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The British royal family has taken legal actions against the French magazine Closer, owned by the former Italian Premier and present media mogul Silvio Berlusconi, which last week published topless photos of the Duchess of Cambridge. The scandalous images were taken a month ago during the private family vacation in southern France.
The sensational images were printed under the headline “Oh my God! The Photos That Will Go Around the World!,” showing photos of the royal couple sunbathing in the French chateau of Queen Elizabeth’s nephew, Lord Linley.
The Britain’s newspaper The Evening Standard issued that during their “secluded” vacation, the royal couple could have been observed from a nearby street. According to the article, Kate Middleton was rubbing sun cream into Prince William’s back while he was reading his iPad on the terrace of the 19th-century mansion.
Meanwhile, the French magazine Closer insisted that the Duke and the Duchess of Cambridge were not properly secured and that “if two public figures chose to strip off in full view of a public road, then they can expect to be pictured, and they were.”
Closer’s editor, Laurence Pieau, claimed that the “pictures are not shocking”, because they depict “just a beautiful couple, an in-love couple in the south of France.” As he himself claimed, Kate is just “the girl next door.”
It is not the first conflict between the French media and the British royals. Prince William and his brother, Prince Harry, have consistently blamed the Parisian paparazzis for the tragic death of their mother, Princess Diana, on August 31, 1997.
St. James Palace’s officials stated that “the photos are genuine and the couple are furious.” It was officially announced that on Friday the Duke and the Duchess of Cambridge began legal proceedings against the French gossip magazine Closer. The royal spokespeople declared last week that “their royal highnesses have been hugely saddened to learn that a French publication and a photographer invaded their privacy in such a grotesque and unjustifiable manner.”
This is the second media scandal the royal family has had to face within a short period of time. A month ago, nude photos of Prince Harry, the younger brother of Pricne William, were released by the British tabloid The Sun, in spite of the warnings of the royal family that they would sue the newspaper if the images were published.
According to the French lawyer Jean-Frédéric Gaultier, the royal couple could bring a suit against the French gossip magazine Closer and coerce it to stop the spreading of the photos. However, Kate and William can also sue the yellow magazine for personal damages.
In the meantime, the scandalous pictures of Kate Middleton has started to travel around the world. The Italian gossip magazine Chi, also owned by Silvio Berlusconi, published the photos of the Duchess of Cambridge with the heading “Court Scandal: The Queen is Nude!” According to the editor of Chi, Alfonso Singorini, the photos were not meant to ruin Kate’s image, but to depict the “the modern concept of the monarchy.”
Irish Daily Star also issued two pages devoted to the scandalous images of Prince William’s wife. The edition however was not distributed in Northern Ireland, which is part of Great Britain. In his defense, the editor of the Irish newspaper, Mike O’Kane, said that the Irishmen do not revere the Britain’s royal family as the British do. “She’s not our future queen. The duchess would be no different to any other celeb pics we would get in, for example Rihanna or Lady Gaga,” O’Kane commented.
The British press, which has been keeping the privacy of the royal couple since their marriage in 2011, refrained from publishing the photos of Kate Middleton and sharply condemned its international colleagues. The Daily Mirror called the French newspaper that released the photos a “sneaky French mag.”
Image Courtesy of Tom Soper Photography