New Kate Middleton bikini pics reignite royal privacy row
The Palace is outraged that Italian gossip mag Chi is running snaps of pregnant Duchess on Mustique
PAPARAZZI pictures of a visibly-pregnant, bikini-clad Kate Middleton walking with Prince William on a beach in Mustique have infuriated the Palace and triggered another debate about the Royal family's right to privacy.
The Daily Mail says Palace insiders have described the new pictures of Middleton – which will be published today by Chi, the same Italian magazine that ran pictures of her sunbathing topless in France last year – as "grotesque" and "violating". The Palace believes the pictures are "a clear breach of privacy" and says it is consulting lawyers about the incident.
The Mail says the new pictures have been offered to several other magazines around the world and may fetch up to £250,000. It is understood that the Australian magazine, Woman's Day also intends to publish them. So far, no British publication appears willing to run the pictures even though they can be seen on Chi's website.
Chi, which is running the pictures of Middleton and her husband under the headline: "Kate and William – honeymoon for three", was widely condemned in the British press today.
The Mail described the magazine owned by former Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi as a "tawdry gossip mag" and points out it became infamous seven years ago, when it ran a picture of a dying Princess Diana, taken just minutes after her fatal car crash in Paris in 1997.
The Daily Mirror says Middleton is "horrified" and experiencing "fresh paparazzi agony" over the pictures. It says it is unclear if the pictures were taken on the beach or from a boat moored offshore, an important distinction because Mustique is a private island and paparazzi are banned.
The Caribbean island is patrolled by on-shore and off-shore private security teams, but they "clearly failed to spot the paparazzi waiting for the couple to emerge on the beach", the paper says.
The Mustique incident echoes the treatment of Princess Diana, when she was pregnant with William in 1982, The Guardian says. The Daily Star and The Sun were both "censured" by the Press Council after they ran photographs of the Princess wearing a bikini on the Caribbean Island of St Kitts. ·