Duchess of Cambridge’s privacy again interfered with by paparazzi

May 28, 2014 |

The Age, in The Duchess of Cambridge in another privacy scandal, reports on the German Magazine Bild publishing an embarrassing photograph of the Duchess of Kent.  The Duchess has been the subject of long lens photography for a while now.  Some photographs have clearly been the result of a deliberate attempt to get her picture in a moment when she and everyone else would know she had a reasonable expectation of privacy.  The most notorious incident was her being photographed at a private resort in France in 2012 (recounted below).  Facts are always critical in determining what is or is not private and what expectation of privacy is reasonable.  A fashion malfunction, to use the euphemism in a relatively public place is not the same as being photographed deep into a private property, away from a public thoroughfare and with enough shrubbery intervening between the subject of the shot and the boundary.  Clearly.

The article provides:

The Duchess of Cambridge faces yet another privacy scandal, after a German tabloid published a picture of her naked bottom.

The photograph was taken as wind from helicopter blades lifted up the Duchess’ skirt. The incident occurred in the Blue Mountains on the royal tour of Australia, but at the time British tabloids refused to print the photograph.

However, Bild was more than happy to publish the embarrassing picture. It used the image to create an article about the hot bums of summer, and to thank the helicopter for providing the wind to let us get a clear view of Kate’s ”beautiful bum”.

The photograph was published alongside two other famous derrieres – those of Kim Kardashian and her sister Khloe.

In the photo gallery accompanying the Duchess’ image are photos of other ladies’ behinds, Kate being the only royal in the mix.

This is not the first time a photo of Kate has lead to the media finding themselves in hot water with the royals. Even Australian magazines managed to get caught up in royal scandal.

Woman’s Day drew condemnation from the Palace when it said it would publish pictures in February this year of a pregnant Kate in a bikini.

Italian magazine Chi also published the images, which showed the pregnant royal splashing about in a blue bikini, taken while the Duke and Duchess were on holiday.

Woman’s Day’s editor said the photos were taken on a public beach and therefore it was acceptable to print them. Editor Fiona Connolly told the Herald Sun that Australians aren’t as sensitive about the royals as the British, and photographs of people in bikinis are just part of everyday life.

Yet the couple were actually on the island of Mustique, where privacy is so valued that the paparazzi are banned.

St James Palace expressed disappointment that the images would be published overseas. The palace said in a statement that the photographs were a ”clear breach of the couple’s right to privacy”.

In 2012 the French magazine Closer published photographs of the Duchess sunbathing topless at a private resort.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge sued the magazine for what they described as a ”grotesque” and ”unjustifiable” act, hoping to stop the publication from the revealing images. In an angry statement the Palace said the photographs were similar to the ”worst excesses of the press and paparazzi during the life of Diana”.

The magazine’s editor was unrepentant, saying the resort’s pool was in full view of a public road and easily seen by the public. However, Chateau d’Autet has a secluded woodland setting, and is hundreds of metres from the closest public road – so the royals were in  ‘‘full view” only as long as they were being viewed through a large telephoto lens.

Just to show the issue lives beyond philosophical musings the Daily Telegraph gives a curbside analysis in Why should the media stick to an antiquated code of etiquette when Kate doesn’t bother to protect her own modesty?   To the extent that the piece is commentary (and not an excuse to use the word willy and get away with it) it seems to be saying that if her Royal Highness in waiting puts her exposed deriere in the way of a lurking lens then what is the snapper to do but press the little red button.   As with everything context and nuance, a very Daily Telegraph sort of word, tends to get in the way of a “Don’t blame us Gov’ner” and “we did her a favour” justification piece.   Helicopter blades and jet turbines, not to mention wind generally, tend to ruffle, uplift and shift around loose-fitting clothing.  Of which workaday dresses and skirts tend to be in the modern era.  Take enough flights and sooner or later a skirt will go where it was not intended to go.  If there is a photographer nearby by, a certainty, then an embarrassing photograph is in the offing.  That is different to being photographed cavorting around in a state of undress.  The question of what, if any, expectation of privacy exists is dependant on the what, where and how the photograph came into being.

The article is a fun enough read.  Fast food for the brain; giving momentary pleasure, wholly without nutritional value and quickly to be forgotten.  It provides:

THERE have been a couple of exposed royal willys, several royal knockers and one legendary royal toe sucker but, until now, there has never been a royal bum like Kate’s.

Nor has there ever been a royal G-string of note, until now.

Over the decades the media have been consistently fairly kind to the royal family — the British media almost universally respectful of the royal decree that the royal family’s privacy should be maintained and their dignity upheld as it is in the best interests of the royal family and therefore, by association, their value to the ­British economy.

But it seems a bit ridiculous to expect the rest of the world’s media to follow suit, particularly in a world in which flesh and commercialism go hand in hand.

Why would the cheeky French, German and American media, with no Commonwealth ties to Britain, be ­expected to honour such an antiquated code of ­etiquette? Why should the media be responsible for turning a blind eye when the royals aren’t always vigilant about keeping themselves nice?

It becomes difficult to argue the necessity of honouring “do not publish” conventions when royals like Prince Harry are photographed cavorting naked in Vegas with buxom women.

When Kate was photographed sunbathing topless on a French balcony in 2012, the royals made a sound argument magazine Closer should not have published photos taken on a private estate. There is a very clear distinction between private and public property.

But when she is on a public street and her dress blows up again and again, surely the lesson is the media can only turn a blind eye for so long.

If the Duchess can’t be ­bothered protecting herself by having hem weights sewn into her garments, why should the media protect her?

It was only going to be a matter of time before the world glimpsed the buckshot.

And as it happens it’s not an unflattering shot; something that only serves to turn the tide ­towards the argument to publish and be damned.

The Guardian covers the story, including the Daily Telegraph’s coverage of the story, in Rupert Murdoch paper prints picture of Duchess of Cambridge’s bare bottom providing:

One of Rupert Murdoch‘s Australian newspapers has published a picture showing the Duchess of Cambridge’s bare bottom, refusing to follow a “ridiculous” ban imposed by the British media.

The image was taken during the royal couple’s tour of Australia in April when they showed off their infant son George, and was run in the Sydney Daily Telegraph a day after it appeared in German tabloid Bild, which declared she had a “beautiful bum”.

It shows the Duchess of Cambridge’s blue and white summer dress lifted by a gust of wind when the royal couple got out of a helicopter in the Blue Mountains, 80 kilometres (50 miles) west of Sydney.

The Sydney Daily Telegraph said British newspapers had refused to run the photo out of respect to the royals, but in a comment piece said this was “an antiquated code of etiquette” under the headline “My bare lady: Derri-heir to the throne is fair game.”

“It seems a bit ridiculous to expect the rest of the world’s media to follow suit, particularly in a world in which flesh and commercialism go hand in hand,” said Telegraph social writer Annette Sharp.

“If the duchess can’t be bothered protecting herself by having hem weights sewn into her garments, why should the media protect her?”

The duchess is no stranger to wardrobe malfunctions and struggled to control the hem of her red dress as she stepped off a plane in New Zealand ahead of her Australian tour.

Diane Morel, a Blue Mountains local, took the Australian photo and almost deleted it before realising what she had captured.

“It wasn’t until I got home and I popped my camera card into the computer that I realised what I had captured,” the 47-year-old told the newspaper, vowing to donate any money raised from the photo’s sale to a bushfire relief fund.

‘Breach of privacy’

During their tour, the royal couple met survivors and toured the scene of devastating Australian bushfires last year that destroyed more than 200 homes.

It is not the first time Australian media has abandoned royal protocols with two radio presenters causing outrage in 2012 when they duped a nurse at the hospital treating Prince William’s pregnant wife into giving them details about her morning sickness condition.

The nurse who fielded the call later killed herself.

William and Kate have faced numerous battles in the past to protect their privacy by preventing the publication of photographs.

In one of the most famous cases in 2012, French magazine Closer provoked outrage among the royals and sections of the British press when it published paparazzi photos of a topless Kate.

The royals took legal action and French authorities promptly banned Closer from any use or resale of the offending pictures, the most intimate of which showed the duchess topless and having sun cream rubbed into her buttocks by William.

The Telegraph argued those photos were taken while the duchess was at a private chateau, but the Blue Mountains picture was on a public street.

“There is a very clear distinction between private and public property,” it said.

The British press reacted with outrage to Bild’s publication, with the Daily Mail calling it “a breach of privacy” while blasting a “crude” caption that appeared alongside.

Others reproduced the image but pixelated Kate’s bottom, with the Daily Mirror saying she would be “deeply dismayed” by the embarrassing image.

The decision to run the photo sparked division in Australia with one comment on the Telegraph website saying “we’ve all got one, so what’s the fuss”.

Others were more critical. “It doesn’t matter who has had a ‘wardrobe malfunction’, the photo shouldn’t appear in the press,” a reader said.

Leave a Reply