Pregnant Kate on beach: time to calm down about privacy
Invasion of royal privacy much less destructive than evidence in Huhne-Pryce case, argues Times writer
ISN'T IT time we calmed down about Kate Middleton and the supposed invasion of her privacy? That's the view of David Aaronovitch, writing for The Times after long-lens paparazzi photos of a visibly pregnant, bikini-clad Kate walking on a Caribbean beach appeared in the Italian magazine Chi.
The Australian weekly Woman's Day now plans to run the pictures too, having paid A$150,000 for the privilege, with editor Fiona Connolly making the point that Brits "have a great deal more sensitivity to royals than we do here in Oz".
But why do we expect the foreign media to extend a courtesy to the young royals that our own media consistently fail to offer other celebrities, asks Aaronovith. The Daily Mail's website gleefully showed pictures of Gisele Bundchen on the beach two months after giving birth and of Coleen Rooney pregnant in Barbados.
"All of [this] is, of course, intrusion," writes Aaronovitch, "but I would argue much less damaging and destructive of privacy than, say, the revealed texts between Chris Huhne and his teenage son, or the reported testimony in court during the trial of Vicky Pryce."
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are reportedly feeling bruised and powerless after hearing of the six-page spread in Chi, one of the European magazines that published long-lens snaps of the Duchess sunbathing topless in France last September.
The Evening Standard quoted senior royal sources as saying that Prince William was "deeply disappointed" about the covert pictures.
For Christina Odone such incidents are almost inevitable - the public just cannot get enough of Kate. While many would be "outraged to think of a paparazzo stalking the pregnant beauty on the beach", they're happy to look at the resulting snaps, she writes in the Daily Telegraph.
Media lawyer Charlotte Harris disagrees. "There is something extremely distasteful and upsetting about the Duchess having no autonomy or personal consent to say whether or not she wants the general public to view her body or not," she told the Telegraph. "If we want to have a royal family that's human, we have to treat them like human beings."
Aaronovitch also wants the Duchess to be human – but he sees the issue differently. "I have some advice for Kate and the Palace," he writes. "Be pregnant. Be human. Go out there and be photographed looking less than perfect. Blaze a trail for normality, your royalness... When sensible people acknowledge the absurdity of caring about nudity or imperfection, then — like unclapped Tinker Bells — the prurient press (online and off) will fade."