Swedish celebrity magazine Se och Hoer has published pictures of Catherine, the wife of Britain's Prince William, sunbathing topless in a three-page spread that went on sale yesterday.
The spread included 11 controversial paparazzi pictures taken while the couple were on vacation in southern France several weeks ago, five of which showed the Duchess of Cambridge topless.
One grainy shot taken from the front showed the former Kate Middleton removing her turquoise-coloured bikini bottoms. The pictures were first published by French magazine Closer last week, then in Ireland's Daily Star and Italy's Chi magazine.
"This is nothing unusual, these are quite nice pictures if you compare [them] with other celebrity pictures that we publish all the time," said Carina Loefkvist, Se och Hoer's chief editor.
The magazine is owned by the Denmark-based Aller Media company, which also owns the Danish celebrity magazine Se og Hoer. The Danish publication announced yesterday that it planned to publish a 16-page spread with the pictures today.
Loefkvist said her magazine bought the pictures last Friday "from photographers and photo agencies, the way we always do" and "before everything erupted".
The decision to publish the photos has incensed the royal family, whose lawyers have obtained a civil injunction and sought criminal charges in Paris.
French authorities on Tuesday banned Closer magazine from further distributing the pictures and began a criminal probe into how they were obtained.
Police raided Closer's offices yesterday, examining journalists' computers, searching for the identity of the photographer who had taken the pictures.
Additional reporting by The Guardian