French magazine publishes topless photos of Duchess of Cambridge
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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are consulting with their lawyers after a French magazine published topless photos of the duchess on holidays in France.
The tabloid magazine Closer published grainy photos of Kate and William on the terrace of the Château d'Autet in Provence, south of France.
The chateau is reportedly owned by Queen Elizabeth’s nephew, Lord Linley.
Headlined “Oh My God! The photos that will go around the world”, they show Kate wearing only the bottoms of a black and white bikini, with the magazine complementing the duchess’s figure by saying: “Victoria’s Secret’s angels can stand aside.”
In one photo, Prince William is seen rubbing sunscreen on the lower end of Kate’s backside.
The couple is currently in Malaysia.
"Their Royal Highnesses have been hugely saddened to learn that a French publication and a photographer have invaded their privacy in such a grotesque and totally unjustifiable manner," the royal couple's office, St James's Palace, said in a statement.
"The incident is reminiscent of the worst excesses of the press and paparazzi during the life of Diana, Princess of Wales, and all the more upsetting to The Duke and Duchess for being so," it added.
There has also been condemnation from the British Prime Minister, David Cameron.
However, the magazine's editor, Laurence Pieau, defended the publication, saying the photos were "not in the least shocking."
British media report that UK newspapers were offered the photos last week, but turned them down.
The photos were published just weeks after nude photos of Prince Harry partying in a Las Vegas hotel suite appeared online.
British media were initially reluctant to publish the photos as media organisations wait for the report from the UK Government’s Leveson inquiry on press standards.
Many visitors to Closer’s website have condemned the magazine for publishing the photos.
“Typical French crap being printed yet again. No dignity or respect, unlike the English press who turned down the opportunity to print such garbage,” one comment said.
“Kate, the future Queen of England, is just like anyone other woman else and tans just like millions of vacationers? Congratulations!” another reader mocked.
But there have also been messages of support.
“Bravo Closer, Bravo France! Thank you for again exposing the hypocrisy of people who court publicity when it suits them but demand privacy when it does not,” one reader said.