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Topless photos of Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, were published in a French tabloid, sparking controversy and drawing a harsh statement from the palace. The controversy comes while the Royal couple are overseas, on an official trip in the South Pacific.
The photos were published in the French magazine Closer, which said that the photos were snapped from afar while the couple were staying at a private home in the south of France last week, reports CNN. The blurry photos appeared on French newsstands Friday morning.
A St. James Palace spokesman released a statement to the press, which said that William and Kate are “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.”
The statement continued, “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.”
Sources close to the royal family told The Guardian that the palace has not contacted Closer, but they are speaking with French lawyers about what kind of legal action they can take. A French lawyer told The Associated Press that they could pursue an invasion of privacy case. Just last week, one magazine was ordered to pay 2,000 euros after publishing a photo of French first lady Valerie Trierweiler in a bikini.
The Guardian also notes that the photos were reportedly offered to British tabloids, but they all refused to publish them. An executive for one tabloid told the Guardian that the photos they were offered were different, though.
The incident comes just weeks after Prince Harry’s infamous nude photos from his Las Vegas vacation were leaked on TMZ. British papers did report on the photos, but it The Sun was the only paper to defy the palace’s wishes and published them.
William and Kate are currently in Malaysia, as part of their nine-day tour of Southeast Asia and the South Pacific.