Showing the royal jewels

These grainy photos of Kate appeared in a French magazine

It sure seems like members of the British royal family like to get naked.

First it was Prince Harry in Vegas, photographed with his willie and all, playing strip billiards. The photos went pubic, oops, public almost immediately.

Now, it’s Princess Kate, who was sunbathing topless on vacation in Provence. A French magazine published some of the photos, and there are rumors that much more intimate ones may exist. An Irish publication also published the photos and an Italian magazine says it will have a spread of more than 30 pages of the photos.

Attorneys for the royals are going to court to try to punish the magazines for invasion of privacy. It seems likely they’ll win and the magazines will be hit with money judgments, but it’s really a weak punitive measure.

Here’s why. In Europe, money awarded for invasion of privacy is much less than in the United States. In Europe, the attorneys might expect to have a magazine docked $15,000 or $20,000 for running such photos. The magazines stand to make a lot more than that in profit, so the decision to run the photos is a no-brainer.

If the case were in the U.S., the royals could expect to win millions, enough to discourage publication of nude photos. No U.S. magazine or newspaper has run the photos undoctored because of this difference.

Also, it sure seems like there’s a big gender gap. When Prince Harry fleshed out in Vegas, there didn’t seem to be a huge outcry against the photographers and a rush for justice. But when a British princess is naked from the waist up, well, that’s just scandalous.

It’s hard to understand why these members of the royal family expose themselves. They have to know the press is stalking them 24/7. They could very easily avoid the whole issue with one simple act, by just keeping their clothes on in public.