Last week the French magazine Closer published topless photos of Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge. Mere moments after the photos went public, the British Royal Family voiced its outrage and shortly thereafter launched a lawsuit against the mag and issued legal threats to any other publication that might decide to publish the photos. Today we learn that Italian magazine Chi not only published some of the original photos in their new issue but they also published other previously unseen topless photos of Kate (which were taken at the same time as the originals — as I understand it, there were about 200 photos taken of Kate and Wills in Provence, France). Despite the wishes of the British Royal Family, it would seem that European magazines have no plans to stop publishing these photos.
An Italian gossip magazine owned by former Premier Silvio Berlusconi published a 26-page spread of topless photos of Prince William’s wife Kate on Monday despite legal action in France against the French magazine that published them first. Chi hit newsstands on Monday, featuring a montage of photos taken while the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were on vacation at a relative’s home in the south of France last month. They included the 14 pictures published by the popular French magazine Closer, which like Chi is owned by Berlusconi’s Mondadori publishing house. But the Chi spread ran the whole sequence of photos as the couple sunbathed on a terrace, including one shot of the princess putting sun cream on her backside that didn’t appear in Closer. The couple is hitting back hard against the publication of the images, which William’s St. James’s Palace called a “grotesque” invasion of their privacy. Later Monday, lawyers for the royal couple are due in court in Nanterre, France, to seek an injunction against Mondadori to prevent further dissemination of the images, which were also reproduced over the weekend by an Irish tabloid. The palace said it would seek damages from Mondadori. And St. James’s Palace said Sunday that family lawyers would file a criminal complaint against the unidentified photographer or photographers involved. The palace said it would be up to French prosecutors to decide whether to investigate and pursue a criminal case for breach of privacy or trespassing. Chi editor Alfonso Signorini told The Associated Press over the weekend that he didn’t fear legal action since the photos were already in the public domain following Closer’s publication.
It remains to be seen how many other magazines will follow suit and publish these photos (or others from the batch) but it should be noted again that both Closer in France and Chi in Italy are owned by the same publishing house (therefore, only one publishing house seems interested in proliferating these photos). It seems to me that the more the British Royal Family makes a big deal about the photos (LEGAL THREATS! TABOO! DON’T LOOK AT THE PHOTOS) the more people want to see what the fuss is about. If the Royals plan to continue to make a huge deal out of these photos, I suspect other magazines will want in on the hoopla. On the other hand, I can understand how the British Royal Family cannot just sit idly by and let this kind of thing go without voicing their disapproval. Eventually, this naked photo scandal will die down … but the sooner the Royals stop making it a larger than life issue, the sooner people will grow bored of the whole thing and forget.