Prince William and Kate Middleton are “hugely saddened” over the “grotesque, unjustifiable invasion of privacy” by a magazine publishing topless photos of Kate.
French publication Closer printed the Kate Middleton pictures, taken during their holiday at the French chateau of the Queen’s nephew, Lord Linley.
The photos are blurry and taken with a long lens, but there are four pages of photos of the couple, with Kate Middleton topless in several of them.
A spokesman for Clarence House, the Prince of Wales’ office, confirmed the existence of the photos and the fact that the couple is reeling because of them:
“The incident is reminiscent of the worst excess of the 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.”
There’s now stopping the publication now, in any case. See the grainy, censored but nevertheless NSFW Kate Middleton photos after the jump:
British newspapers were offered the photos last week but turned them down. Similarly, all but the Sun refused to run the Prince Harry naked photos.
The shocking photo leak comes during the couple’s Asia trip and amid the persistent pregnancy rumors that follow Kate, who is said to be very upset.
Royal officials believe a “red line” has been crossed this time, and “there has been a significant hardening of William and Kate’s response.”
UPDATE: Kate Middleton is suing for breach of privacy.