Kate Middleton, Duchess Catherine


Why did most media (we're looking at you, E!), choose not to run the Kate Middleton pregnant bikini pics? They've turned up in Italian and U.S. tabloids already, so what gives? —MacKenzie, Seattle, via email

We've speculated for weeks about when we might catch our first glimpse of Kate Middleton's baby bump. After all, they're the pictures the world's been waiting for. And when the palace announced the duchess would be making a public appearance later this month, it seemed like we pretty definitively had our answer.

But when mainstream media (and yes, that includes E!), were offered shots of Kate and Prince William strolling on the beach in Mustique, with her hand tenderly thrown around his neck, they turned them down. No matter how much we wanted that first bump pic—and of course, we all did—these shots were not photos we wanted to run.

But why? Will and Kate live in the public eye and are not exactly camera-shy.

True. But the problem with these pictures is that William and Kate were on a private island. And even though the beach was accessible to the public, Will and Kate had a reasonable expectation of privacy. They were not on a snap-happy royal tour, they were on a private, family vacation. They weren't aware of the cameras joining them on their babymoon, and clearly didn't know they were being papped. The pictures were taken with a long lens, and it's patently obvious from viewing the shots that they had no idea they had company (in the form of a paparazzo) on the island that day.

Prince William, Kate Middleton, Mustique

Chris Jackson/Getty Images

The bounty on Kate's head was bigger than ever. This was the pic that everyone wanted (and was waiting) to see. And, as evidenced from the topless photo scandal resulting from the royal couple's trip to France last September, some shooters will go to any lengths to snap the pair.

Is it naïve of them? Some might think so. Photographers have followed them on Mustique before, so why would this time be any different? Well, yes. In actual fact, this time was much worse.

But we have to remember; William is going to be famous for the rest of his life. He was born into this. Yes, it's a world of privilege and he gets to live in a palace and drink tea with his granny the queen, but his whole life is going to be devoted to public service. Queen Elizabeth II, at 86, is still working. And it's likely Wills will be clocking in right up until his twilight years as well.

So when William does ask for privacy, I think we should try and give him as much as we can and play by the rules.

Plus, we won't exactly have long to wait before the world catches a violation-free glimpse of that sought-after bump. Next week, a no doubt newly bronzed Kate will be making a public visit to Hope House in London, for which she serves as patron.  And for the first time, we'll be introduced to the royal bump, in all its glory, and in the manner that she wants us to see it.

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