In the same week that I learned that the Duchess of Cambridge could speak, I also learned that she has a pair of breasts underneath her clothes, as some creepily illegal spying by paid peeping toms meant pictures have emerged of Kate sunbathing topless. And under her top are her breasts. Earth shattering stuff I’m sure you’ll agree. What were they expecting under there, a couple of tiaras and a copy of Debrett’s?
I feel sorry for Kate, taking pictures of her topless in these circumstances is a crap (and it seems illegal) thing to do. But I’m not surprised.
What do we know about Kate: Okay, she met Prince William whilst modelling a sheer dress with big pants and a boob tube in a university fashion show. We know the designer, price and exact number of times she has worn pretty much anything she has worn since she and William became engaged. I know which hats, bags and dresses have been loaned to or borrowed from her mother and her sister. I know that she chose to do her own make up for her wedding, her sister has a nice bum, she likes nude heels and dressing to match the occasion. I’m less sure about what she did at University when she wasn’t keeping it real in the Co-Op with William buying frozen pizza.
By that I mean I have no idea what she studied.
I don’t know what she thinks about marrying into the royal family. What her views are on the law change that will allow her firstborn daughter to ascend to the throne before her sons, should she have children. I don’t know how she sees her role as future Queen of England. In short I don’t know what she thinks, and despite being on glance recognisable terms with her hair, face and figure, I don’t even know what her voice sounds like.
Pretty much everything that we know about Kate starts at her glossy mane* of hair and ends at her nude pumps**, with some speculation in between about sleeve and skirt lengths and the contents of her uterus.
The Duchess of Cambridge has been silenced. Instead of getting to know her – or the public persona that she chooses to present to us – we are instead fed a steady stream of information about where her clothes and accessories come from, illustrated by pictures of her waving from this runway or that charity gala, or else she’s crouching by a photogenic but unfortunate child. So much has the focus been on Kate’s clothes and appearance that it was almost inevitable that the gossip magazines went digging for more of what was successful in selling the Duchess, and selling newspapers – her body. When Kate became the Duchess of Cambridge, it’s almost like we were given one of those paper princess dollies that you dress up with cut out paper dresses with little tabs. Sooner or later someone was going to show us what was under the paper dresses, and we were going to look.
Terrible though the behaviour of the French photographers was, the stage had already been set by our own media, whose cries of outrage at the printing of topless images of Kate are tempered by the constant articles that attempt to divine what is happening in her womb, or that objectify her with their focus on her clothes, her face, her hair.
The fact none of the people in charge of looking after Kate’s public image felt it necessary for us to hear her talk in the past year both amazes and appalls me. Charles is allowed to talk, even when he’s advocating talking to your plants. Harry gets to clown for the cameras and charm his way out of cavorting naked in swimming pools in Las Vegas. Kate, well Kate is ‘protected’ by the palace by not being allowed to speak for a year, so that the scrutiny of her image has intensified to the extent that it has started to claw through her clothes to her naked body.
If I were one of Kate’s people she wouldn’t be sending out press releases from the anonymity of a palace spokesperson talking about her fury at the intrusion these pictures have caused her body and her privacy. She’d be out there saying it herself. She’d be talking about the way that women are constantly reduced in the press around the world to their body, their faces and the occupancy rate of their wombs. We’d soon forget about some blurry photos of her tits if we had footage of her being pissed off, and actually speaking about it.
Kate, you’ve been done a wrong. But it happened way before the idiots with the long lenses and the short morals hid in some bushes to take photos of your breasts. It happened when you let them sell you as a walking mannequin whose inner most thoughts can be expressed in whether or not she buys out of season designer clothes and then wears them twice.
Women need you not to consent to that role Kate, and so do you.
* I think it’s an unwritten law that this description must appear in any article written about Kate
* As above