Duchess Kate’s Bare Breasts

- September 19th, 2012

Kate-surprise

I have absolutely no personal interest in the uncovered bosom of the Duchess of Cambridge.

 

None whatsoever. Zip. Nada. Yawn.

 

(Of course, I’ve seen her breasts — or at least photos of them — but only as a matter of professional responsibility, much as I once knew the names of all the members of New Kids On The Block, and with about the same degree of personal indifference. Having seen them, however, I must say the breasts of the Duchess of Cambridge are not extraordinarily different from the breasts of roughly 3.5 billion other women in the world. They — the royal-by-marriage breasts, I mean, not the 3.5 billion other women in the world — are rather common, in fact.)

 

I don’t even want to discuss the bare bosom of the Duchess of Cambridge (although the very existence of these words seems to counter-indicate that — but read on).

 

No, I would personally prefer not to even think about the entire English royal family.  To my mind, the whole lot of ‘em — from nonageniarns to toddlers — are a complete waste of time, space, money and breath.

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However, I do have a personal interest in the question of whether or not Little Britain — the entire world, in fact — has the right to see the bare breasts of the Duchess of Cambridge. Or any other part of her royal-by-marriage anatomy.

 

Let’s be very clear about this: I’m not talking about the issue of possible criminal trespass regarding the photographer who took the long-lens shots of Kate sunbathing at a private estate in the middle of Bout-du-monde, France. I’m not talking about stalking or peeping-tomism or any of the other legal issues attached to this particular case. For the record, I deplore criminal trespass, I abhor stalking and I shun the company of anyone named Tom.

 

(Also for the record, I should point out that said photographer apparently took the photos while standing on a public road near the family-owned property in Provence where the Duke and Duchess were vacationing. In almost any jurisdiction except France that would make the invasion of privacy a non-criminal matter.)

 

Like everyone else, the royals have the right to seek redress through the legal system of whatever realm they happen to be luxuriating in at the moment. And, in this case, the French courts seem to be responding with an alacrity and enthusiasm many French citizens would be overjoyed — and astounded — to receive.

 

The French case appears to be straight-forward, given that France has some of the most stringent personal privacy laws in the world (thank you, Napoleon), and the royal recentlyweds are sure to collect quite a few Euros in damages from the Silvio Berlusconi company which first published the photos in the French magazine, Closer.

Duchess-Closer-cover

There’s also a good chance some Berlusconi minion will do a bit of jail time since Article 226-1 of le Code pénal calls for (in addition to a stiff fine) one year’s imprisonment for (and I quote a rough translation) “any wilful violation of the intimacy of the private life of other persons by … taking, recording or transmitting the picture of a person who is within a private place, without the consent of the person concerned.”

 

The youngish Windsors will have a little more trouble getting their pound of flesh, so to speak, in Ireland and Italy, the other two jurisdictions where photos of the topless Duchess have (so far) appeared. Privacy laws are not so strict there (although the Irish justice minister has said he will introduce tougher legislation in the wake of the photos’ publication in the Irish Daily Star). As for Italy, well … “buona fortuna” is all I can say to Principe Guglielmo and his blushing bride.

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It seems a Danish magazine is next up to bat. Why on earth would anyone in Denmark be interested at this point?

 

No, I’m not particularly concerned about any of that.

 

I am concerned, however, that the English royal family seems to have drawn a line in the sand over these photos and is determined to use its not-inconsiderable wealth and influence to stem the tide of intrusiveness into their private lives.

 

The royals seem to want, in other words, to be able to decide when and where the rest of the world is allowed to take their pictures and record their words.

 

I do realize that Diana was literally hounded to death by paparazzi (although a besotted chauffeur should bear principal responsibility). And life in the fishbowl of constant public exposure can be psychologically exhausting for any celebrity.

 

But that intrusiveness comes with the territory — especially for royalty in a constitutional monarchy with a (supposedly) free press and fully developed democracy. It’s a tradeoff: The princlings put up with the public  poking and prying in order to enjoy the private perks, privileges and pecuniary payoff of being royal anachronisms.

 

It is, after all, their job to be photographed and recorded, to make us find them interesting, to titillate us. What else do they do for a living?

prince-charles-run-closeup

They certainly don’t rule anymore (thank goodness): No more decreeing a change in national religion or lopping off the head of anyone who has become inconvenient.

 

They don’t even govern: I’m quite sure the Queen didn’t have the foggiest idea who David Johnston was before Stephen Harper told her the pliant academic would be her next viceregal surrogate in Canada.

 

They christen ships and open hospital wings. They accept flowers from grannies in Glamorgan and dole out titles on the Queen’s New Year Honours List (once the list has been vetted, massaged and approved by 10 Downing Street). They dine with dignitaries on a regular basis and throw lavish royal weddings every decade or two. Sometimes they even add a bit of glamour to Olympic Games.

 

And all for the camera. If the photographers are not there, it is as if the event never happened. Perhaps an unphotographed moment once provided an eternal, glistening memory locked away in a child’s princess-obsessed heart, but it certainly wasn’t a cost-effective use of the royal’s well-managed time.

 

No, the royal family’s job is to be seen and to be recorded so that millions of other people around the world and down through the ages can marvel at the turquoise-ness of the Queen’s Stewart Parvin suit and say, “My, she looks good for her age, doesn’t she?”

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In terms of actually doing anything, the royals stand on a rung somewhere slightly above proles who are famous solely for existing (like Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian and Snooki Polizzi) and well below celebrities who are well-known, feted and pestered for accomplishing something — like giving a memorable acting performance, singing an awesome song, writing a best-selling book, winning the Tour de France, inventing Facebook or being elected dogcatcher.

 

The English royal family is in the business of being on public display — and being photographed as such. Make no mistake — it is a business, a very successful one that has made the Windsor family fabulously wealthy and able to indulge their every whim. As Queen Elizabeth’s father, George VI, once famously said: “We’re not a family. We’re a firm.”

 

The firm would be out of business if the family wasn’t photographed — regularly and copiously. And to be photographed on that scale, they have to be interesting. There has to be a compelling reason for the little people of the world — you and me — to want to spend 15 seconds gazing at their royal countenances (or whatever) instead of flipping the page to see what Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga are up to.

 

The royals have to tickle our fancy, in other words. They have to titillate us. That’s their job, for crying out loud.

They know they’re in show business. Hell, the Queen and her corgies even did a turn with James Bond. And, like every show biz family, they know they’re out of business the moment nobody wants to see their act any more. When was the last time you thought of the Flying Wallendas before Nik announced he was going to tightrope-walk across Niagara Falls?

Daniel Craig-Queen-Olympics film

It’s easy enough to become an invisible royal: Just be boring.

 

How often does the Queen’s daughter, Princess Anne, pique your interest, for example?

 

A representative sampling of Princess Anne’s recent headline-making ventures (news of which didn’t make it out of regional English, Welsh and Scottish press coverage):

 

“Princess Anne unveils giant UK coal mine sculpture”

 

“Princess Anne admires the sheepdogs at Wales’ international trials”

 

“Princess Anne to mark milestone of iconic Watchet lighthouse”

 

“Princess walks and talks with Highlands’ animals”

 

(Huh? That last one actually sounds kinda interesting — except the story doesn’t match the headline writer’s cunning: The animals don’t talk back to her. She’s not Princess Doolittle.)

 

Of course royals do other things, sometimes productive things, but none of it really matters unless they carry the royal mantle. Would anyone really care what Charles Windsor thinks about the decline of architecture or the benefits of organic lavender if he wasn’t heir to the throne? (Come to think of it, does anyone care anyway?)

 

It’s nice that Prince William is a search-and-rescue helicopter pilot but the British military has hundreds of whirlybird pilots (with 113 helicopters on the books of the British military establishment, there have to be a minimum of 226 helicopter pilots). Does even one of the other 225 or 325 British military helicopter pilots garner a smidgen of the well-photographed publicity and adulation the dashing prince-pilot receives? Of course not.

 

So the royal family carries on its well-oiled business, thrives and grows ever richer because it is good at its job — which is being photographed. Just look at the cornucopia of photographs (made at such extravagant expense, both public and private) flowing out of the just-concluded South Pacific tour of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Duchess-pool

Here’s a quote from the UKPA press agency on the royal couple’s arrival in Australia on their way home to England:

 

“Five television crews and around a dozen photographers were there to capture the small moment of history.”

 

And what, exactly, was this “small moment of history?”

 

“Kate and William created a stir at Brisbane airport when, after entering the international terminal building, they walked through a public area of the departure lounge on their way to a VIP suite to await their connection to London.”

 

Ye gads. A nation’s knickers are in a knot because a couple of 30-something toffs were on public view for 10 minutes before retreating to the seclusion of a VIP lounge to sip champagne (William’s quaff of choice).

 

So now, with the uncivilized world aflutter over pictures of a bared bosom, the royals want to ride that wave of public sympathy and lip-pursing to a crackdown against any intrusion into their private lives.

TheSun

Exactly how much privacy do they need and what constitutes privacy?

 

If they could, they would do without the annoying bother of being photographed altogether. But they know that’s unrealistic (and actually counter-productive) so their best-case scenario is to confine the picture taking to “on the clock” hours — those scheduled public events like walkabouts and tea with Tilly and “I now declare this (blank) open” and whatnot that make up the usual round of their working days.

 

But they would really, really like to keep ALL their off-hours activities confidential, at least unrecorded. No more unbecoming photos of Harry in a Nazi uniform or playing nude snuggle-bunnies around a Vegas pool table, no more adulterous taped phone conversations between Prince Charles and the pre-Duchess of Cornwall Camilla, no more videotapes of ex-wife Fergie selling access to Prince Andrew.

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They want us to protect them from themselves, in other words, by turning a blind eye to their shenanigans. Not gonna happen.

 

Of course Harry’s public and semi-public follies are a far different kettle of fish from a sleazoid photog skulking around a royal estate and surreptitiously taking hundreds of salacious (if you can be salated by a sight common on beaches from Saint-Tropez to Hanlan’s Point) pictures of a woman who will, in all probability, be the Queen Consort of the King of England (and probably Wales but likely not Scotland) within 20 or 30 years.

 

In general, the royals probably get far more latitude than they deserve. In the wake of the News of the World phone-tapping scandal and other blatant transgressions, the British press is now little more than obsequious ladies-in-waiting to the royal family. Of course no British publication would touch the offered French nudie photos (why do I have the image of an opened trenchcoat hung with naughty ’50s postcards flashing in my mind’s eye?).

 

For the most part, the British press were giving the royals ample space long before the most recent revelations of press violations completely knackered them. When young William — known to an adoring public as Wills at the time — went off to university, the British press agreed to stay completely off his turf and give the prince an unobstructed run at the course.

 

If The Daily Mail’s Katie Nicholl is to be believed, the royal watchers had backed so far off the Wills beat that no one on Fleet Street had the slightest idea that by 2003 the heir to the throne and a bright young undergraduate named Kate Middleton were living together in a charming four-bedroom “cottage” on a Scottish country estate near St. Andrews University — along with a hefty security contingent housed in outbuildings behind the high stone walls.

This was not too long after Kate had aroused William’s romantic interest, shall we say (the two were already classmates and study partners), by taking to the catwalk in skimpy black underwear and a see-through “dress” at a charity fashion show at the St. Andrews Bay Hotel.

Kate-modelling-2002

“Wow, Kate’s hot!” William supposedly told his old Eton pal Fergus Boyd at the time.

But it would be years and years before the general public caught wind of that because the libidinous young prince was being given untrammelled fields of space to sow his wild oats at St. Andrews. (And they would have to read it in an American magazine, Vanity Fair, to boot.)

This was all the better part of a decade ago. Kate has since had plenty of time to get adjusted to life in the limelight — and by all appearances she seems to relish it.

Make no mistake: The commoner Kate Middleton knew exactly what she was getting into when she joined the royal firm as the Duchess of Cambridge.

 

Perhaps Duchess Kate was not expecting an insolent snooper to be lurking in the bushes of Provence, but she certainly had no qualms about going topless under the gaze of others (I am not implying there is any reason she should — just stating the fact).

 

After all, the security detachment guarding the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge is certainly no smaller today — probably much larger — than it was when the two students were living together in close proximity to William’s watchdogs at St. Andrews. I’m sure the Duke and Duchess are quite used to being watched (discreetly, of course) by the gunmen guarding them night and day, in all states of dress and undress, in all states of sobriety and frivolity.

 

So it’s one thing to have the staff peruse the royal bosom around the pool but quite another to be exposed to the leering curiosity of the hoi polloi at large.

 

It does seem a rather tempestuous teapot for a nation that sees bare breasts on Page 3 of the morning paper every day, that wallowed its way through the endless tell-all sordidness of the Diana era, and long ago saw the Queen’s sister, Margaret, putting the scissor squeeze on everything that moved (so I’m told) from Peter Sellers to Dusty Springfield to boytoy gardener Roddy Llewellyn to — possibly — Mick Jagger.

Snowden-Margaret-wedding-tiara-1962

Princess Margaret wearing her wedding tiara in the bath in a photo made by her then-husband, Lord Snowden, in 1962.

In the end, the business of stoking public interest in the royals probably benefits from this most recent (unwanted) exposure. It’s crass to say, but royalty stoking and stroking is a crass business.

 

The Duchess certainly doesn’t come out of this looking bad. She’s the innocent victim and gets points for soldiering on with a steady smile and firm handshake through the controversy.

 

I’m sure she’ll go through much, much more trying episodes in the years to come before she finally stands beside William as the crown is placed on his bald head.

 

But no matter how far up in the world she rises, the former Kate Middleton will always know she was born a commoner. How so? She doesn’t have the red star all real royals are born with on their bums. I refer you to Prince Harry in Vegas.

Prince-Harry

Thanks to QMI photographer Andre Forget at the Calgary Stampede in 2011, we know she doesn’t have one.

Andre-Forget-QMI-Calgary-2011

 

 

 

 

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5 comments

  1. Paul Zerzan says:

    Monarchy has no legitimacy. Thugs seized power long ago and they passed on their rule to their heirs. This process can be seen today in the world’s newest monarchy, North Korea. Monarchy is a barbaric relic from the Dark Ages and it is a disgrace that it still persists in some places. When monarchy ends and the “royalty” can live normal lives everyone will gain.

  2. Kid says:

    Thanks for keeping me abreast of this titilating topic. (Sorry, couldn’t resist)

  3. martyn macleod says:

    So Katie has boobies…….big deal at least the pictures weren’t of Camilla………the photog would have been struck blind or turned to stone maybe that wouldn’t be a bad thing..

  4. Phil says:

    Will the Queen’s bare breasts be published next so that we can all be witnesses to the sagging fortunes of the monarchy?

  5. Brian Thompson says:

    What an exceptionally boring rant, you poor little man. Have you nothing better to do? Knock the working class chip off your shoulder, there’s a good chap. Learn to spell while you are about it.

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