With the recent ruling in favor of the royals which specifically orders French gossip magazine, Closer, to turn over all digital copies of the topless photos of the Duchess of Cambridge in the next 24 hours as well as halt any further publication from using what the courts called a "brutal display" of William and Kate's private moments, one can't help but wonder if even in the afterglow of this victory have we learned anything from the death of the late Princess Diana?
The photos, which show Kate sunbathing at a friend's private villa in Provence in southern France, capture her without her bikini top and in one case, her swimsuit bottom is slightly pulled down as she aptly applies sunscreen. Newly married, on private property and sunbathing topless in France? Hardly a crime and rather tame in comparison to Prince Harry's recent and very public drunk and nude romp in Las Vegas.
Christopher Mesnooh, an American lawyer working in Paris, explains that while French law advocates for privacy rights, tabloids can still benefit even if they face stiff fines. It appears to give satisfaction entirely to the royal couple," Mesnooh said of Tuesday's ruling. "The problem with this kind of decision is the horse got out of the barn a long time ago."
While not exactly the scenario faced by the late Princess Diana, isn't this the same kind of paparazzi feeding frenzy that led to her untimely death? Are we forcing young Kate down the same path? And what will it take to allow the royal family to be anything other than human?
While this ruling does appear to be a victory for the couple, the photos have done their damage and will certainly circulate across the digital highway forever.
So the questions begs: At what point does this stop simply being a private problem and begin being seen as a public responsibility? Kate is a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend and quite probably one day soon, a mother. Who of us would want this to happen to someone we loved and could we weather the public humiliation as it appears Kate must? While so many react with horror and speak in public of their outrage, privately, these same people scour the Internet for a free glimpse of the young royal. Clearly, thousands of magazines have already been sold abroad with thousands more waiting to capitalize on any photos that mysteriously surface in the coming weeks.
Wasn't the unfortunate fate of our beloved Diana enough of a wake-up call? Clearly our newest sweetheart from across the pond is also being harassed. Can she can expect anything more from the public than was offered her late mother-in-law?