UK royals furious over topless Kate photographsAgence France-Presse
LONDON—The topless pictures of Prince William’s wife, Catherine, that landed on Friday on a French magazine cover were met by “anger and disbelief” by the royal couple, who are consulting French lawyers to consider their options, a royal source told Agence France-Presse (AFP).
“We now believe the photographs are genuine,” the source said on condition of anonymity. “Their (William and Kate’s) general feeling is anger and disbelief. We feel a red line has been crossed.”
The couple’s office, St. James’s Palace, called the publication “grotesque and totally unjustifiable.”
“Their Royal Highnesses 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,” the palace said in a statement.
“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.”
The French version of Closer magazine printed grainy photos on the front cover and inside on five pages of Catherine wearing just the bottoms of a black and white bikini while on holiday with William in Provence in the south of France. “Victoria’s Secret angels can stand aside,” the magazine commented.
Taken in Provence
In one photo, William is rubbing sunscreen on the lower end of Kate’s backside while in another, the couple laugh as they lounge in chairs near a folded red parasol. In a third photo, Catherine holds the top of her bikini across her chest, either taking it off or putting it back on.
The snaps were taken on the terrace of the Autet Chateau in the southern French region of Provence where William and Catherine, officially known as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, were said to have vacationed last week.
The magazine said the chateau was owned by Viscount Linley, the son of Queen Elizabeth’s late sister Princess Margaret.
Announcing a world exclusive, the magazine invited readers on its website to pick up the new edition to enjoy “the photos that the world can’t wait to see; the Duchess of Cambridge topless on a guesthouse terrace.”
The pictures are a further headache for the royal family, already reeling from the recent publication of nude photos of William’s brother Harry in a Las Vegas hotel.
Another palace source said earlier that the publication “turns the clock back 15 years,” referring to the intense media attention on William’s late mother Diana, who died in a car crash while fleeing paparazzi in Paris in 1997.
Touring the globe
The story was picked up in the British media yesterday, less than a month after the publication of naked pictures of Harry in a Las Vegas hotel.
Britain’s younger royals are touring the globe throughout 2012 as part of celebrations marking the 60-year reign of William’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.
They are now on a nine-day trip that started in Singapore. They arrived in Malaysia on Thursday, and will move on this weekend to the Solomon Islands and later Tuvalu.
On Friday, they will make a highly anticipated public appearance at a park in central Kuala Lumpur before visiting a nature conservation site in the Borneo jungle on Saturday.
But the photo row threatened to overshadow the tour, which was meant to help introduce the couple overseas after their pomp-filled marriage last year.
The April 2011 ceremony was watched by up to two billion TV viewers around the world, sparking fresh excitement in Britain’s monarchy after years of crisis.
Last month, a US celebrity gossip website published grainy camera-phone pictures of William’s brother, Harry, cavorting naked with a mystery woman during a wild party in a Las Vegas hotel suite.
Harry, the third in line to the throne and a military helicopter pilot, has since been deployed to Afghanistan for a second tour of duty.
First posted 12:47 am | Saturday, September 15th, 2012