The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Entertainment

September 14, 2012

Topless photos of UK's Kate draw royal scrutiny

(Continued)

No major British publication carried the photos, including Rupert Murdoch's top-selling U.K. tabloid The Sun, which last month ran photos of a naked Prince Harry cavorting in a Las Vegas hotel room.

Media experts in Britain said concerns that Kate's privacy had been invaded would likely mean the images wouldn't be published by the country's newspapers.

"They won't get published in this country, and if I was still an editor I would not be publishing them," former News of the World executive editor Neil Wallis told BBC radio. "There's absolutely no chance whatsoever that they will be published in this country."

Wallis, who was arrested last year over the phone hacking scandal at Murdoch's infamous — and now defunct — tabloid, said publishing the images would breach British Press Complaints Commission rules on privacy.

The commission — frequently criticized as a toothless guardian of press standards — has told British newspapers it is unacceptable to photograph individuals in private places without their consent.

Wallis said there was no justification to run with the images of the duchess, whereas the publication of photographs of Prince Harry naked in a Las Vegas hotel suite was legitimate as it raised questions both about the security arrangements for the third in line to the British throne and also about his judgment.

The British press has been more cautious than usual in the last year because of the phone hacking scandal, which has uncovered widespread intrusion into the private lives of numerous celebrities, politicians and even crime victims.

A spokeswoman for Prime Minister David Cameron, speaking Friday on condition of anonymity in line with policy, said the royal couple was "entitled to their privacy."

She said Cameron — who had not seen the photographs — was not appealing directly to editors to refrain from printing the images, but reminded the media that a U.K. inquiry is now scrutinizing how newspapers are regulated.

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