Italian magazine to print topless pictures of Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton
An Italian magazine is set to follow a French publication in printing topless photographs of the Duchess of Cambridge, it was reported today.
Gossip magazine Chi is understood to be planning a 26-page photo special of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on holiday in the south of France, to run in an edition next week, the BBC said.
Despite St James's Palace describing the publication of the photos of Kate in French magazine Closer yesterday as a "grotesque and totally unjustifiable" invasion of privacy, and the announcement that the royal couple will sue its publishers, unconfirmed reports said Chi still planned to print the images,.
Editor Alfonso Signorini said: "The fact that these are the future rulers of England makes the article more interesting and topical.
"This is a deserving topic because it shows in a completely natural way the daily life of a very famous, young and modern couple in love."
Both Chi and the French edition of Closer are published by the Mondadori media group, which is owned by former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.
The British edition of Closer has distanced itself from the decision made by its French counterpart, which is run by a different company.
A number of British newspapers have been offered the photos but so far are unanimous in their condemnation of them being published
In an editorial comment today The Sun said they were "grossly intrusive pictures that no decent British paper would touch with a bargepole".
Royal aides have drawn parallels between the late Princess of Wales' most upsetting encounters with certain elements of the press and the "unthinkable" actions of Closer, which left Kate and William feeling "anger and disbelief".
The royal couple had spent yesterday in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur completing a busy schedule of events including visiting a mosque for the first time.
They later left the mainland and flew to Kota Kinabalu, capital of the state of Sabah on Borneo, and today will travel to the region's dramatic rainforest to learn about the wildlife - something that is likely to be a welcome relief from the distressing events.
But last night the palace announced that lawyers would be pursuing the matter through the French courts. It is understood that the royal couple's aim is to prevent further use of the images and to seek damages.
In a short statement issued yesterday the palace said: "St James's Palace confirms that legal proceedings for breach of privacy have been commenced today in France by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge against the publishers of Closer Magazine France."