Royal fury as Irish Daily Star publishes topless Kate Middleton pics
THE Irish Daily Star published topless photos of the Duchess of Cambridge, prompting the move to be condemned by St James's Palace.
Yesterday the palace described the publication of pictures of topless Kate in French magazine Closer yesterday as a "grotesque and totally unjustifiable" invasion of privacy, and today the Daily Star paper today ran the images in its Republic of Ireland edition.
Irish Daily Star editor Michael O'Kane said the pictures did not feature in the UK editions of his newspaper group and he defended their publication in the Irish Republic.
"The Duchess would be no different to any other celeb pics we would get in, for example Rihanna or Lady Gaga," he said.
"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."
He told the BBC that the images were the type of snaps that might be included among family holidays on continental Europe.
A spokeswoman for the palace said: "There can be no motivation for this action other than greed.
Italian gossip magazine Chi is also understood to be planning a 26-page photo special of the Duke and Duchess sunbathing in the south of France, to run in an edition next week.
St James's Palace has already said the couple will sue the publishers of French Closer magazine, which is run by a different company from the British version of Closer magazine.
Earlier a spokeswoman said they were reviewing what further action might be taken against other publications that might publish the photos.
She said: "We will not be commenting on potential legal action concerning the alleged intended publication of the photos in Italy save to say that all proportionate responses will be kept under review.
"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."
Both Chi and the French edition of Closer are published by the Mondadori media group, which is owned by former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.
Chi magazine's editor Alfonso Signorini said: "The fact that these are the future rulers of England makes the article more interesting and topical.
"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."
A number of British newspapers have been offered the photos but so far are unanimous in their condemnation of them being published.
Royal aides have drawn parallels between the late Princess of Wales' most upsetting encounters with certain elements of the press and the "unthinkable" actions of Closer, which left Kate and William feeling "anger and disbelief".
Diana's friend Vivienne Parry also made comparisons and said she thought William would be "appalled" by the photos.
Writing in today's Daily Mirror, she said: "He lost his mother to the foreign photographers, he will do absolutely everything in his power to prevent the same thing happening to Kate.
"I hope that William's swift and decisive legal action is successful but I also hope that those people who are looking at the pictures feel guilty because they know where it all led when it was Diana - to her death."
St James's Palace said the royal couple would not let the controversy distract them as they continued their Diamond Jubilee tour of south east Asia and the South Pacific.
They spent yesterday in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur completing a busy schedule of events including visiting a mosque for the first time.
They later left the mainland and flew to Kota Kinabalu, capital of the state of Sabah on Borneo, and were today visiting the region's dramatic rainforest to learn about the wildlife - something that is likely to be a welcome relief from the distressing events.