Princess Beatrice has had a ruling by the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) made in her favour, after she complained that photos published by MailOnline breached her privacy. In the ruling, IPSO said that the photos were "gratuitous and invasive."
The photos were taken of Princess Beatrice in June this year on a boat off the coast of Monaco, and showed the Princess removing clothing to reveal her bikini, swimming in the sea, applying sun screen to her boyfriend, and showering on the boat's deck. The website's headline made reference to the Princess's "very skimpy bikini" while also commenting on her enjoying "another day off."
Although MailOnline argued that the boat was close enough to the shore to be visible to onlookers, Princess Beatrice argued that the photos had been "taken surreptitiously" while she was taking a "private holiday." She further argued that the article's commentary of her appearance made the article all the more intrusive.
IPSO did not accept the website's argument that the Princess did not have a "reasonable expectation of privacy" given the boat's anchoring just 200m from the shore, and ruled that it had breached Clause 2 of the Editor's Code of Practice, which relates to privacy.
In its ruling, which marks the fifth complaint against MailOnline to be upheld by the regulator IPSO said: "The taking and publishing of these photographs of the complainant, wearing a bikini, which the committee noted placed a gratuitous and invasive focus on parts of the complainant's body which would not ordinarily be subject to public scrutiny, represented a serious intrusion into the complainant's privacy."
The ruling comes just days after Prince Harry launched an unprecedented attack on the media in the wake of revelations about his new relationship with actress girlfriend Meghan Markle. In a statement issued by Kensington Palace on behalf of the Prince, a spokesperson said Price Harry had "never been comfortable" with the level of public interest in his private life and dismissed defence of the press' treatment of him and those around him as being "all part of the game."
IPSO replaced the Press Complaint's Commission (PCC) as the independent press watchdog in 2014 after the Leveson Inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the British Press. Following the disbanding of the PCC, which Daily Mail Editor Paul Dacre was a member of, then Prime Minister David Cameron said the PCC had "failed."