Kate Middleton, going topless and privacy

You will probably have read that Kate Middleton, or Catherine, Princess of Wales and future Queen of the United Kingdom, to give her her proper title, was photographed sunbathing topless in the privacy of a French chateau a week or so ago, and a French magazine decided to publish them. Having seen the photographs in question, I can confirm that they appear to have been taken from Belgium and that the grainy, ill defined snaps are a) terrible and b) a terrible invasion of privacy. They also appear to confirm that the young, married woman daringly exposing herself to her husband, has breasts. Stop the press!

You can obviously imagine my delight on subsequently being offered some SL paparazzi shots, taken from a tree top about 200 metres from the main beach/dancing area at Turtle beach. This isn’t extreme voyeurism, you understand, but ‘the public interest’. I’m sure that each and every one of you are in agreement with me that people getting their breasts out in SL, as well as their vaginas and penises, are a topic that we simply need to cover in the public interest.

In fact, the photographer who spent three hours hiding in the tree claims he’d even have taken a photograph of these nudists at Turtle if they’d had clothes on. And we agree. If they’d had clothes on we’d still have taken the brave decision to publish them on the basis that you -the SLN readership- simply need to know that people have sexual organs which are sometimes being thrust in our faces from a neighbouring country with what looks like a Box Brownie.And sometimes are even covered up, the shameless tarts and tramps!

As editor, I have purchased these photographs at great expense and taken great care to effectively write a blog headline which will see this blog’s click through of readers ‘spike’ dramatically tomorrow and the following day. A kind of SL equivalent of a big, moral guardian editorial and front cover of a RL tabloid newspaper intended to push sales. All in ‘the public interest’, you understand.

It’s how RL ‘newspaper’ publishing, and blogging of any description, work. I’ll let you know the percentage rise in readership, due to the headline I’ve written and which will turn up in search engines, next week.

I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, a monarchist. Why should someone born into a particular family enjoy a life of unparalleled privilege? (And, in equal measure, lifelong menial service to their country)

I live in Scotland, a country seeking independence from the United Kingdom which will one day have Catherine as its Queen. A Scotland led by idiot donkeys, who would turn it into a third world country within a generation, I should add. But I do tend to be more of a republican at heart, as opposed to a monarchist. And despite that again, I’d prefer the current Queen to some narcissist moron like Tony Blair, the former Prime Minister, being appointed ‘President of the United Kingdom’.

So what have we got? A couple of lousy photos, just like real life. A voyeuristic invasion of those avatars’ privacy not to be splashed all over the web, just like real life. The likelihood of a huge increase in this blog’s readership, due to a carefully worded headline, just like real life.

The RL Catherine photos are a gross invasion of privacy and serve no purpose. The ‘public interest’ claim may be just about justifiable because the public (adolescent and middle aged men, in the main) will be interested in looking at any celebrity’s ‘norks’, as one particular commentator in need of acne cream, I suspect, put it.

There is nothing worthwhile about any celebrity’s ‘exposure’ in private (although I sometimes suspect these are carefully calculated PR stunts in the case of ‘B’ list celebrities). There is something slightly odd, in the 21st century, that women’s breasts are still a cause of such interest, and there is something nauseating about those who take these sort of photographs, buy them and consume them. We, as a species, need to re-examine our prurient interest in these sort of photos, and re-examine our morality in continuing to feed this sort of nonsense. But these sort of photos are a violation, and perhaps we need to consider putting in place laws that see the paparazzi involved in these sort of invasive, voyeuristic photos jailed with terms that match other crimes that involve violation. What’s the difference between the Catherine photos -alleged public interest’- and me, you, or anyone else taking grainy photos of our neighbours’ kitchen? Waiting for that moment on a sultry night when the man or woman of the house wanders down to the fridge for a glass of juice, naked, and we capture a photo of their ‘bits’ when the fridge door opens? Exactly what is it that makes the difference between voyeurism and paparazzi? A better camera? People involved in ‘peeping Tom’ photos, in the UK certainly, go to prison. I would advocate photographers involved in the gross invasion of Catherine’s privacy should be exposed to the same rigours of the law.


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