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LONDON — The publication in France of topless photos of the Duchess of Cambridge has cast a shadow over the royal couple’s Diamond Jubilee tour of the Far East.
The duke and duchess continued their official tour today with a visit to a mosque in Kuala Lumpur, for which the duchess wore a bespoke dress by the London brand Beulah. She paired it with a matching headscarf.
As the visit was taking place, the French celebrity gossip magazine Closer hit newsstands with pictures of the royal couple on holiday at their relative David Linley’s chateau in the south of France.
Slightly blurred images of the scantily clad duchess appear on the cover with the headline, “Oh My God!” followed by the tagline: “Les photos qui vont faire le tour du monde,” (in English, the photos that will go around the world).
Inside, the magazine devotes five pages to images that seem to have been taken with a long lens, under the headline, “Sex and Sun en Provence.” Several depict the duchess without her bathing suit top on.
St. James’s Palace issued a statement saying: “Their Royal Highnesses have been hugely saddened to learn that a French publication and a photographer have invaded their privacy in such a grotesque and totally unjustifiable manner.
“The incident is reminiscent of the worst excesses of the press and paparazzi during the life of Diana, Princess of Wales, and all the more upsetting to the Duke and Duchess for being so.”
The Palace also said that the couple had every right to expect privacy, and that: “It is unthinkable that anyone should take such photographs, let alone publish them.”
The BBC reported that British newspapers were offered the photos last week, but declined to publish them. The furor comes in the wake of the controversy caused by pictures of a naked Prince Harry going viral on the Web last month.
Later in the day in in Malaysia, the duchess wore a pale blue dress with an embroidered white mesh overlay for a Diamond Jubilee tea party at the British High Commission in Kuala Lumpur.