Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge

Lara De Matos

The Duchess of Cambridge has done it again: despite being caught in precisely the same conundrum before, the lady in line to the British throne has seemingly shunned official advice to wear more modest attire while doing the public rounds, or, at the very least, don dresses that aren’t likely to twirl up at the first sign of a breeze.

As a result, Kate has once again become the butt of many a loutish wisecrack, with all and sundry weighing in on the (de)merits of her perfectly sculpted derriere.

It comes after a German magazine this week published pictures of her in commando mode (allegedly), during the royals’ recent tour to Australia and New Zealand.

Naturally, royalists and the sanctimonious sorts have hastened to jump on the “blame the media” bandwagon, declaring “the paparazzi are vultures”; “it’s tragic society doesn’t value privacy for others in the same way we demand it for ourselves”; “they make money because people continue to buy this trash”; and “why should a person who chooses to entertain, or take to politics, have their every move photographed for public scrutiny?”

Under normal circumstances, I’d be inclined to agree. If those people happened to be, say, Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem, Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz, Cate Blanchett, or even the actual queen. These are names that feature among a very select group of personalities for whom the sole focus is a love (or sense of duty) for the job at hand – the fact that it happens to provide them with celebrity status is often little more than a bothersome side effect of their profession.

Not so in the case of Kate. Unlike her husband, she wasn’t born an aristocrat. She chose to become one. To the extent that rumours simply refuse to die down of her parents deliberately having pushed her towards the University of St Andrews with the express hope of having Kate forge a relationship with Prince William .

Moreover, the supposedly offending snap was taken in a public domain, while the couple were on a public tour, for which the royals themselves had sanctioned the presence of the media, in order that their every public move be well chronicled, precisely because theirs was an exercise in public relations.

Why, then, all the brouhaha?

All right, perhaps the photo in question did err on the side of impropriety. But no more so than dear Kate opting for a bare bottom – again (even if there were a well-hidden thong involved) – while wearing a light-weight, above-the-knee frock when travelling by helicopter.

And really, why does the sight of her royal heinie arouse such ire, when we are subjected to far worse, almost on a daily basis, from the ever-expanding troupe of reality TV pseudolebrities?

Would there be less controversy if said posterior weren’t quite so pert and covered in full-brief granny broeke? And if so, wouldn’t that elicit a far more disturbing debate as to how women in particular within royal-cum-political circles are expected to present themselves in what’s meant to be this age of equality?

Well, for what it’s worth, Kate, if I had a bootie as beautiful as yours, I too would be cheeky and show it off at every turn. Accidental, or otherwise.