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Friday, 18 April 2014

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It ended in tears last time, let’s not go there again

It’s that sense of deja-vu that makes the Duchess of Cambridge’s stolen holiday snaps such a heart-sinking disappointment.

kate022
Kate: One of her preferred holiday snaps no doubt

Even in Europe, you’d think the lessons of Kate’s late mother-in-law’s miserable life with the paparazzi might have been learned. But obviously they haven’t.

In the French edition of Closer magazine, pictures of the duchess sunbathing topless while holidaying at a private chateau, caused a probably disproportionate but entirely natural angry reaction from William and Kate, the Palace and countless Brits who still hold painful memories of Princess Diana being chased to her death by photographers in 1997.

Now the magazine’s Italian sister title Chi has published a special edition with 20 pages of intrusive shots. The link? Both publications are part of the business empire of a certain Signor Silvio Berlusconi. He of the Bunga Bunga party habits... among other tawdry pastimes.

The royal couple are taking the unusual step of suing. They will seek to have the French magazine withdrawn from sale and will also ask French prosecutors to bring criminal charges against the photographer responsible.

From the stand-back position of everyday reality, this is very likely a lot of fuss about next to nothing. But nobody can afford to stand back from what’s beginning to look like a reprise of an all too familiar royals vs paparazzi show, played out furiously for a sensation-hungry international audience.

We’ve been there and done that. The results were too awful and we really couldn’t, in all conscience, go down that road again.

And why would we want to? What miserable years of feeding frenzy the 1990s were. Every telling facial expression of sorrow or anger, every cross word in an imperfect marriage, every swimsuit shot on every flirty holiday, every wardrobe change and indiscretion occupying every inch of media space in this country and elsewhere... dear God, it was the pits!

A lot of it with Diana’s collusion – if not at her explicit invitation – that period of madness was always destined to end in tears. And it did.

Stinging tears of tragic loss, unwarranted pain and heavy shares of blame shouldered by all who’d pursued, pictured, published – not to mention the billions who paid to view and read what was none of their concern.

William and Kate may well be using a legal sledgehammer to crack an inconsequential nut. But I for one wish them luck. Any less would be invitation to a new open season.

And quite frankly nobody in their right mind could stand another one of those.

Have your say

ALL of the British press are making money from the photos - even if they "refuse" to print them. They are operating like those illegal torrent sites offering pirated music and movies for download - they may not host the material but they are still cynically linking us to it.

Posted by Corgi Wan Kenobi on 22 September 2012 at 07:10

To the 2 Americans - it's actually page 3 not page 2 of the seediest newspaper in England.Having said that,the models are paid for those photos and do it voluntarily.
Typical Yanks,though,totally obsessed with anything and everything celebrity.No doubt you'd both be overjoyed to see topless photos of your wife or daughter in some seedy magazine wouldn't you?

Posted by Michael on 20 September 2012 at 13:53

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