Topless photographs of Kate Middleton published in the 14 September issue of French magazine Closer have drawn heated criticism. The French celebrity paparazzi media is widely seen as having been instrumental in the death of Kate's mother-in-law, Diana, the Princess of Wales, in Paris in 1997.
Now, the magazine claims to have photographed Kate, along with her husband Prince William, during a private holiday at a chateau in Provence in the south eastern part of France and the publication claims the photographs are graphic. The teaser headline reads: "Only in Closer: Kate and William, their very hot holiday in Provence".
"Find out tomorrow exclusively Closer photos that the world did not expect: the Duchess of Cambridge topless on the terrace of a guest house in the Luberon! OMG!" the magazine wrote in a teaser campaign, showing the blurred photograph of a naked couple the magazine claims are William and Kate, adding, "Discover the very sensual shots of Kate Middleton and her husband Prince William. Discover the incredible pictures of the future Queen of England as you've never seen ... and as you never see her again!"
Closers' announcement has drawn some very scathing remarks about the lack of professionalism and concern for privacy, with readers commenting on Princess Diana's death and reference Rupert Murdoch as well.
"It is disgusting, you are all sick. You are all like a thousand Rupert Murdoch, only French. People respect the privacy!" a reader posted in the comments section.
"Have you not ashamed to publish these photos? France stoops low again," another reader, Jerseything, wrote.
Other comments read: "Have you no respect or Dignity - what more can we expect from the French - You have let down your own nation", "There is absolutely NO logical reason to publish topless pictures of a person at a private residence" and "Typical French paparazzi scum. You chased Diana to her death and now want to do the same with Kate. Get a life!"
Is Kate Headed Down the Same Road as Diana?
Princess Diana, mother of Prince William, was a much publicised figure at the best of times. However, the extent and intensity with which her private and public life were covered by the paparazzi was unparralleled. The Princess of Wales died in a car crash in a Paris tunnel, as they sped to escape a horde of photographers on motorcycles. French photographer Romuald Rat, who was the first to appear on the accident scene, was later accused of taking photographs of the injured Princess, instead of helping her.
Fortunately, the similarity does not end there.
A Daily Express report, published in the New Strait Times on 28 February, 1995, carried note of a paparazzo, a French photographer incidentally, claiming to be selling topless photographs of the Princess of Wales sunbathing in the island of Saint Barthelemy. The New Strait Times report also references topless photographs taken in 1992 and illegally taken photographs of the Princess in her gym.
Kate Dons Veil
The announcement by Closer magazine has drawn fury from the royal family, who have slammed the publication and themselves drawn reference to the way the late Princess of Wales was hounded.
Rather ironically, from a fashion perspective, Kate Middleton invoked memories of Princess Diana and her sensitivity to different religious sentiments when she wore a veil during a visit to a mosque in Kuala Lumpur this week; the late Princess wore veils while visiting mosques in Egypt and Pakistan.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are in Malaysia as part of their Asia tour to mark Queen's Diamond Jubilee.