Duchess has been treated shamefully
It is hard to imagine a more blatant invasion of privacy than the publication of topless photographs of the Duchess of Cambridge in a French magazine. This is not the same as the recent controversy over pictures of Prince Harry naked.
The argument that publishing those photographs was in the public interest might have been weak but it was at least debatable, and he was, to an extent, the architect of his own misfortune.
In the case of the Duchess of Cambridge there is not the remotest justification for publishing pictures of her topless.
She was engaged in the harmless activity of sunbathing with her husband William in the entirely private setting of a French chateau and the photographs must have been taken using a long lens.
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The magazine's editor says the royal couple were on the terrace of a mansion and were visible from the street.
Even if that was the case it does not add up to an open invitation to take and publish photographs of the Duchess.
Just because it was possible does not make it right. Everybody, whatever their status, is entitled to privacy in such circumstances without having to check every potential line of sight in case there is a photographer lurking nearby.
There is not the slightest chance of the British press publishing these pictures.
The law and the Press Complaints Commission's code of conduct could hardly be clearer that doing so would represent an appalling breach of privacy.
And newspaper editors will also share their readers' anger and revulsion that the Duchess has been treated in such a shameful way.
The Leveson inquiry has put the behaviour of the press under intense scrutiny and has undoubtedly changed the climate in which newspapers operate.
However, one doubts that any newspaper would have printed these pictures even before Leveson, certainly not in recent years.
The breach of privacy is so outrageous that there is no conceivable argument in favour of publication and it is a shame the editor of the French magazine in question thinks otherwise.