are not innocuous pictures of a young couple in love.

In fact, they are shocking in their voyeurism, displayed as a kind of titillating striptease. They look more like the work of a Peeping Tom than a celebration of connubial bliss.

Prince William and his wife have every right to be outraged. It wasn't journalism, it was stalking. If it happened to an "ordinary" young woman, it would still be shocking.

But Catherine Middleton isn't "ordinary" and the Cambridges are not - as can be seen by the endless 'Is Kate preggers?' stories - an "ordinary" young couple, madly in love or not.

William is due to be King and Kate his Queen. That's what makes them special. Throw in the fact that Kate is shaping up to be an iconic figure reminiscent of Diana and you have simply too much temptation for the Press.

Since Kate arrived on the scene, what would have been the Holy Grail, the El Dorado, the Treasure of Sierra Madre, for the paparazzi?

Easy. Topless photos.

However, unlike similar photos of starlets, stars and singers, these pictures are not seven-day wonders or even, in some cases, carefully-staged career boosts.

Royalty carries a certain mystique and dignity which makes the idea of Kate topless the ultimate jackpot for cash-hungry and principle-free photographers.

Now Kate has given that to them. That she should slip up in such an inept fashion is puzzling because, until then, she hadn't put an LK Bennett-clad foot wrong. Indeed, she was undoing much of the damage the Windsors had done to themselves over the last two decades.

The truth is, it's just wiser for a royal to keep as much clothes on as possible when not behind closed doors. Unfair? Well, the world is unfair. It doesn't run on love and sunshine. Instead, greed, lust and opportunism are the brute realities that have to be reckoned with by anybody in the public eye - especially the world's No 1 photographic target.

It may have been a private situation but it was a balcony and, as such, Kate could be seen by any chance passer-by.

Besides, assuming that the Royal couple were being protected by a small army of bodyguards and served by at least some domestics, is it particularly smart or dignified, for Kate to be parading about semi-naked for more than two eyes? She should have known better. So should William.

Royalty plus nudity always equals bad news for the Windsors. You'd have thought after Harry's Las Vegas shenanigans, that aides would have been advising all members of 'The Firm' to be ultra-discreet.

Just because the Duchess has a right to prance round half-dressed in what she thought was a private situation, doesn't mean it was wise to exercise that right. And now we have the result of this naivety: the future Queen in all her glory. These photographs will be in circulation for as long as there is an internet and, no matter how adept she is at the PR game, they will haunt the monarchy for decades.

Still, let's be fair to the Duchess. This is not like Prince Harry and the Showgirl, the Duchess of Wessex and the false sheik, Fergie and her debts, Charles and his philandering, even Diana and her very public love-life and her cute management of the media. Kate is the victim of a sleazy act.

And as such, she, like any woman exposed in this way, deserves our sympathy. The depressing lesson to be learned from this whole sorry saga is that the world is what it is; not how we would like it to be. And just because that moral is depressing, it doesn't make it any less true, Kate.

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