Kate topless photos: Italian magazine plans to publish


Media consultant David Laws and PR consultant Max Clifford on the ramifications of publishing the photos

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The Italian gossip magazine Chi has said it plans to publish photographs of the Duchess of Cambridge sunbathing topless in a special issue next week.

St James's Palace said on Friday it was suing the publishers of French magazine Closer which printed the pictures.

Closer and Chi are both part of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's Mondadori media group.

No UK titles have published the photos, and the Daily Mail said papers in London had been offered similar images.

Chi's editor Alfonso Signorini said: "The fact that these are the future rulers of England makes the article more interesting and topical.

"This is a deserving topic because it shows in a completely natural way the daily life of a very famous, young and modern couple in love," he said.

A royal spokesman described the photographs on Friday as a "grotesque invasion of privacy".

British newspapers were quick to condemn foreign titles that have published or plan to publish the pictures.

The Daily Mail, which revealed it had been offered pictures of the duchess, said that to have used them would have been a blatant breach of the editors' code of practice.

After the anger and the hurt comes rare royal action.

On Monday a judge in Paris will be asked to grant an injunction preventing Closer magazine in France using these topless images again.

At a future hearing, the duke and the duchess will seek damages for breach of privacy.

But, of course, any injunction would only affect the French publication - it would have no impact on other magazines, in other countries, deciding to follow suit.

Royal officials have decided they will deal with each case as and when, and if, they arise.

What they call a "grotesque" intrusion has dominated the thoughts of William and Kate. They're trying to ensure it won't dominate the rest of their tour, which will take them from the Malaysian part of Borneo to the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu.

As Prince William, with his wife by his side, represents his grandmother in the coming days - he'll be relieved he's now taking a stand.

'Expectation of privacy'

The Times said that among the reasons no British newspaper had leaped to reproduce the pictures is that the British public would not forgive any newspaper that did so.

The Sun told its readers in an editorial that it would not be publishing the pictures, which it said "no decent British paper would touch with a bargepole".

It explained that, although it had recently published pictures of Prince Harry naked, this was a different situation, because the duchess had every expectation of privacy as she was on a private holiday in a private chateau as opposed to inviting strangers to a hotel suite.

"Nor is there the slightest public interest in publishing this set of intimate pictures in such circumstances," it added.

The Daily Mirror noted that the pictures were published by an officially regulated French press - whereas the self-regulated British press had not published them.

Closer, a celebrity gossip magazine, printed pictures of the duchess taken during the couple's private holiday in France.

A royal spokesman said the legal proceedings had been launched in France and were for breach of privacy.

Closer's editor said the couple were "visible from the street".

France has some of the world's strictest privacy laws but legal experts have suggested the magazine was likely to have weighed up the potential cost of a fine before publishing.

Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge in Malaysia Large crowds turned out to see the royal couple in Malaysia

A spokesman for the duke and duchess strongly condemned publication of the pictures.

The couple were staying at the French chateau of the Queen's nephew, Lord Linley, when the photos were taken.

William and Catherine are currently on an official tour of South East Asia and the South Pacific to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

The couple spent Friday in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur where they started the day with a visit to a mosque for the first time.

They later left the mainland and flew to Kota Kinabalu, capital of the state of Sabah on Borneo, where they are visiting the Danum Valley Research Center to learn about rainforest wildlife.

Closer is not run by the same company as the British title.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 527.

    i see a complete lack of respect from these european heathens, thankfully were not in the euro so we should bomb them back to the middle ages.
    this would solve the financial crisis and help population problems.

  • rate this

    Comment number 526.

    If we were a republic we would not be wasting our time on this tosh.

    Get rid of the Royal Family now.

  • rate this

    Comment number 525.

    Yeah, seen from a road 3km away with lens that would be capable of taking a nice picture of the surface of Mars! Get real, this was a deliberate, determined and premeditated attempt by a photographer to invade the Duchess' privacy. And a further insult and disrespectful gesture to our heads of state by a profiteering and moral-less magazine editor.

  • rate this

    Comment number 524.

    @110 I'm not a supporter of the royal family either, but that's not only beside the point, it can actually be part of the point. Nobody, royal or otherwise, should be subjected to such a gross (in multiple ways) invasion of privacy; we should all be treated as equals, whether republicans, monarchists, royals or insert name here.

  • rate this

    Comment number 523.

    If they don't like it then they can always stand down and give us our money back, perhaps the 'jobs' are not really their kind of thing.

  • rate this

    Comment number 522.

    Having been a professional photographer, and owning top end photographic equipment, I can tell you now that the pap who took those photos would have been using equipment worth in excess of £13,000 (£8,000 for the lens and £5,000 for the camera body). Without doubt, the photos published are grotesque invasion of privacy and I hope justice is served.

  • rate this

    Comment number 521.

    So much hypocrisy regarding these pictures. The establishment sobbing because their fairytale princess has been sullied and made to look like an ordinary mortal female.

    Big deal! She is just another woman caught topless by a camera, but now that she is attached to that archaic concept called 'monarchy', we plebs are supposed to believe she walks on water.

    She doesn't, none do, get over it!

  • rate this

    Comment number 520.

    Can no one see how ridiculous this is?

    Our news agencies DEPERATELY wanted to report this story, but were afraid of the public backlash for such pathetic reporting.

    So, instead the report SOMEONE ELSE reporting a story.

    Bottom line is, they wanted you to see and hear about it, you saw it and heard about it.

    Manipulated like little pet puppy dogs.

    So Stupid.

  • rate this

    Comment number 519.

    Have the mass media learned nothing from the devastating effects their feeding frenzies had on Diana of Wales? The Duchess of Cambridge is not a 'celebrity', she did not marry the duke to become one. Evidently neither 'Closer' France nor 'Chi' magazine have any self-respect, so, if you disagree with their odious line, complain to their owners, in this case Mondadori.it!

  • rate this

    Comment number 518.

    "The magazine could face a fine of up to €45,000 (£36,000) and the editor could be jailed for up to 12 months" Let's hope they go for the option of jail. That will make others stop and think!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 517.

    511 - "Put another way, do you want the next global titillation to involve your topless daughter or wife?"
    Given a choice i would rather not, but if it did, SO WHAT. In fact i could make some much needed money out of it. There are people suffering a lot more than these royal buffoons. You are getting dragged into the media's tractor beam like most people. Get a life!

  • rate this

    Comment number 516.

    "So I take it that you wouldn't complain if your next-door neighbour sat there taking photographs of you naked then?"

    No, because I wouldn't sit outside on the balcony with no clothes on, especially if I knew there were photographers outside wanting to take a picture of me.

  • rate this

    Comment number 515.

    Children are starving, the ice caps are melting, embassies are burning, and Britishe politicians and the police have been proved to have lied to us, but everybody in Britain is furious about a royal topless photo. Sense of proportion anyone?

  • rate this

    Comment number 514.

    There's only one thing we can do. Invade France. A cavalry charge led by Captain Wales!

  • rate this

    Comment number 513.

    Sorry but she walked into that one. She just gave the media the golden opportunity they were looking for. How naive can you be thinking that it’s a private chateau therefore the media won’t try it. And now people blathering about privacy... oh please!

  • rate this

    Comment number 512.


    So I take it that you wouldn't complain if your next-door neighbour sat there taking photographs of you naked then?

  • rate this

    Comment number 511.

    Whatever you think about monarchy, the couple may be acting in your interest by bringing proceedings.

    Put another way, do you want the next global titillation to involve your topless daughter or wife?

    An argument that "my daughter/wife is not famous" assumes that your daughter/wife will never be famous, even for 15 minutes. Which is kinda limiting your expectations.

  • rate this

    Comment number 510.

    @epb. Post 114. Spot on - my thoughts entirely. Naive in the extreme. Not the behaviour of a future Queen.
    Forget privacy, private land, if she didn't realise she was playing with fire, she needs to wise up fast.
    My dear younger Royals, even you, can't have everything. Learn.

  • Comment number 509.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this

    Comment number 508.

    @500, read my comment again.

    The rank stupidity is giving this story this level of coverage. You want to wrap the extended royal family up in armour, go right ahead.

    This was nothing more than one person hoping to get a quick buck, and a lot of moronic journalists looking to create a fuss.


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