13 Feb 2013

Kate bikini pictures spark fresh privacy row

St James’s Palace says it is “disappointed” about the publication of pictures showing the Duchess of Cambridge on a private Caribbean holiday.

The Duchess of Cambridge (Getty)

The pictures reportedly show Kate wearing a bikini and strolling on a beach on the island of Mustique with William.

They were published by Chi magazine, which last year provoked outrage from the royal family when it produced a 26-page spread showing the duchess topless during a holiday in France.

On a website publicising Chi – 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 a pair of shorts, with his left arm around his wife as they walk along a beach.

A St James’s Palace spokesman said on Tuesday night: “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.”

Read more: Kate photos - did Leveson prompt a British backlash?

Legal action?

The spokesman would not comment on whether William had been informed about the issue or if they were considering any form of legal action against the magazine.

The photographs were reportedly taken from a boat using a long-lens camera.

The publication by Chi, which goes on sale today, comes less than six months after the printing of pictures showing the Duchess wearing just a pair of bikini bottoms.

William was left visibly outraged by the intrusion into his wife’s privacy while they stayed at a private estate in southern France last summer.

France’s Closer magazine was the first publication to print the images in September last year and the Duke and Duchess later succeeded in getting an injunction from a French court stopping further pictures appearing in the title.

At the time Chi’s editor Alfonso Signorini defended his decision to also publish the topless pictures, saying: “I am a director of a newspaper not a supermarket, I don’t sell artichokes and carrots, I sell photographic scoops.”