Rosa Monckton, a friend of the late Princess Diana, has told the U.K.’s ITV News of her fear that the press will hound the Duchess of Cambridge in the same way following the publication of photographs showing her topless.
“I think it’s history repeating itself,” Monckton told ITV News, which is a partner of NBC News. “It’s very damaging if you as an individual feel that you can never properly relax wherever you are. It gets to you in the end.”
She said she had decided to speak out in an attempt to dissuade the press from treating Kate the same way as Diana.
Monckton was on a private vacation with Diana in Greece shortly before Diana died and told about how they were constantly hunted by an army of about 250 journalists using boats and helicopters.
“I do not want that to happen to the Duchess of Cambridge. I saw what it did to Diana and it’s absolutely horrendous,” Monckton added.Story: Afghan Taliban threaten to kidnap, kill Prince Harry
Many blamed paparazzi photographers for following Diana’s car on the night she died in a crash in Paris in August 1997.
Kate and William have filed a lawsuit against French magazine Closer for printing photos of what appears to be Kate, sunbathing topless.Story: Kate, William file lawsuit after French magazine publishes topless photo
The suit alleges that Closer breached the couple's right to privacy, though the magazine insists it did not.
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St. James Palace confirmed Friday that "legal proceedings for breach of privacy have been commenced today in France," reports the Associated Press.
Blurry, long-lens shots of Kate, taken while she and William were on vacation in Provence, in the south of France last week, were printed in the gossip magazine on Friday.
A statement from the palace said the pair were "hugely saddened" by the publication, adding that William and Kate "had every expectation of privacy in the remote house" where they were sunbathing at the time the pictures were taken.
According to a report in Reuters, Closer's editor-in-chief Laurence Pieau defended the "beautiful series" of photos.Video: No wine for Duchess Kate: Is she pregnant? (on this page)
"There's been an over-reaction to these photos. What we see is a young couple, who just got married, who are very much in love, who are splendid," Pieau told French BFM television, adding that the magazine had more "intimate" shots from the same series that it chose not to publish.
The news comes as the couple makes an official tour of Southeast Asia. Kate has been basking in the glow of rave reviews for her performing during her second overseas tour as a duchess — and just 24 hours after her heralded first public speech on the international stage.
Sara James, NBC News, and ITV News contributed to this report.
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