Royals, Lighten Up! The Palace Fights the Release of Kate Middleton's Bikini Photos

We realize that paparazzi shots are upsetting, but the young royals are in the public eye -- why are they entitled to more privacy than celebs

Against all odds, Kate Middleton is trying to maintain a shred of privacy. The pregnant Duchess of Cambridge was photographed in a bikini last week while relaxing on a secluded Caribbean beach with Prince William. The blurry pics offer the much-in-demand glimpse of the royal baby bump. They were also taken on the sly, and will soon be published in Italian and American tabloids -- all without Middleton's permission.

"We are disappointed that photographs of the Duke and Duchess on a private holiday look likely to be published overseas," a palace spokesperson told the press. "This is a clear breach of the couple’s right to privacy."

No one would argue that it's not. But how much privacy is the royal family actually entitled to? In this day and age, photographs of celebrities on private vacations are published all the time. It may not be fair, but it comes with the territory. Why is it a huge royal scandal when it happens to Will and Kate, two of the most recognizable beautiful people in the world?

This is not to say that they don't have their rights. The publication of topless photographs of Kate last year, taken on private property by a long-range camera lens, was an outrage. But the bottom line is, England can no longer protect its royals from the paparazzi. There are too many photographers out there, and the pictures are just too valuable. Someone will always want to take them, and someone else will always want to publish them.

So what is the royal family to do? Obviously, anxiety is running high with the heir to the throne being born in July. Maybe the best thing for everybody to do is take a deep breath, and realize that a photo of Kate in a two-piece is not the end of the world.

And while they're at it, how about releasing more official photos of the happy couple? People don't really care if they're looking at approved images or stolen ones. They just want to get a glimpse of the mom-to-be. Is that really so wrong?

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