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Thursday, May 27, 1999 Published at 16:05 GMT 17:05 UK


Sophie steps out after row

Sophie acknowleged photographers calling her

Sophie Rhys-Jones appeared in public on Thursday for the first time since a topless photo of her was published in The Sun newspaper.

The BBC's Nick Higham: The Sun has apologised privately and publicly
The royal bride-to-be attended the wedding of her friend Samantha Shaw in London.

Her appearance followed the publication of a full-page apology by The Sun.

The paper also announced that it has decided to donate all profits from the syndication of its pictures to charities of her choice.

In a statement it said: "We are delighted to say that Miss Rhys-Jones has nominated two charities to receive the money.

[ image:  ]
"They are the breast cancer charity The Haven Trust and the Tuberous Sclerosis Association. The exact amount of money, which is substantial, has not yet been calculated."

A spokeswoman said this covered all the syndication that had been done, and that no more was being done.

No posing

Miss Rhys-Jones looked composed as she stood for a few seconds at the entrance of Chelsea Old Church after arriving for the wedding.

As she greeted friends, she acknowledged the hundreds of photographers opposite the church, but did not fully turn around to pose for them.

Miss Shaw, who has been chosen to design Miss Rhys-Jones dress for her wedding to Prince Edward, was marrying David Keswick, the son of Sir Chips and Lady Sarah Keswick. They are friends of Prince Charles.

'Sorry Sophie'

The BBC's Torin Douglas: The Palace still wants the Press Complaints Commission to consider the matter
The Sun's apology to Miss Rhys-Jones followed a furious reaction from Buckingham Palace to the topless picture.

In an editorial headlined "Sorry, Sophie" editor David Yelland said the paper was "holding its hands up" to a mistake.

Mr Yelland, who has been in the job for nearly a year, said in the article: "We thought we were printing a saucy, but harmless, picture of Sophie Rhys-Jones.

"We thought it showed the fun-loving side of a woman who is bringing a breath of fresh air to the royals."

But The Sun admits it got it wrong and Mr Yelland said: "We clearly upset Miss Rhys-Jones. It's clear to me that we have caused her great distress."

[ image: Sun widely condemned]
Sun widely condemned
He denied the paper had acted with "deliberate cruelty", as alleged by the Palace, and said: "We all make mistakes."

The paper - which sells more copies than any other UK title - promised to write to " a private letter" to Miss Rhys-Jones.

Mr Yelland added: "I wish her and Prince Edward the very best, although I don't expect to be invited to the wedding."

The apology was accompanied by a cartoon which suggested that the Sun felt the Palace had over-reacted to the picture.

Formal complaint

After the publication of the photograph on Wednesday, the Palace made a formal complaint to the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) under section three of the industry's code of practice, regarding privacy.

The Palace declined to withdraw the complaint following The Sun's apology.

[ image: Prince Charles laughs at the sheep's antics]
Prince Charles laughs at the sheep's antics
In a statement, it said the official complaint against the paper would be discussed by the PCC next week.

Prince Charles made a joking reference to the publication of the topless picture during a visit to a farm in Wales.

He said to photographers covering the visit to the farm above Harlech in Gwynedd: "You're looking for a topless sheep."

And when a bolting sheep crashed into the legs of The Sun's royal photographer Arthur Edwards, the Prince burst out laughing.

Chris Tarrant: It was "the biggest and fastest climbdown ever"
Radio and TV presenter Chris Tarrant, who was furious about the publication of the picture of himself with Miss Rhys-Jones, described The Sun's as "the biggest and fastest climbdown" ever.

Prince Edward's fiancée was snapped topless with Mr Tarrant while on a business trip to Spain in 1988.

The Palace condemned the publication of the picture as "premeditated cruelty"

Kara Noble, a disc jockey with a London radio station, who took the photograph, was sacked from London commercial radio station Heart 106.2 after the photo was published.

Ms Noble was Mr Tarrant's co-presenter and a friend of Miss Rhys-Jones when the picture was taken nearly 10 years ago.

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