A lot has happened in the royal family since the Kate Middletontopless photo scandal. Since that drama went down, there have been weddings,babies, alleged cheating scandals, and hundreds of public appearances. It’s almostlike everyone forgot the whole thing happened.
One person who probably didn’t forget? Queen Elizabeth, whohates royalscandals almost more than she hates sugar in her Earl Grey (and that’s alot). Does she blame her granddaughter-in-law for what happened, or does she understandthe whole thing was one huge invasion of privacy?
How did the Kate Middleton topless photo scandal happen?
In case you forget the story, here it is: Back in 2012 whenPrince William and Kate Middleton were newlyweds with no kids, they decided totake a break from royallife and go on vacation together in the south of France.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge intentionally chose a secluded spot away from prying eyes. They headed to a private 640-acre chateau owned by Queen Elizabeth’s nephew, Viscount David Linley. Once there, things got loose and free quickly and Kate even decided to take off her top for sunbathing. Hey, they were newlyweds! Why not?
But there was just one problem—lurking in the bushes a half mile away, a French paparazzo was eagerly snapping photos of the nearly nude royal wife. Later, he sold them to the French tabloid Closer and suddenly, millions of people had access to images of the Duchess of Cambridge’s naked breasts.
The backlash against the tabloid was swift and fierce
The British royal family doesn’t have time to address every singlerumor that comes along—nor do they care to. But when someone commits a gross breachof privacy like this, they have no choice but to respond.
St. James’ Palace released a statementin the wake of the event, and they didn’t mince their words. It said, “Their Royal Highnesses have been hugely saddened tolearn that a French publication and a photographer have invaded their privacyin such a grotesque and totally unjustifiable manner.”
“Theincident is reminiscent of the worst excesses of the press and paparazzi duringthe life of Diana, Princess of Wales, and all the more upsetting to TheDuke and Duchess for being so,” the statement said. “Their Royal Highnesses hadevery expectation of privacy in the remote house. It is unthinkable that anyoneshould take such photographs, let alone publish them.”
Anotherstatement from Prince William said: “My wife andI thought that we could go to France for a few days in a secluded villa ownedby a member of my family, and thus enjoy our privacy.”
How didthe Queen react?
Like the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Queen Elizabeth was most likely appalled to have her family’s reputation tarnished in this way. But she wasn’t upset with Kate Middleton, who was behaving in a perfectly appropriate way in what she thought was a private residence. She was furious with the tabloids for taking advantage of an opportunity to invade their privacy.
Ultimately, the royal family sued the tabloid for 1.5 million euros. The final ruling awarded them 100,000 euros in damages plus another 90,000 euros in fines. It’s not that the royals need the money, but rather that the lawsuit sent a message to future photographers who think they can get away with this type of behavior.
And as for Kate Middleton? She’s moved past the scandal and continues to focus on caring for her family and building a royal presence. Still, she’ll probably think twice before topless sunbathing again.
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