Photos of Kate in bikini and pregnant in Chi. London threatens action against Mondadori
The princess could have been immortalised during a recent visit to the Caribbean island of Mustique. Entries in the weekly publication of Berlusconi firm. St James's Palace speaks of violation of privacy. Royal Family 'very annoyed'
By our correspondent Enrico Franceschini
London - A new episode for Kate has erupted, and this time the target of the protests is entirely Italian, the weekly Chi, property of Berlusconi's Mondadori group. The magazine could be about to publish photos of the bikini-clad princess - in the third month of pregnancy - taken a few days ago by a paparazzo in the Caribbean island of Mustique, where the princess is spending her holiday together with her husband, William. 'It's a clear violation of the couple's privacy', read a statement from St James's Palace, the official residence of the second in line to the throne and his consort. The Royal household is said to be 'very annoyed' and has expressed its total 'disapproval' at the images, albeit admitting they were taken 'from a distance', and therefore without the photographer having to approach the youngsters.
Last year the French magazine Closer, also belonging to Mondadori, generated controversy by publishing topless photos of Kate, then republished in Italy in Chi. The images had been taken using a powerful telescopic lens, when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (their official titles) were on holiday in an exclusive hotel in Provence belonging to their relations. The Windsors, who since the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, have taken legal action against any media intrusion into their private lives, had responded by suing the French newspaper with the court ruling in their favour. It stopped Closer from publishing any more photographs taken in Provence and forced it to hand over the images of Kate. According to rumours, William - who considers the paparazzi responsible for the death of his mother in a controversial incident in a Parisian tunnel - was furious. The photos of Kate topless did however circulate on the internet, but the family hoped that the legal victory served as an example to the international media, and to keep them at arm's length. This has become the norm in Britain, where with the exception of Prince Harry (seen half-naked at a Las Vegas party), Kate and the other members of the Windsor Family are now generally accorded respect.
But the warning has evidently not worked - that is, if Chi tries again. Now we'll see what the reaction will be: if there'll be a lawsuit from the Royal Family against the weekly owned by the Berlusconi family. Kate and William have been in Mustique for a few days. The island is famous for the parties in the 1960s held by Princess Margaret - the younger sister of Queen Elizabeth - with Mick Jagger and other stars from the world of music and cinema. It's one of the most expensive islands for celebrities in the Caribbean, with dozens of de luxe villas. The one which the two royals are renting costs 30,000 euros a week: the British tabloids reporters were in evidence in recent days, but left before the arrival of the Royal couple. It's not however clear if William and Kate will pay for their holidays, or if they are guests of the owners of the magnificent residence.
From 'La Repubblica', 12 February, 2013
Translated by Patrick West, 14-2-13