British press rally behind Kate over topless snaps

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Prince William and Kate. AP

LONDON– The British press rushed to the defence of Prince William’s wife Catherine on Saturday after grainy topless pictures of her were printed in a French gossip magazine.

The royal couple launched legal action on Friday against French magazine Closer — which is part of the media empire of former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi — over the paparazzi pictures of Catherine sunbathing.

Many of Saturday’s newspapers drew a comparison between Catherine, 30, and William’s mother Diana — who died in a Paris car crash in 1997 after being pursued through the streets by paparazzi.

“I won’t let Kate suffer like my mother,” was the Daily Mirror tabloid’s headline.

Denouncing Closer as a “Peeping Tom”, it declared: “Public figures who behave well have the right to a private life. A long lens prying on Kate sunbathing topless on a private estate is a clear breach of this right.”

Like several of its competitors, it juxtaposed images of Catherine wearing a white veil on Friday on her current trip to Malaysia, and Diana wearing a similar veil during a trip to Cairo in 1992.

The Daily Mail tabloid blasted Closer’s decision to print the images with the headline, “Grotesque!”, echoing the palace’s own words on the matter.

It described the publication of the photos as “an indefensible intrusion of privacy”.

Several British newspapers took a wider swipe at French media ethics and privacy laws.

“A French media which chose not to expose the love child of President Mitterrand and the behaviour of Dominique Strauss-Kahn shouldn’t be hounding a British royal,” said the Mirror.

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