Topless photos of Kate reach French court

Sep 17, 2012 | News

By Kristin Andrews

William and Kate wave to crowds of Canadians while on their first Royal Tour in 2011. COURTESY Wikimedia Commons

Heads could roll this week as court proceedings commence in France over topless photos of the Duchess of Cambridge.

The Daily Mail has reported an injunction has been filed to stop further publication of the revealing photos of the former Kate Middleton, and the Royals are seeking criminal charges against the photographer allegedly responsible for the images.

According to the BBC, the photos were published in the French magazine Closer, and on the website of Italian magazine, Chi, both formerly owned by Silvio Berlusconi’s Mondadori media group.

Images also appeared on the Irish Daily Star’s website.

“At the time of the Duke and Duchess’ first anniversary, it was universally agreed that they had not put a foot wrong in the entire first year of their marriage,” Carolyn Harris, professor of history of the monarchy and modern Europe at the University of Toronto, told Humber News.

“I think the paparazzi was eager to take these intrusive photos to get a sense of how they are in their personal life because their public image is so immaculate,” she said.

The Royal Battle Against the Press

This is not the first time the Royals have gone to war with the media.

“Prince Charles sued The Mail on Sunday in 2005 for leaking excerpts from his journal about the handover of Hong Kong in 1997,” said Harris.

Harris said Princess Diana also sued the owner of a gym for leaking unflattering pictures of her exercising.

“In both cases the privacy of the Royal Family was upheld but it was after the photographs and journal articles already appeared in the press,” said Harris.

Outpouring of Sympathy

Since the death of Princess Diana and the News of the World phone hacking scandal, attitudes towards the tabloids have become sharply negative in Britain.

“There is a lot of public sympathy surrounding Kate’s situation because of the hounding Diana experienced from the paparazzi,” said Harris.

In spite of these images, the Duke and Duchess continue to smile through their tour of South East Asia in honour of the Diamond Jubilee, she said.

“It’s clear they’re moving on from here and continuing to do their royal duties while preventing further distribution of the photographs.”