It's only Tuesday and it's already been a bad week for Kate, Duchess of Cambridge. Italy's Chi magazine, following on the heels of France's Closer, published a 26-page spread of topless photos taken while the royal couple was vacationing at a friend's home in the South of France. Servers around the world are crashing from the search volume.
This just days after actress Alison Pill tweeted a hot-librarian topless picture of herself to her 30,000 followers, not to mention the Library of Congress. Oops.
"That picture happened," Pill tweeted by way of apology. "How a deletion turned into a tweet... apologies." Has this generation learned nothing from Weinergate? Naughty pictures, Twitter, and privacy do not mix. If you don't want the world to see it, don't use a permanent and public social medium as your method of transport.
Inadvertently, however, Pill hit on the real issue: that picture happened. She took off her bra, she got a good smartphone angle -- and snap! -- there was an Internet scandal, just waiting to be born. Like Chekhov's gun, which if referenced in the first act must go off in the third, the presence of a topless picture seems to indicate an inevitable public release, followed by an inevitable mea culpa, and round of self-deprecating talk show appearances to keep the career on track.
The Duchess of Cambridge was not so uncouth as to take her own nude photographs. But if you're Kate -- possibly the most photographed woman in the world -- there's a simple solution to making sure zero topless photos of you ever surface: keep your bikini top on. I know it's the South of France and it's what all the kids are doing. But so what?
It was without question a "grotesque" act to train telephoto lenses on a private home's balcony. It is a shame that Kate should have no expectation of privacy. But she shouldn't. That photos of a topless Kate surfaced -- after she appeared topless in the great outdoors -- is an outcome that could have been predicted by absolutely everyone.
For all young ladies of Kate of Windsor and Alison Pill's generation, there's an important lesson here: keep your top on where strangers can see you.
If you can't do that, keep your smartphone off.
If you can't do that, keep it off the Internet.
If you can't do that? You'll be the next one crashing Yahoo!'s servers.
Follow Amy Wilson on Twitter: www.twitter.com/amywlsn