Sunday, September 16, 2012

Topless Kate Middleton Pics & an Aussie Connection

William & Kate in Malaysia
While the brouhaha over the topless photographs of HRH The Duchess of Cambridge gets more dramatic by the day, an Australian connection is emerging.

A fortnight ago Bauer Media, Europe's largest privately owned publishing firm purchased Australia's largest magazine empire ACP for around $500M. Bauer Media also own the Closer brand of magazines. The topless photographs have been published in the French edition of Closer and the editor is unrepentant with reports now emerging that there are further pics to be published next  week.

Bauer have issued a statement deploring the use of the topless photographs of Kate Middleton and have complained to the magazine but the French edition is published under license by an Italian publisher Mondadori.

Bauer CEO Paul Keenan says he has asked Closer to remove the pics : "We deplore the publication of these intrusive and offensive pictures and have asked that Closer France takes these pictures down immediately from its website and desist from publishing any further pictures"'. Bauer are said to be reviewing the Closer license with Mondadori.
Where does this leave the Australian Woman's Day, the biggest selling weekly magazine and new Baeur acquisition ?. WD is in fierce competition with New Idea (owned by billionaire Kerry Stokes' Pacific Magazines) and barely a week goes by without the 2 glossies running a feature on Prince William and Kate. A month ago we can imagine a bidding war would have erupted between the 2 mags for the topless photos. New Idea was the first to breach an agreement, not to mention that Prince Harry was serving in Afghanistan in 2008.

The Shuttle has worked on a number of occasions with the British royals including the late Princess Diana on her last visit to Australia. We once attended a dinner for HRH Prince Edward at Lady Mary Fairfax's pile Fairwater. Twenty guests had paid $10,000 each for the privilege of dining with Edward (the money went to charity) with the promise of a snap with the royal. The Shuttle obliged but not before an arrangement was made with Edward's minders- 2 charming but lethal looking gentleman from Scotland Yard's Royal Protection Squad. The Shuttle was to be searched before we left the function to ensure we had not taken any covert pics of Edward, perhaps rubbing his bald spot and so on. We were happy to oblige.
But where were Kate Middleton's minders while she was holidaying in France and for that matter, Prince Harry's when he was in Las Vegas ?.