French magazine Closer unleashed a new media tornado on Britain's royal family on Friday (September 14) with a five-page splash of photos showing the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, sunbathing topless with Prince William in the south of France.
Under the headline "Oh my God!", the photos show the couple, whose regal yet natural conduct since their April wedding has won them fans worldwide, soaking up the sun on the balcony of a 19th century hunting lodge, oblivious to lurking paparazzi.
On the streets of London, reaction was mixed to the news of the photo spread.Chris Smith said that it was an invasion of privacy because she was on a private holiday.
"I don't think it's right no, I think it's an invasion of privacy really. If someone's out on holiday and they want to take their top off and obviously lounge about in the sun I think it should be kept quite private, unless she's consulted to publish the pictures then I think it's wrong." he said.
While retired teacher Jennifer, drew a comparison with the paparazzi treatment suffered byWilliam's mother, Diana the Princess of Wales.
"Yes, it's Diana all over again isn't it really, and she's a lovely woman, and she's such a nice person." Jennifer said, speaking to Reuters on London's Oxford Street.Derby Fellows, a Canadian working in London agreed that the photos should not have been published but said Kate should have been more careful, even if it is acceptable to be topless inFrance.
"I don't think it's right they should be publishing that kind of thing, but given who she is I think that everything she does is going to be scrutinised and published," she said, "So unfortunately I think she's got to be a bit careful about what she does, even if it's something that you'd normally do in France, Spain, anywhere in Europe, but she's got to be extra careful because it's going to be front page news all over the place, and she's going to get judged harder than anyone else would."
Phil, from Cambridge, in the capital for shopping with his wife said that there much bigger concerns.
"Can I be honest, I don't want to spoil the party but I think it's just so unimportant when half the world is starving....She's just an ordinary person, it's not that important."
The photos are a blow to Buckingham Palace as it tries to move on from a scandal over naked shots of Prince Harry that tarred an image bolstered by Kate and William's wedding, the Queen's 2012 Diamond Jubilee and her Olympic Games appearance.
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