A French magazine yesterday published topless pictures of Prince William’s wife, Kate Middleton, taken while the pair were on holiday in France, in a move met with dismay by the royal couple.
Announcing a world exclusive, Closer magazine invited readers on its Web site to get the new edition to enjoy “the photos that the world can’t wait to see: the Duchess of Cambridge topless on a guesthouse terrace.”
Splashed on the front cover and inside on five pages, many of the grainy photos feature what appears to be Kate wearing just the bottoms of a black-and-white bikini.
In one, William is rubbing sunscreen on the lower end of Kate’s backside; in another the couple laugh as they lounge in chairs near a folded red parasol; and in a third Kate holds the top of her bikini across her chest.
The pictures are sure to create a worldwide media frenzy and further embarrass the royal family, already reeling from the recent publication of nude photos of William’s brother, Prince Harry.
The snaps were taken on the terrace of the Autet Chateau in the French region of Provence. The couple are currently in Malaysia and a source traveling with them said that “their royal highnesses were saddened to learn about the alleged photos.”
The royal source added that the monarchy was investigating the authenticity of the photos and would then “make a decision about what to do.”
Britain’s younger royals are touring the globe as part of celebrations marking the 60-year reign of William’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.
They are now on a nine-day trip that started in Singapore. They arrived in Malaysia on Thursday, and will move on this weekend to the Solomon Islands and later, Tuvalu.
Yesterday, they were to make a public appearance at a park in Kuala Lumpur and are to visit a nature conservation site in the Borneo jungle today.
However, the photos threaten to overshadow the tour, which was meant to introduce the couple overseas.