The editor of an Australian magazine has defended her decision to print photographs of the Duchess of Cambridge in a bikini on a private Caribbean holiday, saying her readers will "love" the images.
Woman's Day is the second publication to use the pictures of the pregnant royal, following Italian gossip magazine Chi.
The photos, which have been condemned by St James's Palace, are said to show Kate strolling on a beach on the island of Mustique with William. They were reportedly taken from a boat using a long-lens camera, but Fiona Connolly, editor of Woman's Day, claimed a member of the public snapped the Duchess.
Speaking to Australia's Channel Nine network ahead of publishing the pictures in Monday's edition of the magazine, Ms Connolly said: "This is not a hard decision about these photos. Kate's on a public beach, there are other holiday-makers there and she looks fabulous."
She made a distinction between the new pictures and those taken while Kate was topless on holiday in France last year as the latest ones were not taken at a private location.
"Look, I think the British are very sensitive about this," Ms Connolly told Channel Nine. "As Australians, we see this every day. We see pregnant women in bikinis on the beach - and a public one at that - so we are a lot less sensitive here in Australia."
A St James's Palace spokesman said: "We are disappointed that photographs of the Duke and Duchess on a private holiday look likely to be published overseas. This is a clear breach of the couple's right to privacy." The spokesman would not comment on whether William had been informed about the issue or if they were considering legal action against the magazine.
But Ms Connolly said: "Our readers are going to love these photos. I don't expect any backlash at all really. I think she's looking fabulous and healthy and (with) a beautiful bump, like we haven't seen her before."
Chi, which produced a 26-page spread showing last year's topless images, has published the Mustique pictures. On a website publicising the magazine - owned by former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi - Kate, who is about four months pregnant, is pictured on the magazine's front cover in a blue bikini striding knee-high through the sea above the headline "the belly grows".
A second image shows the Duke, wearing shorts, with his left arm around his wife as they walk along a beach. It is believed that the royal couple are still holidaying on Mustique and during their time on the island were reportedly joined by Kate's parents Carole and Michael Middleton and her siblings James and Pippa. Photographs of Pippa in a bikini are also being offered for sale, the Daily Mail said.