ITV has apologised "unreservedly" to Kate Middleton for showing pictures of her in a bikini, displaying her pregnancy bump, on its 'This Morning' programme yesterday.
It said its failure to blur a picture of the cover of an Italian magazine which published the pictures was "a deeply regrettable error".
St James's Palace has described the publication of the pictures, taken without permission while the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were on holiday on Mustique in the Caribbean, as "a clear breach of the couple's privacy".
The cover pictures were flashed up on screen during a discussion of the day's news between Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford, the presenters, and their guest Quentin Letts of the 'Daily Mail'. In a statement, 'This Morning' said: "Unfortunately we accidentally showed an unblurred image of the magazine cover, which briefly showed the photographs. This was a deeply regrettable error and we are very sorry."
Last year, Phillip Schofield was criticised after holding out a list of alleged paedophiles, which was visible to viewers, during an interview with the Brtish prime minister.
At the time, Peter Fincham, ITV's director of television, said he was "confident this sort of thing won't happen again".
'Chi', which has previously used topless pictures of the Duchess on holiday, published the new pictures on Tuesday. The Australian magazine 'Woman's Day' will follow suit in its next edition on Monday.
The editor of 'Woman's Day' defended the decision, claiming the pictures are a "beautiful" set of images not taken by paparazzi but by a fellow tourist.
The Australian press reported that the magazine paid €116,000 for the images, taken as the royal couple enjoyed a holiday with the Middleton family. (© Daily Telegraph, London)