A ‘furious’ Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are considering legal action against a French magazine that has published pictures of Kate topless.
A spokesman for the couple told Mail Online today: ‘Their sadness has turned to anger and disbelief as we have learnt more about the photographs. We believe a red line has been crossed and we are consulting the French lawyers to see what, if any, action can be taken.’
Kate and her husband, Prince William, were informed over breakfast of the scandal shortly before they departed to visit a mosque in Kuala Lumpur and have seen copies of the pixellated photographs.
Sources said the Duchess and her husband were ‘hurt, shocked, furious and disgusted’.
An angry Prince William and Kate were grim-faced as they left the capital of Malaysia for the next leg of their tour of south east Asia.
Trailed by their closest aides and airport staff, the couple walked the 200 yard red carpet laid out at the Bunga Raya VIP area of Kuala Lumpur’s airport today.
The 30-year-old prince didn’t look to his left or right for most of the walk, clenching his teeth as he showed his displeasure at the invasion of his wife’s privacy. Kate allowed herself a couple of smiles.
And in a sign of unity as they went up the steps to board the Boeing 737-800 jet she reassuringly placed her left hand on the small of his back.
Just minutes earlier, in a waiting room at the grand marble-floored VIP section where the couple retired as their plane was prepared, aides had agreed to release a strong statement which was issued as they took off.
‘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,’ it said.
‘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.’
St James’s Palace was bracing itself after Closer trailed its ‘exclusive’ on its website with the words: ‘World Exclusive; Kate and William in Provence: Oh My God!’
The magazine’s website also showed an image of the front cover which pictured the Duchess in a bikini apparently about to remove her top.
It is all the more sensational because France has some of the strictest privacy laws in the world, yet one of the country’s own magazines has decided to publish pictures, if genuine, clearly taken in private with a long lens.
Closer is not run by the same company as the British title, it is run by Italian business Mondadori, owned by former president Silvio Berlusconi’s holding company Fininvest.
The UK magazine today distanced itself from the French publication of the same name and these pictures.
‘Closer magazine UK would like to make it clear that the two publications make entirely independent editorial decisions. In this respect the comments made by the Editor of the French edition which have reported in the media today do not reflect the opinions of Closer magazine UK.
‘Closer magazine UK was not offered any pictures of this nature and certainly has no intention of publishing the photographs of the Duchess of Cambridge which have been published in France this morning. Closer magazine UK takes its obligations under the PCC Code extremely seriously and would never publish topless images of a member of the Royal family on its cover or otherwise.’
A senior royal source told MailOnline: ‘The Duke and the Duchess were told at breakfast and are obviously saddened and disappointed if they are genuine as they believe they have a right to privacy – particularly on holiday.’
Specifically alluding to the death of Princess Diana, William’s mother, who was killed in a Paris car crash in 1997 as she was chased by paparazzi, the source said: ‘This incident turns the clock back 15 years.’
They have instructed officials to investigate and have not ruled out taking legal action against Closer magazine.
Their lawyers in the UK and Paris have been speaking overnight. But they may also decided to let ‘public opinion to run its course’.
Publication of the pictures is bound to reignite the row about privacy even though ironically they were taken in France – which has some of the strictest privacy laws in the world.
The pictures were allegedly taken while Kate was on holiday with William, in France last week.
The couple were staying in Provence at a chateau owned by Lord Linley, the Queen’s nephew, ahead of their current Diamond Jubilee tour of south east Asia and the South Pacific on behalf of the Queen.
Pictures have already surfaced on the continent of the couple sunbathing, where the Duchess was wearing a skimpy bikini.
Now France’s Closer magazine, one of the biggest celebrity glossy magazines in the country, says it has obtained pictures of the royal couple by the swimming pool, including ones of Kate topless.
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