Although Prince William and Duchess Kate’s recent trip to New Zealand and Australia with baby Prince George provided plenty of adorable photo ops, one image from the trip may end up overshadowing their fun trip: a photograph of Middleton from behind, with her dress blowing up in the wind, exposing part of her bare bum.
Although nearly every British newspaper and magazine declined to run the picture, German tabloid Bild went ahead and posted the shot on its website. But unlike previous unflattering pictures of the future queen of England, this photo wasn’t taken by a member of the paparazzi. It was an accidental snapshot taken by Diane Morel, a travel agent in Australia’s Blue Mountains, one of the scenic spots the royal couple visited on their tour. The region was the site of a large fire in the fall of 2013 and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were there to meet with locals who had been affected by the disaster.
“It wasn’t until I got home and I popped my camera card into the computer that I realised what I had captured,” Morel told The Telegraph about her now-infamous photo. And it sounds like she has seller’s remorse. “Kate and William spent so much time speaking to the victims of the bushfires that I decided I would donate any money raised from the sale of the photo to the Blue Mountains Bushfire Mayoral Relief Fund.”
While Morel is trying to make amends, not everyone places the blame on the photographer. Tom Sykes, who writes The Daily Beast’s column The Royalist, chided Kate for not sewing weights into the hems of her skirts, something that Queen Elizabeth II has been doing for a long time.
“Kate’s patronage of the High Street is undoubtedly partly to blame. Such products are not suited for the rigours of public life, and need to be adapted, at the very least by sewing in hem weights. Not doing that meant that this disaster was just waiting to happen,” Sykes wrote, noting that Middleton is known for choosing clothes from mainstream stores like Topshop.
“That picture has now become the image by which the whole Australasian tour will be remembered. One snap and a month’s hard slog is, if not undone, very much compromised,” he added.
This is not the first time that intimate photos of Middleton have been published. Paparazzi pictures of Middleton sunbathing topless while on a vacation in France in 2012 were printed in the French magazine Closer and appeared on many US websites. And her brother-in-law, Prince Harry, also fell victim to a nude photo scandal. TMZ published pictures of the now fourth-in-line to the throne in a hotel suite naked while partying in Las Vegas.
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