Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge visit Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Sept. 14, 2012. (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
By Maria Puente, USA TODAY
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who one day will head the Church of England, visited a Malaysian mosque for the first time on Friday, and the stylish Duchess Kate managed to look good with her shoes off and her head draped for modesty in a billowy scarf.
Meanwhile, behind the scenes, the young royals were grappling with the news that a French magazine is threatening to publish, possibly today, topless photos of the duchess taken with a long lens while they vacationed at a villa in Provence last weekend. It was another unwelcome reminder of the scrutiny they live under, and of the recent embarrassing pictures of Prince Harry naked in a Las Vegas hotel room.
But the couple pressed on with day four of their Diamond Jubilee tour, their second day in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, including the visit to the Asskyakrin Mosque, an important center of Islamic worship in a largely Muslim country.
The mosque visit had not been discussed publicly prior to the start of their tour, and since they left the UK a wave of anti-USA protests has spread in Muslim countries of the Middle East, including an attack that left the US ambassador to Libya dead this week.
Will and Kate and their Malaysian hosts were all smiles for the visit. She wore a knee-length white dress with long billowy sleeves and buttoned up to the neck, by Beulah London, according to HRHDuchessKate blog. Upon arrival, she took off her LK Bennett nude pumps (revealing again that she wears nude tights despite the tropical heat) and wrapped a white sheer scarf around her head and crossed around her throat.
Prince William, in a suit and tie, also took off his shoes for the visit. He even managed to look happy and relaxed despite the news about the photos. Ever since he witnessed his mother, the late Princess Diana, hounded by photographers, William has been wary of the media and worried about protecting his wife from the invasive attentions of the paparazzi.
Already, palace officials in London are telling British media that the photos, if genuine, are a throwback to the bad old days of Diana and the paps. But it's not clear what else they can do besides fume.
Will and Kate are keeping calm and carrying on with their 10-day tour; they have a busy day today, including a traditional English tea party, and they head to Borneo and the rainforest on Saturday.