The picture of a topless future Queen is not exactly a major French news story, where news reporting and celebrity gossip are kept much more strictly separate.
But what the French are fascinated by is the outraged reaction of the protective British to the pictures of the Duchess, on a private holiday with her husband Prince William.
And French commentators are dying to know if the British press will publish the pictures, as The Sun did when naked photos of Prince Harry emerged.
Paul Ackermann, editor of Le Huffington Post in France, said: “Over here, it’s not really the pictures that people are interested in.
“In France, Kate’s just another celebrity. But what people are really interested to see is the reaction of the British press and the British readers.
“That’s what the French want to know. Our immediate reaction was, after the naked pictures of Harry were published, will a tabloid in England publish these ones of Kate?
“What will the papers say and what will this do to the image of the monarchy in the UK. Or will people say, this is back to the bad old days of Lady Di, when the paparazzi went too far.”
Guy Birenbaum, a columnist on Europe 1, told Le Huffington Post: “I lived through the time of the hounding of Princess Diana, and I still remember the contrite statements given at the time, how it was promised that these two kids deprived of their mother should receive some sort of protection.
“I found a French National Union of Journalists (SNJ) press release this morning. It was titled: “The Death of Lady Diana and hunting celebrities.
“It reads: ‘The SNJ considers that the practice of hunting stars and denying them their privacy has nothing to do with journalism.
“‘This trend must be called into question: the market, the race, the intimate scoops and printing false information.'”
He added: “Yes, but today, hey, this is old news, water under the bridge! Both boys have grown up. They have hairy legs!
“Of course, when Harry dresses up in a Nazi uniform or utters racist nonsense, it’s normal, even healthy to write about it.
“However, I confess my weariness with these wooden scoops nowadays. The “Royals” naked? Who cares, right? In any case, I do not care. But this is not the case for everyone.
“Yesterday evening, [Closer editor] Laurence Pieau tweeted: “The World # exclusive Closer tomorrow Kate Middleton like you’ve never seen the like … and you will not see ever. ”
“How can Laurence Pieau say we will never again see topless Kate. Does she mean she and her colleagues will stop chasing the royal couple?
“I don’t think so.”
Stéphane Bern wrote for Le Nouvel Observateur: ” Respect for privacy is obviously an abstract concept for the management of “Closer”.
“For my part, I have more respect for journalists who risk their lives in Syria to bring the important news to us, than I do for the thieves and paparazzi images that delve into the lives of individuals and violate their privacy.”
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