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Friday, May 28, 1999 Published at 20:14 GMT 21:14 UK


No royal grudge against Kara

Miss Rhys-Jones attended a friend's wedding as the picture row raged

A close friend of Sophie Rhys-Jones and Prince Edward has said the couple bears no grudge against Kara Noble, the woman who sold a topless picture of the royal bride-to-be to a newspaper.

Brian MacLaurin, who introduced Sophie Rhys-Jones to the prince in 1993, said the couple had moved on from the incident.

[ image: Kara Noble: Sacked and vilified]
Kara Noble: Sacked and vilified
Ms Noble was a close friend and former work colleague of Miss Rhys-Jones.

But Buckingham Palace has made clear it is still going ahead with a complaint to the Press Complaint's Commission against The Sun, which published the photograph on Wednesday.

Ms Noble, the former radio presenter who took the topless picture of Miss Rhys-Jones with DJ Chris Tarrant, has been vilified in the press.

She was also sacked as co-host of Heart 106.2 FM's breakfast show in London for selling the 11-year-old picture to The Sun for a reported £100,000.

'Time to forget'

Mr MacLaurin, a former boss of Miss Rhys-Jones, said: "Sophie and Edward think it is time to forget this."

He said Miss Rhys-Jones wanted to ensure that Ms Noble was left alone and not subjected to further media attention.

"Sophie has spoken to Chris Tarrant and they are all aware that Kara is being followed by the media.

"They think she has suffered enough and she should not be hassled. Sophie is well aware of what it is like to be followed by the media.''

Mr MacLaurin said he was speaking on a personal level regarding Sophie and Edward's personal views about Kara Noble and not about any broader issues.

Sun apology

He added: ''Kara was stupid, silly and misguided, but she is not a traitor."

Buckingham Palace has lodged a complaint with the Press Complaints Commission over the story, and The Sun printed a full-page apology the day after it appeared.

The PCC will consider the complaint next week.

In its editorial The Sun, which was heavily criticised for using the picture, admitted that an error of judgement had been made.

"It was never our intention to spoil Sophie's joy over her forthcoming marriage to Prince Edward," it said.

And it added: "Don't worry Sophie. There will be no more revelations in The Sun that cause you offence."

The paper said it would donate all profits from the syndication of the pictures to two charities nominated by Miss Rhys-Jones.

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