Kate Middleton Topless Photo Called “Grotesque” By Royal Family, Lawsuit Possible

Photos of Kate Middleton topless that were published in a French magazine on Friday have drawn a quick and aggressive condemnation from the royal family, which is reportedly considering legal action against the publication.

Officials noted that the royal family sees the Kate Middleton topless photos as a “grotesque and totally unjustifiable” invasion of privacy, especially from the same country where William’s mother Princess Diana died while fleeing paparazzi, The Associated Press noted.

Many indeed noted that the Kate Middleton topless photos brought back memories of the intense media scrutiny Princess Diana faced in the days before her fatal car crash in 1997, The Associated Press reported.

“Their Royal Highnesses had every expectation of privacy in the remote house. It is unthinkable that anyone should take such photographs, let alone publish them,” said a St. James’s Palace official who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “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 royal family had initially held off on commenting, as it was not yet confirmed that the topless photos were indeed of Kate Middleton, and indeed the photos published by Closer are anything but definitive. The popular gossip magazine claimed they were taken on a guesthouse terrace in France while Prince William and Kate Middleton, and they appeared blurry and clearly shot from a distance.

Once published and it was clear that the photos were genuine, royal officials said the couple was “saddened.” Palace officials said they are not considering legal action.

“We feel a line has been crossed with their publication,” the official said.

The photos showed William and Kate sunbathing on a patio, with the Duchess wearing a two-piece, black-and-white bikini that she later removes, E! News noted.

No major British publications carried the topless Kate Middleton photos, even the tabloid The Sun which last month showed naked pictures of Prince Harry during a drunken escapade in Las Vegas.

“They won’t get published in this country, and if I was still an editor I would not be publishing them,” former News of the World executive editor Neil Wallis told BBC radio. “There’s absolutely no chance whatsoever that they will be published in this country.”

A French media law expert said the Kate Middleton topless photos cold be a clear grounds for an invasion of privacy case. the Associated Press noted, and in Europe it is common for women to sunbathe topless especially in private. The Kate Middleton case could also have precedent with French first lady Valeria Trierweiler, who won a $2,580 judgment after photos of her in a bikini were published.