How furious was I when these degrading photos emerged? I made absolutely sure that I never saw them, I didn’t want to! The issue boils down to our society, that does not respect the privacy of anyone, in the public eye. The photos were taken when the couple were on holiday in the French countryside, last September. They were staying at a chateau owned by another member of the royal family, Lord Linley.
My horror at these photos isn’t because Kate Middleton is a member of the royal family, it is because she is a woman who did not give her consent to having these pictures taken. I can’t imagine how the Duchess felt when the photos emerged. She had been on private land and unaware of any press or photographers in the vicinity.
The fact they were taken in secret like a ‘Peeping Tom‘ is a rather disturbing thought, and yet somehow because of her position in the royal family, some magazines thought it was perfectly acceptable to distribute the pictures worldwide? Where is the sense in that? The photographs were published in Closer magazine, which is owned by Mondadori Group, they were then distributed in France, Denmark, Sweden, Ireland and Italy.
Following the publication of the magazines, French authorities immediately stopped Closer from any further publication or resale of the pictures, and launched a criminal investigation into how they were obtained. However, Italian magazine Chi, which is also owned by the Mondadori Group, was still able to publish the photos in a specially devoted edition. Chi editor Alfonso Signorini, argued the pictures represented an “extraordinary reportage”. He commented:
“For the first time, the future queen of England was appearing in a natural way, without the constraints of etiquette.”
Yet, had she not been famous, and someone had taken pictures of her topless, without her knowledge, or consent, it is quite rightly seen as shameful, and perverse. This has not been the first time that the magazine Chi has caused problems for our Royal family. In 2006, Chi sparked outrage when it printed a morbid photo of Princess Diana, being given oxygen at the scene of the crash in which she died, in Paris, in 1997. The sick publication also divulged private details about Diana’s autopsy, as well as the photographs. So clearly the publication had already caused the Royal family grief.
However, today the good news has emerged that two people have been charged with ‘invasion of privacy’ over the photographs. The two people are, Ernesto Mauri, head of the Mondadori Group which publishes Closer, and photographer,Valerie Suau, who admits to taking photographs of the Duchess in a bikini, but denies taking the nude pictures. The Mondadori Group has refused to publicly name the photographer who took the nude photographs in question.
Both the Mondadori group, and La Provence, a newspaper which featured photographs of the Duchess, (in a bikini), are both under police investigation. They could be fined up to £38,000 each if they are found guilty. They may also be made to cease publications for up to five years, depending on how the investigation goes.
According to reports, the photographer, whoever that is, could face up to a year in prison for the offence. Let’s hope that this incident will be a warning to the rest of the media, and they will begin to respect people’s right to privacy.
Photo credit: Reuters
Main photo, credit: Hello Magazine