The saga involving topless photos of the Duchess of Cambridge continues to make international headline news. Latest developments find that French authorities are finally responding to the complaint lodged by Prince William last summer. It has been revealed that the police are preparing to charge the photographer responsible. Prosecutors have been passed the name of the perpetrator who was responsible for taking the pictures. If he’s found guilty, the paparazzi could face up to a year in prison and a £36,000 fine. A royal source said: “William and Kate are determined to bring the person who took those photos to justice and they’re pushing hard for a custodial sentence. They want to make an example of this person.”
It transpires that more than 200 pictures were taken of the Royal couple with a telephoto lens while they holidayed in a French chateau belonging to the Prince’s cousin Lord Linley, the Queen’s nephew and the Chairman of Christies, the auctioneers. The story of nude photos of the Duchess of Cambridge has now run for weeks and weeks and it is time to bury it and move on. It is also time to think of regulating the press, giving them strict guidelines of what they can and can not publish. The government must bring in higher fines for rogue photographers who seek to damage the reputation of celebrities and members of the public in the news.
The press in the UK has been a self regulatory body for many years. With scandals like the many cases involving the News of The World, who hacked into celebrities and ordinary members of the public’s mobile phones to retrieve messages, changes the goalposts about the issue of self- regulation. It is now likely that former senior members of the editorial staff at NOW will pay the price for bringing the the entire industry into disrepute by going to jail. This will not be enough for a lot of people. What is needed are laws and strict guidelines governing the practices of the tabloid press. The standards have fallen so low that sleaze, corruption and criminality have infiltrated the ranks of once respected newspapers. A few scapegoats put behind bars is not the answer.
The identity of this photographer is now known. This unfortunately means more headlines of “Royal topless photos” and an endless debate as to whether this private moment was in the public interest. Closer Magazine, the original magazine to publish the photos, has admitted to hiring the photographer but Under French law the magazine doesn’t have to release the photographer’s identity under freedom of the press laws. Prince William filed a criminal complaint against the person in Paris and the name has now been passed to the authorities, who will interview him over the next few days. It is not known who released the name to the police.