Recently published photos of Kate Middleton bikini-clad on the beach in her fourth month of pregnancy have upset the royal family; however, the magazine that initially published the photos has released a statement justifying its actions.
Italian magazine, Chi, argues that it was within its right to release the photos of the Middleton as she and husband, Prince William vacationed on the secluded Caribbean island of Mustique because the photos were taken by members of the public, and not paparazzi.
The images that feature a four months pregnant Kate, showing her budding stomach in a bright blue halter-neck bikini while she and William walk along the beach. In Italian, Chi titled its spread, “Kate and William – honeymoon for three.”
While the island of Mustique is a private one, consisting of 2.2 square miles of 100 private villas, the beach that Kate and William were on is public, where other vacationers also walk around freely.
The Daily Mail previously reported that on Mustique where paparazzi are banned, the island’s private security team that patrols the island both on-and-off shore failed to find any paparazzi in the area where the Duke and Duchess relaxed on the beach.
“We cannot talk about a violation of privacy when we publish pictures of public people in a public place. The photographs of Kate and William were bought from an international photo agency," Chi's editor in chief, Alfonso Signorini told Us Weekly in a statement.
The current incident has been compared to several others considered invasions of privacy by the royal family, including the release of a photograph of Princess Diana as she lay dying after the paparazzi crash that ultimately took her life, that was notably also published by Chi.
The magazine was also among many to publish photos of Middleton topless, taken in September 2012 while she and Prince William vacationed in the south of France.
"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," couple's royal press secretary, Miguel Head said in a statement of the current situation.
"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."
But Signorini says that the public factor absolves the magazine of any wrong doing in this situation.
"You can't compare this with the media persecution of Lady Diana. I cannot stress enough that the photos were taken in a public place, not private property," he told Us.
While reports indicate that the photos have been sold to publishers in the U.S., Us Weekly is among the many American publications that say it will not run the photos out of respect for the royal couple.
Upon publication, St. James' Palace released a statement, calling the editorial, “a clear breach of the couple’s privacy.”
"We are disappointed that photographs of the Duke and Duchess on a private holiday look likely to be published overseas,” the Place said.
In addition to the U.S., publications in France and Germany have reportedly also gained rights to the photos.
Australian magazine, Woman’s Day has also published the photos in a recent edition. Editor, Fiona Connolly stated that the magazine saw nothing wrong with publishing the photos as Australians do not consider the royal couple a “protected species.”
“The British have a great deal more sensitivity to royals than we do here in Oz,” Connolly told News Ltd.
“As Australians, we see this every day. We see pregnant women in bikinis on the beach -- and a public one at that -- so we are a lot less sensitive here.”
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