French magazine, Closer, this morning published topless photos of the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, with the headline – ‘Oh My God – the photos that will go around the world.”. Underneath, it says: “See incredible pictures of the future queen of England like you have never seen her….and as you will never see her again’.
The topless photos, taken while Kate and William were on private holiday last week, were splashed on the front cover of the magazine and inside on five pages. The photos were taken on the terrace of a guest house in Provence, France, where the couple vacationed last week.
The royal couple have the sympathy of Downing Street with a source close to David Cameron saying that Number 10 “echoes the sadness of the palace” over the publication of the pictures.
In a strongly-worded statement St James’s Palace said: “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 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.
“Their Royal Highnesses had every expectation of privacy in the remote house. It is unthinkable that anyone should take such photographs, let alone publish them.
“Officials acting on behalf of their Royal Highnesses are consulting with lawyers to consider what options may be available to the Duke and Duchess.”
But Laurence Pieau, the editor of Closer, was unrepentant, defending her decision to publish the pictures during an interview with the French radio station Europe 1, insisting there was “nothing degrading” about the photographs and claiming she could not understand the couple’s reaction.
Ms Pieau also told the AFP news agency: “These photos are not in the least shocking. They show a young woman sunbathing topless, like the millions of women you see on beaches.”