UK

Princess Beatrice bikini photos 'breach of privacy'

Princess Beatrice Image copyright PA
Image caption Princess Beatrice said she was "on a private holiday" when the photographs were taken

Photographs of Princess Beatrice in a bikini published by Mail Online breached her privacy, the Independent Press Standards Organisation has ruled.

The 28-year-old daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson was on a yacht when the photos were taken.

The website arm of the Daily Mail said the boat was anchored 200m from the shore and "visible to the naked eye".

But the press regulator ruled the pictures, taken in Monaco in June, were "gratuitous and invasive."

The photos were published under the headline: "Beatrice makes a splash on yet another day off! Princess dives into the sea in a very skimpy bikini as she enjoys a sunshine break on a yacht in Monaco".

They showed the princess, who is seventh in line to the throne, removing a kaftan, swimming in the sea, applying sun-tan lotion to her boyfriend's shoulders and showering on the deck of the boat.

'Serious intrusion'

Princess Beatrice made a complaint to the Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso), saying the images were "taken surreptitiously" with a long lens camera and when she was "on a private holiday, undertaking private leisure activities".

She also complained that the comments made about her appearance in the article were "a further intrusion" of her privacy.

Mail Online said it did not accept the princess had a "reasonable expectation of privacy" as the photographs were taken while the boat was anchored close to shore and said the public areas of the deck were "visible to the naked eye".

But Ipso ruled the photographs were a breach of Clause 2 (Privacy) of the Editors' Code of Practice.

The ruling said: "The taking and publishing of these photographs of the complainant, wearing a bikini, which the committee noted placed a gratuitous and invasive focus on parts of the complainant's body which would not ordinarily be subject to public scrutiny, represented a serious intrusion into the complainant's privacy."

Mail Online has now had five complaints against it upheld by Ipso for breaches of the code, including for giving inaccurate impression of deaf people with hearing dogs and for using "disaffected former members" of the Church of Scientology for an article.

The Daily Mail has had five breaches as ruled by Ipso, including one complaint from the Duke of York after helicopters were flown over his home when a party was being planned.

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