After shining on the pedestal for most of the year with the Queen's Diamon Jubilee and the Olympics, the British Royal Family is again involved in controversy — with certain photographers and foreign press, of course.
You have Prince Harry's nude escapade when things that happened in Vegas did not stay in Vegas.
Now, there is chatter about photos being published in a few European publications after Kate Middleton, Prince William's wife, taking off her bikini top for some sunbathing during a vacation in the Solomon Islands.
But there is literally worlds of difference between what happened in Vegas and what happened in the Pacific, but it illustrates the ongoing cat-and-mouse war between celebrities and paparazzi.
The Duchess of Cambridge, when she went topless (or "partially clad" as described in some British publications) was on a terrace outside a private house that was surrounded by a park that was hundreds of yards away from a public road. You wonder if some security guard was paid nicely to look the other way from a sneaky photographer.
Note the culture. It's different. In the Solomon Islands, as in many places in island nations, foreign countries, including European ones, going topless (even on public beaches) is accepted and not that big a deal. I've known women in this country, normally fairly prudish, who are OK with doing some topless bathing in a private, secluded, secure setting. I've also seen men who should never go topless in public (and it's offensive when they do), whether mowing their yards on or on the beach or at Wal-Mart.
From video and photographs I've seen from public appearances, I've observed the Duchess as a very classy, sometimes understated dresser, who is a major influence on modern fashion.
From the reports of what I've seen, William and Kate have both embraced the culture of the islands in which they are vacationing — from donning native grass skirts, flowery leis and wearing a hat or piece of clothing on their heads at more sacred sites.
I hesitate to go Shakespearean "Much Ado About Nothing" to describe this because in the context many would take that, it's not that.
But it's not a scandal.
For me, that royal vacation actually has the feel of two people who seem genuinely in love and having fun and soaking in a foreign and exotic culture.
Folks, even a very public monarchy, should have some semblance of privacy — and allowed to be themselves, have fun and get sunburned in some tender spots if they wish.
That gets us to the real problem: Those darn tan lines.