There's been all sorts of hullabaloo this week about European magazines releasing photos of a topless Kate Middleton, newest member of the royal family. Kate and her husband, Prince William, were apparently on vacation at a private residence in France and were zoomed in on by paparazzi with a long lens. "News" outlets are chattering (I put "news" in quotes because, seriously, is this really news??), Buckingham Palace is angry that the photos were released, and the French are shrugging whatever and pointing fingers at countries that think being naked is a bad thing while talk show hosts are tsk-tsking about a lack of privacy in today's world and making comparisons between Kate and the unfortunate Diana, who came to a bad end while pursued by photographers in a Paris tunnel.
To those who are chirping about a lack of privacy, have you been under a rock for the past ten years? People can now take pictures -- and videos -- on a gadget they carry around in their pockets. Facebook lets us know when others are going to the store, to the doctor, to the bathroom. Kids are in perpetual communication via texting. Somebody's dog barks and they put it on Youtube. There are sixty dozen "entertainment" programs on TV that let us know every move every celebrity makes, complete with quotes, photos, film, and comments from anybody with fingers and a keyboard. The entire world has become a small town beauty salon where everybody knows what everybody else is doing every minute of the day. Gossip is our god.
So to Kate and the chagrined Brits...come on, folks: take a reality check. If you're a public figure (which you most certainly are, Princess), topless sunbathing in private or not is a risk. That you're shocked by a photographer with Star Trek-worthy equipment is naive and ridiculous. You signed on for this life when you got married, and as long as there are media outlets paying for celebrity images, you're a target. And here's a tip: there's nothing easier than preventing your naked self from being in the public eye...keep your royal clothes on.