Britain’s royal family on Saturday condemned the “greed” of an Irish newspaper and warned an Italian magazine after it decided to publish topless photographs of Prince William’s wife Catherine.
The candid snaps appeared in Saturday’s Irish Daily Star newspaper, but would not appear in its British or Northern Irish editions, editor Mike O’Kane told the BBC.
A spokesman for the couple’s St James’ Palace office said “there can be no motivation for this action other than greed.”
The family also warned Italian magazine Chi that ‘unjustifiable upset” would be heaped upon Catherine if it went ahead with its plans to print the photos.
The royals launched legal action on Friday against French magazine Closer -- which is part of the media empire of former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi -- after it became the first publication to print paparazzi snaps of Catherine sunbathing with her husband.
The royal family hoped to contain the scandal by swiftly suing Closer -- but Chi, an Italian weekly also published by Berlusconi’s Mondadori Group, announced late Friday that it planned to print the same images on Monday.
“Any such publication would serve no purpose other than to cause further, entirely unjustifiable upset to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who were enjoying time alone together in the privacy of a relative’s home,” said a spokeswoman from the couple’s office at St James’s Palace.
The palace would not comment on potential legal action concerning the planned publication in Italy, but warned that “all proportionate responses will be kept under review.”
Chi editor Alfonso Signorini defended his magazine, telling reporters: “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.”
Irish editor O’Kane later accepted he was driven by selling newspapers, but said that was nothing to apologize for.
“The duchess would be no different to any other celeb pics we would get in, for example Rihanna or Lady Gaga,” he told the BBC.
“She’s not the future queen of Ireland so really the only place this is causing fury seems to be in the UK, and they are very very tasteful pictures.”
Closer magazine confirmed to AFP that a hearing would be held on Monday at a court in Nanterre, northwest Paris, on the complaint.
William, second-in-line to the throne, and Catherine on Saturday put on a brave face for the cameras during a visit to a Borneo jungle.
The couple, both 30, are suing Closer for invasion of privacy over the pictures which show Catherine sunbathing in just a bikini bottom by a pool.
The images evoked memories of the press harassment of William’s mother Diana, who died in a 1997 car crash as she was pursued through Paris by paparazzi.
William is believed to blame the paparazzi for his mother’s death.
Palace officials said the royals considered the pictures published by Closer to be a “grotesque” breach of privacy.
“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.”
Pieau has insisted Closer has no regrets about printing the pictures.
“These photos are not in the least shocking. They show a young woman sunbathing topless, like the millions of women you see on beaches,” she told AFP.
Closer said the pictures were taken on the terrace of the Autet Chateau in Provence, southern France. The magazine said the chateau is owned by Viscount Linley, the son of Queen Elizabeth II’s late sister Princess Margaret.
The palace said the royal couple “remain focused” on their tour of Singapore, Malaysia, the Solomon Islands and the tiny Pacific island of Tuvalu to mark the diamond jubilee of William’s grandmother Queen Elizabeth II.