10/15/2012

Topless Kate chateau is a prime target for wealthy tourists

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Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge have kept up a busy public schedule since returning from their royal tour. (AFP/Getty Image)

Just to prove there's no end to royal voyeurs, the word is that the Chateau d'Autet has all of a sudden become a very popular vacation request.

This is the 19th-century estate in southern France owned by Viscount Linley (below), the son of the late Princess Margaret. It's also the now infamous site where Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge was photographed in various states of undress in early September.

Flkc8nz2The media inferno that followed publication of those pictures will go down in royal lore, which makes this secluded retreat in Provence suddenly a desirable address for wealthy vacationers.

The Daily Mail, quoting a friend of Viscount Linley, reports that he has had "mad offers coming in" to rent the property used by Prince William and Kate just before their royal tour to Asia and the South Pacific.

"Kate and William value him as a cousin and a friend and his refusals to capitalize on the publicity have been noted by the Royal Household," said the friend. "His currency is his silence."

So, score one for the viscount. Not that he needs the money. He owns three homes and a bespoke furniture business.

Linley hasn't spoken publically about the furor, though he did do an interview with a magazine in which he was asked to reveal his biggest regret. Handing the keys to Will and Kate did not jump from his lips.

“Ringo Starr once asked me to design and make a piece of furniture with dragons and butterflies on it in exchange for one of his drum kits," he said, as quoted in the Telegraph. "For some reason, I didn’t. What on earth was I thinking?”

It's the same question Kate was probably asking.

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