Vogue

's style editor-at-large Elisabeth von Thurn und Taxis came under fire after posting a photo on Instagram of what appears to be a homeless woman in Paris reading the famed magazine.

"Paris is full of surprises....and @voguemagazine readers even in unexpected corners!" the caption of the German princess's photo, which has since been deleted, read.

Von Thurn und Taxis, who has been with the magazine since 2012, received a slew of criticism from followers claiming the photo was "cruel" and "tasteless".

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The editor, who was in Paris for fashion week, responded to the commenters, asking "Why cruel? The person to me is as dignified as anyone else!"

Style website Fashionista claimed the photo, like von Thurn und Taxis's other content, was "out of touch".

"The things she writes, both in Vogue and on social media, often straddle the line between entertaining/aspirational and disturbingly out of touch. On Saturday she crossed that line," the website wrote.

Some commenters supported the 32-year-old editor, but the post disappeared from her feed about five hours after it was posted, according to CNN.

The German princess is the daughter of Countess Gloria von Schönburg-Glauchau, known as "Princess TNT, the dynamite socialite" and Johannes, 11th Prince of Thurn and Taxis.

Her brother Albert, 31, who succeeded their father in 1990 as Albert II, Prince of Thurn and Taxis, has a net worth of more than £1billion and races in a German auto-racing league.

The princess was educated at Sevenoaks in Kent and has a bachelor's degree from the American University of Paris.

Her blog The Princess Diaries, which appeared in Finch's Quarterly Review, contrasted the difficulties faced by royalty with more "normal issues".

The family's wealth originated from their postal system empire which can be traced back to around 1290 when two early ancestors operated courier services in the Italian city-states.

But the family's important postal activities began with Franz von Taxis, who served as postmaster to the Holy Roman emperor Maximilian I from 1489 and to Philip I of Spain from 1504.

The Prussian empire originally bought out the Thurn and Taxis monopoly in 1867 and used it as the basis for a new German national post.

A member of the family is believed to have invented the taximeter, which is why taxicabs came to bear his name.

The House of Thurn and Taxis held the rank of royalty in the German Empire until 1918.

- Daily Mail