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Those Royals And Their Crown Jewels: After Naked Harry, Topless Kate

CLOSER (France), BBC (UK)

Worldcrunch

The Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton is reportedly "furious" after a French magazine published topless pictures of the Royal couple when on holiday in the south of France.

Closer, a French weekly celebrity magazine, hit shelves on Friday with images of Kate Middleton, along with the headline: "Oh my God! The photos that will go global."

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Closer's website teased French readers yesterday before the publication: "Discover the incredible snaps of the future queen of England like you've never seen her before... and like you would never have dreamt of ... The Duchess topless on the terrace of a guesthouse in the Lubéron! OMG!"

The BBC's Royal correspondent, Peter Hunt, says: "They believe a "red line" has been crossed. The couple cannot believe someone would take such photos and publish them."

I mean. You're the future Queen. Get your baps out on a balcony and someone with a wide angled lens is going to seize the day #katemiddleton

— Emma Smith (@WelshAlienLDN) September 14, 2012

However, there is one country in which the saucy photos of the Princess will not be printed... her dear home nation.

With the British tabloid industry marred by phone-hacking scandals, it seems Fleet Street is still treading on eggshells and are therefore choosing not to publish the photos after being offered them last week, the BBC reports.

Instead, the British press today focused on her current visit to Malaysia, with captions extolling her choice of dress: "Kate's the new Diana," "Kate's a real golden girl" and "A goddess in gold."

The publication is the second headache the Royal family has had to deal with in the past month after American gossip website TMZ published naked pictures of Prince Harry, after a party-filled trip to Las Vegas.

Daily tabloid The Sun was the only newspaper that chose to print the photos of Harry, claiming they were of public interest. The newspaper was subsequently bombarded with thousands of complaints.

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Ideas

Calmez-Vous, Americans: It's Quite OK To Call Us "The French"

A widely mocked tweet by the Associated Press tells its reporters to avoid dehumanizing labels such as "the poor" or "the French". But one French writer replies that the real dehumanizing threat is when open conversation becomes impossible.

Parisians sitting on a café terrasse.

Parisians sitting on a café terrasse.

Dirk Broddin on Flickr
Gaspard Koenig

-Essay-

PARIS — The largest U.S. news agency, the Associated Press (AP) tweeted a series of recommendations aimed at journalists: “We recommend avoiding general and often dehumanizing 'the' labels such as the poor, the mentally ill, the French, the disabled, the college-educated. Instead use, wording such as people with mental illnesses.”

The inclusion of “The French” in this list of groups likely to be offended has evoked well-deserved sarcasm. It finally gives me the opportunity to be part of a minority and to confirm at my own expense, while staying true to John Stuart Mill's conception of free speech: that offense is not a crime.

Offense should prompt quips, denial, mockery, and sometimes indifference. It engages conflict in the place where a civilized society accepts and cultivates it: in language.

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