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William and Kate: the naked truth

Kate Middleton is known for her squeaky-clean image, mega-watt smile, classy yet fashion-forward outfits ­— and of course, her husband, the adorably balding Prince William. So imagine the world’s shock and dismay when photos surfaced of the Duchess of Cambridge not only topless, but commando!

The French magazine Closer, which the royal family is now suing, initially published the nude photos. But the Danish gossip magazine Se og Hør went a step further by publishing not only those images but also pictures of “Waity Katie” sans bottoms.

This scandal is the second instance of a British royal being photographed in the buff in slightly more than a month — remember Prince Harry’s full-frontal photos from late August?

It is not surprising that eventually Kate would be caught by the paparazzi. At the end of the day, royals are just like us — except with an unlimited expense account and access to the crown jewels.

This isn’t the first nude royal photo scandal to hit the press, and it won’t be the last. Kate is following in the footsteps of Princess Caroline of Monaco, photographed half-clothed on a yacht in 1980; Caroline’s sister, Princess Stephanie of Monaco, who had a series of topless photos also published in the ‘80s; and her own late mother-in-law Princess Diana. Even brother James and sister Pippa have been caught in nude scandals and can offer advice in coping.

Although the European media is making as big a deal of the pictures as their U.S. counterparts, it is worth noting that in the Mediterranean, topless sunbathing is as commonplace as brushing your teeth.

It’s only fair to mention the photos were taken on a private vacation in a supposedly secluded vacation abode. Clearly, Will and Kate thought the strict privacy laws in France would protect them from prying eyes and so felt free to indulge in some innocent sunbathing.

The fact remains, however, that the future Queen of England caught in such a media circus is not only embarrassing for her but for the entire royal family. Kate’s exposure has given her and her in-laws some unwanted exposure.

As embarrassed as she must be, I don’t think this scandal will damage Kate’s image; her subjects seem to genuinely like her and are prepared to support her, world be damned. Is it her aura, reminiscent of Shy Di, her common roots or a little bit of both that keeps her reputation untarnished?


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