One cannot imagine individually the grueling life of a duchess, princess, countess, or (future) queen. However, Duchess Kate Middleton must delicately balance all four with the utmost grace and charm. It may all appear to be ballgowns and tiaras, but the rules and proper etiquette attached to every little action would be enough to make your head spin.
Now, this doesn’t mean she always succeeds. In fact, the queen has been known to disapprove of Kate’s fashion choices, more specifically the length of the hemline on her skirts and dresses. She even went so far as to order a complete overhaul of Kate’s closet.
It’s hard enough having to fix all the mistakes that are in your control, but what about those that are not? It appears even royalty are not always fully immune to the dangers of the paparazzi, as we so tragically saw with Princess Diana.
The Duchess of Cambridge recently had to endure the scandal and personal humiliation of having topless photos taken of her while sunbathing on a vacation in 2012. The photos were taken with a long lens when the duke and duchess stayed at the home of a nephew of Queen Elizabeth, Viscount Linley.
The magazine Closer and regional newspaper La Provence both published the grainy photos of the duchess and were quickly met with a lawsuit from the royal couple asking for 1.5 million euros in damages. The court recently awarded 100,000 euros to the duke and duchess. It also ruled that the maximum fine allowed under French law be given to both the editor of Closer and the CEO of the publishing house that owns the magazine. This fine is for the amount of 45,000 euros.
Paul-Albert Inweis, the main lawyer for Closer said, “The Windsor spouses sought 1.5 million euros in damages from the court but they got 50,000 each, which is in line with the jurisprudence. This is welcome,” he said. “On the other hand, the fine — which corresponds to the maximum fine — seems somewhat exaggerated for a private dispute.”
The insensitive handling of these private photos did not sit well with Prince William who voiced his opinion on the issue saying the decision to publish the images was “particularly shocking.” This is of course in reference to the death of his own mother which was heavily caused by paparazzi that were pursuing her vehicle.
“The incident is reminiscent of the worst excesses of the press and paparazzi during the life of Diana, Princess of Wales, and all the more upsetting to The Duke and Duchess for being so,” a palace spokesman said in 2012.
Immediately following the incident in 2012, the magazine was fined and banned from distributing their publication online or in print. The court also ordered the original images be turned over to the couple within 24 hours and a fine of 2,000 euros be paid to them as well.
Today, as a mother of two beautiful children with one more on the way, the eyes of everyone are on her now more than ever. However, we’re confident she will continue to emanate the same level of poise and elegance that we’ve come to love and adore.