When it was first reported that a member of the royal family had become the subject of naked photograph scandal, Prince Harry, already the king of bad judgement, was the natural candidate.
In a fine example of a grown man throwing his toys out of a pram, Rupert Murdoch allegedly ordered The Sun to print the infamous pictures of Harry to prove that the Leveson inquiry had not rendered newspapers impotent.
The Sun’s front-page read: “pictures you’ve already seen on the internet” – thus acknowledging the futility of their publication. The souvenir edition stamp was the real evidence of the paper’s lack of class.
However, the surprise victim of the second royal “scandal” in as many months was the Duchess of Cambridge, falling prey to French paparazzi that notoriously harassed her late mother-in-law.
Whereas Harry was photographed in Sin City thanks to a cocktail of carelessness and probably alcohol, Kate and William were in a secluded château in France seeking a rare moment of privacy. Unfortunately, they were not granted such privilege.
The frankly perverted pictures of a topless Kate are worryingly reminiscent of those taken of Princess Diana 15 years ago. They undoubtedly call issues of privacy into question, but human decency has also suffered here.
Not only did the French edition of Closer consider it reasonable to publish these deeply invasive photos, a disturbing number of people are trying to access them online.
Certain factions of the media have become so blinded by greed that they have sacrificed their moral responsibility for higher revenue, and an increasingly insatiable public are actively encouraging this behaviour. Ultimately, neither of these stories are about freedom of the press; they can barely even be classed as journalism.