Kate Middleton photos: Unlike Duchess of Cambridge, just 14% of women would sunbathe topless

We would NEVER go topless like Kate! Just 14 per cent of British women would remove their bikini tops on holiday

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UPDATED:

14:41 GMT, 21 September 2012

Dare to bare: The Duchess sunbathed topless while on holiday in France

Dare to bare: The Duchess sunbathed topless while on holiday in France

The Duchess of Cambridge has taken legal action to prevent further pictures of her sunbathing topless on holiday being published – but the embarrassment may never have happened if she was more like the majority of her compatriots.

Just 14 per cent of British women sunbathe without their bikini tops on, according to a new survey.

The main reason why they said they don't want to bare their breasts is that they are not confident enough about their figures. Six out of ten women questioned said they preferred to keep their bikini top on because they don't feel they have a 'perfect' body.

A further 54 per cent of respondents said they would rather stay covered up because they didn't want strangers seeing them semi-naked while 32 per cent said they would not strip off if children were present.

But 61 per cent of women said they would undo their bikini if they were lying on their front to prevent tanlines.

Only 6 per cent of the women polled by dating site MissTravel.com said they would sunbathe fully topless in Britain. But they would be bolder if they were abroad with 14 per cent saying they would bare all in countries like Spain, Italy or France because of their liberal attitudes to nudity.

However just 2 per cent would strip off fully on a nudist beach.

MissTravel polled 1,000 of its
female members to find if they would dare to bare like Kate, 30, on
their holiday and the reasons why they wanted to stay covered up.

The Duke and Duchess have taken legal action against the French magazine Closer which published the
pictures of her topless – taken while she was holidaying with her husband at Viscount
Linley's mansion earlier this month. They have also been published in
Italy, Denmark, Ireland and Sweden.

Covered up: 86 per cent of British women surveyed said they would keep their bikini top on in the sun

Covered up: 86 per cent of British women surveyed said they would keep their bikini top on in the sun

The scandal has been met with some indifference on the continent where topless sunbathing is still
relatively common.

Laurence Pieau, the editor of the magazine who first published the pictures of the Duchess, said: 'She is a young woman who’s topless, just like the ones who can be seen on all of the beaches of France and the world.’

Brandon
Wade, founder of MissTravel, a dating site where 'attractive' women can join for free and date 'generous travellers' who'll pay for their holidays, said it's refreshing to see Kate is confident enough to flaunt her figure.

'It is wonderful that Kate feels comfortable going topless. It is the most natural thing in the world. It is worth remembering that we all came into this world without a stitch on,' he said.

WOULD YOU SUNBATHE TOPLESS

More liberal: Claire Craig

More liberal: Claire Craig

YES, says presenter Claire Craig, 27

'I think I am a lot more liberal than many women because I would sunbathe topless on holiday. The main consideration for me would be who I was with. I would feel comfortable doing it with other adults but I would not go topless if children were present.

'I would be more comfortable stripping off abroad than on a beach at home because it is much more acceptable in countries like Spain or France – they have a much more relaxed attitude to nudity and I think that is healthy.

'I'm confident enough to go topless because I'm 90 per cent happy with my body. You have got to work with what you have got.

'Other women may not feel confident about their bodies, but they should, no one is perfect and it is only natural to show off your body.'


Keeping covered: Liz Jones

Keeping covered: Liz Jones

NO, says writer Liz Jones, 54

'I have never understood the need for women to sunbathe topless,' Liz wrote in this week's Daily Mail.

'First of all, it is bad for your health, and will prematurely age you.

'Second, if you want to avoid a tan
line, you can get a perfectly realistic colour in a spray booth for a
tenner, and no carcinomas or prying lenses in sight.

'And third, why would you want a stranger to see an intimate part of your anatomy

'There is something blatantly exhibitionist, but also smug and superior, about women who flaunt their breasts on the beach.

'But even if I had a perfect pair
like Kate's, I would keep them under a nightie, vest or luxurious bra by
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.