Topless Kate photos in French mag upset UK royals

Published: September 14, 2012

French magazine splashes topless Kate Middleton photos, Buckingham Palace talking to French lawyers, sources say. PHOTO: REUTERS

PARIS: French magazine Closer published a series of photos of Britain’s Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, sunbathing topless on Friday, dealing a fresh blow to the royal family as it tries to move on from a scandal over naked shots of Prince Harry.    

Closer, a weekly round-up of celebrity gossip, ran a five-page spread of photos of Middleton relaxing topless with Prince William on a balcony at a 19th century hunting lodge in southern France it said is owned by a son of the late Princess Margaret.

Under the headline “Oh my God!”, the photos show the Duchess removing her bikini top then relaxing on a sun lounger, apparently oblivious to paparazzi lurking nearby as the pair vacationed at the property in early September.

The publication reopens a debate over the privacy of Britain’s royal family and the freedom of the press just weeks after a US website published grainy photos of William’s younger brother Harry cavorting naked in a Las Vegas hotel room.

“Harry started the fashion: these days the Windsors take their clothes off,” the French magazine quipped in the photo spread, which it claimed as a world exclusive.

The royal couple, who are on a tour of southeast Asia, learned of the magazine spread while in Malaysia and were angry and sad their privacy had been breached, a royal source said, adding the pictures were believed to be genuine.

A second source said Buckingham Palace planned to contact French lawyers to see what options were available.

“There is a feeling of anger and disbelief about these photographs,” the source said. “We feel there has been a red line crossed with regard to publishing these images.”

There was no immediate comment from Closer magazine.

The photos of Harry stained a positive image the Royal family has carefully crafted as it worked to turn the page on Princess Diana’s death in 1997 and a raft of scandals at the time including Prince Andrew’s ex-wife Sarah Ferguson photographed having her toes sucked by a US businessman as she sunbathed topless.

The first royal source said Friday’s photos in Closer, taken at a private location and in breach of French privacy laws, had “turned the clock back 15 years.”

William and Kate were on a short vacation at the Chateau d’Autet near Aix-en-Provence in the Luberon region, whose picture-postcard villages, rolling lavender fields and vineyards have made it a favourite getaway spot for wealthy foreigners.

At one point the Duchess, clearly recognisable in the slightly fuzzy images, stands up and partly peels down her bikini bottoms as William rubs sun lotion on her back.

“The last time we saw Kate and William on a balcony it was for their wedding. But they had more clothes on,” reads one photo caption.

Another says: “People always say she doesn’t need to dress up to look good. Well … Kate is proving this.”

Closer also said Kate was spotted smoking a cigarette as the couple walked out of nearby Marseille airport where they arrived on a commercial flight.

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Reader Comments (17)

  • Raw is War
    Sep 14, 2012 - 4:33PM

    where are the pictures?

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  • wolfie loves kulfie
    Sep 14, 2012 - 4:48PM

    It a shame that such ugly pictures are made public the French magazine should be sued for making innocent people watch such ugly things i mean for all people they had only Kate Middleton I mean no one better ? ew !

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  • Indian Wisdom
    Sep 14, 2012 - 4:57PM

    Brother this the Pakistani newspaper ET not French magazine Closer….
    By the way, why are you dying to see the pictures????

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  • Acorn Guts
    Sep 14, 2012 - 5:06PM

    Come hither; Google. My friend.

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  • Scholar
    Sep 14, 2012 - 5:16PM

    Burqa is your solution William =D

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  • Donga Bonga
    Sep 14, 2012 - 5:17PM

    Yeah! Pics or it didn’t happen!!

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  • Javeria Mahmood
    Sep 14, 2012 - 5:18PM

    When Veena’s picture can be published then why not Kate’s….
    this is disappointing

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  • Mard-e-Haq
    Sep 14, 2012 - 6:46PM

    Kate is a beacon of morality for every aspiring liberal. lol

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  • John
    Sep 14, 2012 - 7:13PM

    The female body is beautiful. Kate? She is one of the most beautiful women on the world. This world is way too uptight.

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  • IceSoul
    Sep 14, 2012 - 8:28PM

    @Javeria: Veena’s pictures were not topless. Anyways, if you want to see the pictures, you can google them.

    On a side note, the the French photographers showed displayed some major guts! Seriously, the Royal family shouldn’t make this an issue; their customs and traditions have no place in the modern world.

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  • Toba Alu
    Sep 14, 2012 - 8:43PM

    The name is famous the pictures are not. We are all born naked. Yes she did grow up a bit, but that’s about it. Honor is restored in Malaysia. Let’s hope that the Britishers do not kill the French Ambassador.Recommend

  • Raza
    Sep 15, 2012 - 9:25AM

    Lol. Well the royal family needs to be more careful about taking its clothes off in open/camera view if it is so privacy-conscious; what are they expecting? Personally, I think its hilarious that so much importance is still attached to them; just more celebrity gossip thats all.

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  • M
    Sep 15, 2012 - 10:23AM

    Could someone please do the painful task of finding a link to the pictures and then posting it here!

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  • Kaleem
    Sep 15, 2012 - 6:42PM

    So UK should not mind this freedom of snapping now. Thats part of freedom of speech.

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  • TightChxxx
    Sep 16, 2012 - 1:42AM

    So much is happening in Pakistan right now including the recent disturbances due to the anti-Islam film and this is the most viewed news item on the website! ET please check your website code counter or remove this news item. Such things make Pakistan the laughing stock of the world. The google searches are a case in point.

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  • Random
    Sep 16, 2012 - 7:18AM

    amazing how many people want to see her pictures.

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  • Ma
    Sep 18, 2012 - 7:01PM

    So its clear that Kate is more parda nasheen then veena hence tribune is keeping privacy protected!

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