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The Week That Was: Kate's Fate

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KATE MIDDLETON MORNING SICKNESS
AP

"We are disappointed that photographs of the Duke and Duchess on a private holiday look likely to be published overseas. This is a clear breach of the couple's right to privacy."

And so it came, the inevitable comment from St James' Palace, muted in its disapproval, but as close to hopping mad as a Royal spokesperson is probably allowed to be. A day after British papers published the fact - if not the actual pictures - that there were photos of the Duchess of Cambridge, bikini-clad and bump on show, in circulation.

Too little too late, or fairly pointless given the owners of Italian gossip mag Chi - the first to publish the photos, but probably not the last - clearly don't give two hoots about an angry press officer over in London, no matter who their employer might be.

You know the script by now: Kate and Wills on holiday in Mustique in a £19,000-per-night villa (or £18,000 per night, depending on which paper you're reading), caught on camera walking along the beach. She's in a bikini which shows the very early signs of a baby bump, he's in swim shorts.

What's your take?

Initial reaction from pretty much every female I know was horror, not so much that the poor woman can't so much as sneeze without someone capturing the moment for posterity, but that if you're going to be photographed in a bikini, you want a tiny bit of warning, and that's even if the picture is only being saved to someone's iPhone, rather than splashed across supermarket shelves the world over.

And if you can't escape the photographer's long-lens in Mustique, where the paparazzi is essentially banned, where can you? Clearly not France, where Kate was snapped topless last year - the photos from that holiday also winding up on the cover of Chi magazine.

Not everyone is so indignant, however. I've had plenty of people this week shrug their shoulders when the topic comes up in conversation. She knew what she was getting herself into when she married into "The Firm". She's walking along a beach, not inside a private house. And she is pregnant and of course everyone was going to be interested to see her bump. What's the big issue? One columnist I spoke to (male, if that makes any difference) said if the expectant couple didn't want long-lens photos, they should have sorted out an official one. Put to one side the fact I can't quite see the Duchess doing a Vanity Fair-style Demi Moore snap to showcase the Royal bump, no matter how insatiable the public appetite for Kate, surely there has to be some spot on the planet she can kick back and just be.

What the episode has proven is how much the British press has changed since William was the bump rather than the father to be. Press rewind to Diana's pregnancy, where photos of her in a similar set-up were fair game for the tabloid press.

Times have changed, and not just because of Leveson. Protective rather than prying, it seems the press here are prepared to give Kate a small amount of space, even if our foreign counterparts don't share the sentiment.

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