Italian magazine to print more Kate photos
For UK's popular press, publication of photos showing topless duchess is beyond the pale
Agence France-Presse in London
The British royal family faced a multinational battle to contain the spread of topless photos of Princess William's wife Catherine, as an Irish tabloid published them yesterday and an Italian magazine said it would print new photos.
Italy's Chi magazine will devote 26 pages to the series of pictures in an edition coming out tomorrow.
A version of the front cover of the gossip publication showed some of the photos with the headline "The Queen is Naked!" The royal family had swiftly sued the French magazine Closer, published by former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi's Mondadori Group. Chi also belongs to the group.
"The fact that these are the future rulers of England makes the article more topical," Chi editor Alfonso Signorini said.
The royal couple's St James's Palace office condemned the moves as unjustifiable and evidence of pure greed, and said it was considering "all proportionate responses".
The Dublin-based Irish Daily Star ran a blurry reproduction of the pages from Closer.
"She's not our future queen," Editor Mike O'Kane told the BBC. "The duchess would be no different to any other celeb pics we would get in, for example Rihanna or Lady Gaga."
The wife of Prince William, second in line to the British throne, was snapped while the couple were on holiday in the south of France.
In Britain, the press rushed to the defence Kate, with many drawing a comparison between her and William's mother Diana - who died in a Paris car crash in 1997.
"I won't let Kate suffer like my mother," was the Daily Mirror tabloid's headline.
Like several of its competitors, it juxtaposed images of Catherine wearing a white veil on Friday on her current trip to Malaysia, and Diana wearing a similar veil during a trip to Cairo in 1992.
The Daily Mail blasted Closer's decision to print the images with the headline, "Grotesque!", echoing the palace's own words.
"A French media which chose not to expose the love child of President Mitterrand and the behaviour of Dominique Strauss-Kahn shouldn't be hounding a British royal," said The Mirror. The Sun added: "The final irony is that it is France - smug, privacy-obsessed France - that has published grossly intrusive pictures that no decent British paper would touch with a bargepole."
The Sun reported the French magazine's editor as saying Kate was seen smoking.
Like its competitors, The Sun declined to print the photos - in sharp contrast to the storm it caused last month when it defied royal orders and printed nude pictures of Prince Harry during a wild night in Las Vegas.