A French magazine that published topless pictures of the Duchess of Cambridge has been accused of behaving like the paparazzi in the final days of Diana Princess of Wales.
The Duchess of Cambridge and Diana, Princess of Wales
Closer magazine today published a set of pictures of the royal couple, taken with a long lens as they holidayed in a Provence chateau last week.
The Duke and Duchess, currently on a tour of Malaysia, were said to be furious over the breach of their privacy.
A royal source told the Telegraph: "This is disappointing, saddening and turns the clock back 15 years."
Prince William is understood to be particularly angry because the publication comes two weeks after the fifteenth anniversary of Diana's death in a Paris tunnel when her driver was trying to shake off a pack of chasing photographers.
A spokesman confirmed that the pictures were genuine and that the Duchess was in a state of "anger and disbelief."
Closer magazine, one of the biggest celebrity magazines in France, proudly proclaimed its 'scoop' under the headline in English "Oh my God". Inside it described how the royal couple had taken a romantic break "alone, or nearly because Closer was there."
The photos were reportedly taken at a chateau owned by Lord Linley, the Queen's nephew. The Duke and Duchess were informed of their existence over breakfast and St James Palace is considering legal action. France's privacy laws are much stricter than in the UK but the primary aim will be to prevent other publications from using the images.
Last month the Sun published pictures of Prince Harry naked in a Las Vegas hotel room. The pictures had been taken by a girl invited up by the Prince and the newspaper defended its use of them by claiming that they revealed a potential breach of royal security. All other British newspapers respected the Palace's wish not to publish.