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Aisling O'Connor: This is not what Kate signed up for -- and not what she deserved

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Kate, Britain's Duchess of Cambridge, moments after removing her shoes before
entering As-Syakirin mosque in Kuala Lumpur yesterday

Kate, Britain's Duchess of Cambridge, moments after removing her shoes before entering As-Syakirin mosque in Kuala Lumpur yesterday

Kate, Britain's Duchess of Cambridge, moments after removing her shoes before
entering As-Syakirin mosque in Kuala Lumpur yesterday

Kate, Britain's Duchess of Cambridge, moments after removing her shoes before entering As-Syakirin mosque in Kuala Lumpur yesterday

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Kate, Britain's Duchess of Cambridge, moments after removing her shoes before entering As-Syakirin mosque in Kuala Lumpur yesterday

ONLY 48 hours ago a speculative Google search for 'Kate Middleton nude' would have garnered exclusively details on the Duchess of Cambridge's favourite LK Bennett patent leather platform pumps.

Around the same time William and Kate were on an official visit to the As-Syakirin mosque in Kuala Lumpur, the cover of the French edition of 'Closer' magazine was all over the internet. Following Islamic law and protocol Kate covered her hair, and slipped out of her nude shoes, as the world was privy to images of her slipping out of her bikini top on holiday.

'Anger and disbelief' is the reported reaction from William on the release of what appear to be illegally published paparazzi shots of his wife sunning herself topless on a private balcony in Provence in the South of France.

The public outcry from the average Michael and Michelle on Twitter is matched by extreme finger-wagging by the media-at-large at what is deemed to be an invasion of privacy. William and Kate's case is an unusual one in the celebrity press.

Where 'bump-watch' is considered fair game, 'Closer' has been slammed for its decision to print very private pictures of a very private public couple.

There are some who think that Kate was stupid to even take a risk like this, given that her every move has been meticulously chronicled in print and picture since she and William started courting. Kate is no Kim Kardashian. The 'E!' reality star wants to belong to the public. You don't see Kate tweeting pictures of herself in bikinis. Kim has invited the world into her life, her home and even her former marriage for global TV broadcast.

Unfortunately for the former Ms Middleton, she does not belong to herself anymore.

By marrying Britain's future king, she crossed the line into celebrity -- and from there on in, the line ceased to exist. William and the palace are said to have been very protective of her -- though everyone is happy to have a Diana-like beacon in the royal family, neither William nor his grandmother want Diana's fate in the press for his bride.

Kate seems to have followed direction. She flashes the smile and keeps her fashion sense sensible in mostly beige, grey and black -- earning her nicknames 'The Duchess of Dull' and 'Fifty Shades of Greige'.

But these pictures couldn't come at a worse time. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are touring the Far East -- visiting a chiefly Muslim nation when the story hit the press. Where Kate is said to be saddened, there is no doubt that Queen Elizabeth is maddened with the dust of Prince Harry's naked pool party scandal just settling.

Also there are the rumours of a royal pregnancy, which were sparked by an entirely new wardrobe for the Asian tour for a girl who routinely recycles looks, higher waist bands and Kate's tee-totalling at official functions. If she is pregnant, the stress of such frenzy and embarrassment is far from healthy.

Irish woman of the hour, Rosanna Davison is shocked at Middleton's choice to go topless on holiday, wags a finger at 'Closer' and snatches the opportunity to absolve herself from judgment in her tweet yesterday morning: "Surprised she sunbathed topless but she's done nothing wrong & it's a bad invasion of privacy. Plus only boobs, no big deal!"

There you have it, no big deal. The Duchess of Cambridge isn't ready for her 'Playboy' cover just yet.

Irish Independent