Why We’re All to Blame for Kate Middleton’s PR Problem

Poor Kate Middleton. And you thought your parents were paranoid about what the neighbors think.

As you’ve certainly heard by now, a photographer recently captured images of the Duchess of Cambridge topless and sold them to the highest bidder (you may have even seen the evidence if you’re a fan of French tabloid magazines or, you know, the Internet). Now Kate Middleton can only go to one of thousands of remote beaches in Europe if she wants to sunbathe nude.

But of course, this story isn’t about the human race’s painful struggle to come to grips with our own nudity. This is about an invasion of privacy, and the Royal Family is pissed. We get it.

See, this “scandal” concerns principle as much as public relations. Anyone who doesn’t want their government or corporations spying on them, invading their privacy and infringing on their freedoms should stand behind the Royal Family.

It’s easy to poke fun at pampered Cambridge folk and mock the hypocrisies of a mid-sized island country that was once an empire, but this PR dilemma has nothing to do with Kate Middleton behaving badly. This is the result of a culture—yes, that means all of us known collectively as “the public”—behaving badly.

Any behavior that rewards the exploitation of fellow human beings—on any level—shouldn’t be tolerated, let alone rewarded. For some reason, though, the public is fine with tabloids exploiting celebrities. “They’re famous,” we say. “It’s part of the deal.”

Try telling Princess Diana it’s part of the deal. The truth is that we, as a society, are all complicit in this crime against Kate Middleton. It’s harassment; it’s a personal assault; it’s soul trespassing—and by accepting it, we’re encouraging it.

If we were Kate Middleton’s PR advisors, the official Royal Family response would read as such: “Dear Public, We didn’t do anything wrong. This is your problem. Good day.”

Unfortunately, in our culture it’s more shameful to walk around nude than it is to walk around reading a publication that profits from human frailty and exploitation.

This one is on us. For shame!

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