Kate and William angered by 'grotesque' invasion of privacy


Kate and William have launched legal action against the publication of topless pictures of the duchess, Clarence House has said.

Related Stories

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are hugely saddened over the "grotesque and unjustifiable invasion of privacy" by a magazine which published topless photos of Kate, a royal spokesman says.

French publication Closer printed the pictures of the duchess, taken during their private holiday in France.

The royals are now considering legal action over the case.

Closer's editor says the couple were "visible from the street" and the images are "not in the least shocking".

The BBC's Nicholas Witchell said that the royals were "incredulous that any magazine would have felt they had a justification in publishing these pictures".

"They could go to law or seek a remedy through the French court - that is a big step to take but that is clearly what is being considered now," he said.

Closer French publication Closer printed the pictures of the duchess

"I have rarely heard quite such a level of publicly expressed anger that I have heard today reflecting William's feelings.

"He is absolutely determined to protect the privacy of his wife; he has always been very protective of her and that anger has mounted during the day."

Our correspondent said that the prince had a "look of absolute thunder" on his face as they left Kuala Lumpur - a stop on their nine-day tour of South East Asia - to travel to Sabah in north Borneo.

Kate, meanwhile, "looked composed and was smiling", he said.

Closer editor Laurence Pieau said: "These photos are not in the least shocking. They show a young woman sunbathing topless, like the millions of women you see on beaches."

She described the reaction as "a little disproportionate".

"What we saw in the pictures was a young couple that have just got married, who are in love, who are beautiful. She's a princess of the 21st Century," said Pieau.

"They [the couple] are on the terrace of a mansion in the south of France which is not far from a road along which cars pass without any problem. They are visible from the street."

The photos look blurry, the BBC's Paris bureau said. There are four pages of photos of the couple, with Kate topless in several.

Start Quote

"A red line has been crossed" according to palace officials. The gloves, it would seem, are off”

End Quote Luisa Baldini Royal correspondent, BBC News

On the magazine's website, it says the pictures are of the couple "like you have never seen them before. Gone are the fixed smiles and the demure dresses. On holiday Kate forgets everything."

The duke and duchess, who were staying at the French chateau of the Queen's nephew, Lord Linley, "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", a spokesman for Clarence House, the Prince of Wales's office, said.

"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 prime minister's official spokesman said: "The view from Downing Street is that they are entitled to their privacy."

The royal couple were told about the magazine's plan to publish the photos during breakfast in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on their tour to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. They are now on their way to north Borneo, where they are due to visit a rainforest.


In France they will tell you privacy laws that govern the press are much tighter than they are in the UK. It's only half of the truth.

While the French are sniffy about the tabloid culture in Britain many celebrity magazines have been publishing these kind of pictures for years.

France is the home of one of the oldest 'celebrity' magazines in the world - Paris Match.

But these days there are raunchier titles, like Closer, who unashamedly indulge in the celebrity gossip.

And they budget for the legal payouts which in this case are seemingly inevitable.

But for editors the fine is worth the risk.

Read more from Christian Fraser

It has emerged that British newspapers were offered photographs last week but turned them down.

The Sun's editor Dominic Mohan said the newspaper had no intention of breaching the couple's privacy by publishing what he described as "intrusive" pictures.

"The circumstances are very different to those relating to the photos of Prince Harry in Las Vegas. As we said at the time, he was at a party in a hotel suite with a large group of strangers and one of those present released a photograph into the public domain," he said.

The Sun was the only British newspaper to print the naked pictures of Prince Harry, defying a warning by Clarence House that they breached his privacy.

The Press Complaints Commission said it received hundreds of complaints from members of the public but did not act because it had not been contacted by representatives of the prince.

Lloyd Embley, editor of the Mirror and Sunday Mirror, said the papers were offered a set of pictures of the duchess in her bikini a week ago but, as with the pictures of Harry, they took the decision not to publish them.

In both cases they believed it would be a clear breach of the editors' code of practice involving breach of privacy.

Closer is not run by the same company as the British title; it is administered by Italian business Mondadori, owned by former president Silvio Berlusconi's holding company Fininvest.

A statement from the UK magazine said: "We were not offered any pictures of this nature and have no intention of publishing the photographs of the Duchess of Cambridge which have been published this morning."


More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites


This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
  • rate this

    Comment number 71.

    I would've thought this is equivalent to being a peeping tom or is that allowed in France?

  • rate this

    Comment number 70.

    If a man was photographed topless, there would be no issue, so rather than worry about topless photos of a woman, we should address the double standards of acceptable behaviour for men and women.

  • rate this

    Comment number 69.

    Taking photos of a woman on private property against her will. Why isn't this a sex offence?

  • rate this

    Comment number 68.

    I don`t know about the rest of you but I just couldn`t give a toss. I am sick and tired of endless articles about this young woman and her family. I have no doubt that she is a lovely person placed in an uneviable position but do we have to be constantly fed an endless diet of trivia about her

  • Comment number 67.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 66.

    I bet the sun are salivating at the thought of getting these and making a few extra million sales!

  • rate this

    Comment number 65.

    Well Phil Barns and John Ross you have a strange view of what is private. It was highly unlikley that kate was in the general public.

    Its a shocking and dispicable invasion of privacy, and decency is not a word that registers with the people (general term) that would not only take the pictures but also print them.

  • rate this

    Comment number 64.

    So Kate's got boobs. Shock, horror!

  • rate this

    Comment number 63.

    just google "dutches of cambridge topless" it's not the first time she's had her boobs out. I'm not saying this to discredit her but she has already deliberately exposed her nipples on what is clearly an artistic style nude photo. This isn't part of some weird trick to scam people to go to some dodgy website. Either it's the best look-a-like or my eyes are deceiving me. Turn off safe-search mode.

  • rate this

    Comment number 62.

    Not seen them. I am pretty sure they wont be any different to anyone else's.

    They should just ignore, unless they can go to town on them in France. Any "winnings" going to breast cancer.

    A real bawbag took them and a bigger bawbag bought them.

  • rate this

    Comment number 61.

    I have serious questions about the BBC's relationship with the royal family which at times appears anti the royal family .

    The royal family for example dont like Nick Witchell , in fact they have a very low opinion of him which we learned from private comments by Prince Charles caught on mic, so why does he continue to cover royal matters ? That surely affects his reporting ?

  • rate this

    Comment number 60.

    Pretty girl takes Bikini top off, hardly ground breaking news, just a scum bag photographer and gutter level publication trying to make the fast bucks (AGAIN). Kate's doing a great job, she is credit to herself and our country, surely something can be done to stop this perverse invasion of privacy. Why bother to even report on this, it's the free publicity that fuels these sick people.

  • rate this

    Comment number 59.

    Seriously? havn't the press learnt anything by what happened to Princeess Diana? It's amazing sunbathing topless is done by thosands of woman and they if photo's were taken of them all hell would break loose. Leave the Duchess of Cambridge alone. You would thing the French press have enough to report on without wasting time on something no one really care about.

  • rate this

    Comment number 58.

    I wonder how Piers Morgan would like it if pictures of his wife were published whilst topless on a private holiday ?

  • rate this

    Comment number 57.

    Wasn't there pictures of another 'royal' a couple of weeks ago who was photographed messing about in the nude?
    I do hope this kind of behaviour could be kept out of the press, there are far more important issues to address.

  • rate this

    Comment number 56.

    I am not sure what all the fuss is about. She probably has a great looking body when naked and we should not, as a society and individuals, have such inhibitions.
    I suspect that if she had said nothing then nobody would have really cared.

  • rate this

    Comment number 55.

    Amazes me that when 'joe public' does this it's voyeurism and a crime (and quite rightly so!) but when a journalist/photographer does it then it's called 'in the public interest' and is ok!

  • rate this

    Comment number 54.

    Wonder if the Sun will publish them in the public interest...

  • rate this

    Comment number 53.

    Press = Paracites
    Press = Bottom feeders
    Press = Integrity Free Zone
    Foreign Press - Even worse

  • rate this

    Comment number 52.

    You would think, considering that the French paparazzi were at least partially responsible for the death of Princess Diana, they would learn to pull their heads in and show some respect to her son's wife!

    I would like to see a magazine in which paparazzi photographers and tabloid magazine editors are photographed in private, with fabricated stories about them from 'anonymous sources'.


Page 113 of 116


More UK stories



BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.