On Monday, life as a royal ended as we know it if their shrill protestations are taken seriously. The world finally saw the complete set of unedited Kate Middleton nude photos in Chi Magazine, the Italian publication that has defied the royals to publish the most scandalous set of pictures of the topless Duchess of Cambridge that have been seen on the internet so far. We say hurray for freedom of the press as we note that the supposed bottomless pics are a fiction.

Photo: Kate Middleton Scandal

Interestingly the tabloid magazines in Great Britain itself have declined to publish the nude pics of Kate. That even goes for the Rupert Murdock publications which dared the royal family by publishing the Prince Harry scandal photos. Because of the phone hacking scandal that is still ongoing, the press in England has lost their mojo. These topless pics of Kate have thus far only legitimately appeared in French publications, the Irish Daily Star, and now Italy. Yes Italy, birth of the renaissance movement which 500 years ago defied authority to champion artistic freedom.

Much more is here and here and here in Italy where they have been reproduced unedited in parts. Note that Chi does not have a website.

With the Kate Middleton scandal pics, the press is intimidated that the powers that be will crack down on them through legislation that may seriously curtail their ability to publish freely. When they ought to be speaking truth to power, they are instead cowering in their corners concerned about future profits. Such a spectacle has not been seen in western nations in generations and future historians will undoubtedly consider it a black mark on press freedoms in our current day and age.

And all this for some harmless pictures of the Duchess of Cambridge nude that perhaps show her having sex with Prince William or perhaps not. Readers can be the judge of exactly what they are seeing in the pics, but the bigger story is why this is a story at all. A million and one celebrities have had scandal pics taken of them by the paparazzi. In this writer’s view, which is perhaps a very American view, the royal family is no different than you and I. Born to privilege, they are welcome to suffer the consequences of their behavior just like anyone else. Indeed it is refreshing.

Chi magazine is the same tabloid that first published pictures of the dying princess Diana in her automobile accident in France. They have come under a lot of fire in the past for that expose, and these new photos of Kate will bring the same scorn (and magazine sales) upon them.

A question for readers is do you find limits to freedom of the press? And should the royal family be treated any differently that other celebrities. My own view is no and no, but can respect other opinions.

Update: Friends of the duchess have have answered this question quite clearly on her behalf. One unnamed bff was quoted in the press as saying, “they were absolutely united in how they felt about it. A red line had been crossed.”

Update 2: Bottomless pictures of Kate Middleton were erroneously reported by the media in late September 2012. Other than the one image you can find in the links of her partially removing her bikini bottom, there are no such pics in existence.

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Video: Duchess of Cambridge in Chi Italia!