Friday, September 14, 2012

Defending Kate

I don't know about you but I'm furious that someone photographed the Duchess of Cambridge naked, and that a magazine published the pictures. Kate is someone who has worked hard to do everything right and with royal dignity.  She has every right to sunbathe topless at a very private and remote villa in the South of France.

Obviously this brings back shades of Princess Diana, hounded to her death by paparazzi  Clearly royals are public figures and as such cannot expect the same degree of privacy as the rest of us. Every time they go out they are fair game and their behavior is on display to be judged. But in the privacy of their own home? No way. What will be next..super long distance lenses catching them in the bathroom or bedroom?

This comes after the Prince Harry scandal, again pictures of him at a private party, in a private suite, leaked by someone at the party, obviously for mucho bucks. He wasn't very wise, I agree, but he is a young single man and at the time he wasn't on official royal business. In fact we now know he was getting ready to fly back to duty in Afghanistan with his regiment, where he will be facing danger daily flying Apache helicopters. So he had a good reason to let his hair down.

This sort of thing didn't happen to royals at the time I write about in my Royal Spyness series. Although the press knew about the affair between the Prince of Wales and Mrs. Simpson they were asked by the palace not to mention it. So it didn't become public knowledge until he announced his intention to marry her. They remained silent for several years while Edward pursued her more and more openly (or rather she pursued him). Can you imagine any newspaper doing that these days?

Why do we feel we have a right to own celebrities? I know that A list people like Tom Hanks can never eat out, walk through a park, go to a movie without being mobbed. Fame comes at a hard price.
Writers like me experience this in a small way when we go to signings and conventions. It's not easy to be standing in line for the rest room and have the person next to me say loudly, "I just love your books. When is the next one coming out?" when all I'm thinking about is the need to pee.

So I feel for poor Kate. In fact I think it's about time the royals employed bodyguards who were instructed to shoot to kill invaders of privacy. What do you think?


  1. I think the invasions of both Harry and Kate's privacy is disgusting. Even such very public figures should have a right to expect privacy when in what a reasonable person would consider a private setting. Those who take the photos should be tossed in the nearest cell and forgotten, not paid big bucks. I do like your "shoot to kill" suggestion - if nothing else it would at least reduce the number of money-grubbing paparazzi.

  2. I, too, am appalled by the invasions of both Prince Harry and Princess Kate's privacy. If they're in some public place frolicking in the nude, behaving badly, they're fair game, but in their own private hotel rooms or rental villas. I think there ought to be some legal limits set. Or we will see naked, embarrassing photos taken in their bedrooms and bathrooms. The technology is there now, so why wouldn't the paparazzi start using it?

  3. I agree that celebrities, even royal ones have a right to expect privacy in a private setting. I could not believe that someone not only snapped those pictures of Kate, but sold them. She wasn't on a public topless beach or somewhere that it was inappropriate. Unfortunately for Prince Harry, everyone in attendance at his party wasn't vetted, I certainly don't blame him wanting to get wild before a deployment. I also am annoyed by paparazzi that hang out outside schools that a celebrity's child attends. That seems like it's dangerous for the children at the school.

    I try to put my money where my mouth is by not buying the types of magazines that buy those paparazzi photographs. I figure it's the least I can do.

  4. As long as people buy the gossip mags, watch E, and log on to TMZ, there will be paps. We (meaning modern society in general) are all at fault too.

    Unlike Tom Hanks, these two boys didn't choose this life - they were born into this life. I don't suppose they can just quit and go work at a bank or a library. They and their loved ones deserve a private space where they can be wild and do crazy things, just like you and me. Prince Harry clearly has poor choice in party invites - but then most 20somethings do. William and Kate, that's just too sad and really disgusting.

  5. Really disgusted by the money grubbing paparazzi. Agree with you about the right to privacy. How would these paparazzi like it if they got a dose of their own medicine? How would they like it if their families were mobbed everywhere they went? How would the paparazzi like it if someone took a photo of them picking their nose, for example? I refuse to buy magazines with paparazzi type photos. Waiting to see how the Bad Reporter comics will depict the paparazzi in the SF daily paper.


  6. Completely agree with you, Rhys, on both Royal's privacy invasions! It appears the French courts are taking this seriously and hopefully that will help in the future. However, I fear it won't. True, these things didn't used to happen, but since the invention of the internet (don't get me wrong, I love the internet) and instant communication of all types, it is impossible to keep things secret any longer. Your example of the Prince of Wales and Mrs. Simpson is good as well as the life choices of several past US presidents and 50's movie stars - all well-kept secrets. That cannot happen any longer. Let's hope the body guards get better!

    On another note, I had not heard of your broken pelvis, but am very glad to read that you are healing well and seem to be getting back on track with your life. Thank you for all your books which give so much pleasure to so many.

  7. Whether someone chose the life of celebrity or not, there should be reasonable expectations of privacy.

    The children of Hollywood stars should be off limits. People not out in public (however that should be defined) should have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

    And--I agree with the comment by Shawn above---stop buying the paparazzi rags!! There is a reason those photographers are so aggressive--the rags will pay huge amounts for the right sleazy shot.

  8. Please,

    Please, no "shoot to kill" suggestions, even in jest. Some people take these things seriously.

    The paparazzi are despicable, yes. I agree wholeheartedly with reader Diana who doesn't buy the publications that print this sort of thing. I'm appalled and disgusted that someone took photos of anyone just enjoying the sun (but then, it would have to be someone famous,wouldn't it? Doubt anyone would take such photos of me even if I ignored the skin cancer risks of sunbathing, nude or clothed).

    Anyone should be able to expect to have their privacy respected in private circumstances. The key to squelching this kind of thing lies in punishing the publishers. If the legal costs damage their bottom line, they'll stop buying--and the paparazzi will stop snapping.