Prince William and Kate – I’m sorry, Catherine – Middleton decided to take a break from the shit weather the UK’s been getting this winter (and, okay, always) and have a little holiday in Mustique, the private $50,000 per night island in the Caribbean. Of course, where the stars go, the cameras will follow and as the future of the monarchy, eyes were heavily on the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as they always are – even more so now that there’s a royal baby on the way.
The Italian magazine Chi came under intense scrutiny this week after publishing photos of the pair strolling the beach, Kate in a bikini, offering the first glimpse of the royal baby bump. The UK went absolutely buck wild, lashing out at the publication for violating the royal family’s privacy and calling for an immediate ban of the photos. Blah blah blah.
As you may or may not remember, this is not the first time private pictures have been published in the press. Still, this situation pretty much has about 0% in common with that incident, given that the previous photos were taken by photographers hiding in bushes, peeking into a private villa of a topless Kate Middleton. Chi’s pictures were taken on the beach where Kate and William mingled with other beach-goers in public view and probably would have known there might be cameras – professional or iPhone – on the loose.
Here’s the thing, though: who really cares? I’m pretty much full-blown English at this point, having lived in the UK quite a bit and planning to move here for good, and while I love the royal family and support the monarchy in its limited capacity, I just don’t get it. The UK is so hypersensitive about these photos that when ITV’s This Morning accidentally displayed the Chi cover unblurred yesterday, they issued a network-wide “unreserved” apology for their disrespectful error. Like, what? I don’t see you apologising to Lady GaGa for showing pictures of her falling off her God-awful hoof shoes or Lindsay Lohan falling out of yet another club with a nose full of coke.
I get that the nature of their role as public figures is more dignified and upstanding than most typical celebrities, and I also fully appreciate the invasiveness of the paparazzi and the inappropriateness of private snooping on stars for the sake of that one photo to make them big money. It’s a serious problem, and no one is arguing that. But seeing Kate Middleton in a bikini is not going to make the UK economy collapse or the anarchists to come to power. In fact, the bigger fuss is made about it, the more they’ll circulate and the bigger an issue it’ll become.