Kate Middleton Topless Scandal: Prince William Clearly "Angry," Royals Felt Better After Taking Action

Journalist on royals' tour of Southeast Asia tells E! News that the Duke of Cambridge was "not as comfortable" with the media as he usually is

By Natalie Finn, Melanie Bromley Sep 18, 2012 1:30 AMTags
Prince William, Kate Middleton, Duchess of CambridgeChris Jackson/Getty Images

Prince William may have kept his cool after a French tabloid published photos of him and a topless Kate Middleton frolicking in France, but a fire was raging within.

"As you can imagine, William was upset about the situation," Omid Scobie, Us Weekly's European bureau chief who was on the royals' eight-day tour of Southeast Asia, tells E! News of the prince's reaction after he and Kate got the bad news at breakfast Friday.

"For the rest of Kuala Lumpur it was clear William was angry," says Scobie. "The news of the scandal had really got to him. He was not as comfortable as he has been on previous occasions. When he was around the press, especially the photographers, he had clenched fists and gritted teeth. He was not comfortable being exposed."

Nor was his wife of 16 months, obviously, because the royal family sued the French tabloid Closer within hours of the magazine arriving on newsstands and the photos hitting the Internet, and they have since filed a criminal invasion-of-privacy complaint in France. (Closer pulled the photos from its website late Friday.)

While the palace immediately issued a statement noting that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were "hugely saddened" by the publication's decision to print photos that were allegedly taken roughly a half-mile away from where the couple were vacationing in Provence.

Britain's Mirror reported that William had said he wanted whomever was responsible thrown in jail. A spokesman for the royals would not verify that quotation, but did tell E! News that their earlier "strength of feeling" still stood.

"The incident is reminiscent of the worst excesses of the press and paparazzi during the life of Diana, Princess of Wales, and all the more upsetting to the Duke and Duchess for being so," St. James Palace had previously told E! News. "Their Royal Highnesses had every expectation of privacy in the remote house. It is unthinkable that anyone should take such photographs, let alone publish them."

And though Will was visibly distressed at first, he and his wife remained class acts throughout, according to those privy to his behavior over the last few days.

"For the next day or so [after the news broke] William and Kate traveled from Malaysia to the Solomon Islands," Scobie also told E!, "and it was during this time that the palace really managed to get a handle on things. They had started proceedings against the French magazine and knew exactly what their plan of action was.

"Once William and Kate knew that it was under control, they came to the conclusion that they were going to do their best to not think about it anymore. The royal motto is, 'Stay calm and carry on,' and that's exactly what they did. In the Soloman Islands they were feeling much better. The crowds that came out to greet them were overwhelming, there was so much love there for them and that really helped lift their spirits. They definitely looked to be feeling much more comfortable because everything was under control. Hopefully justice will be served."