updated - May 18, 2013 Saturday EDT
Closer, a French tabloid magazine published photos on Friday of Kate Middleton topless while sunbathing with her husband, Prince William. The Royal Family has sent out a stern statement from the palace as they still reeling from the Prince Harry nude Vegas photo scandal.
Closer magazine published grainy photos of the royal couple, probably taken with a long lens, which show Kate Middleton sunbathing topless with Prince William on a balcony at a 19th century hunting lodge in southern France, in early September. In another picture, she bends over pulling down her bikini bottoms while Prince William touches her bare bottom.
"OH MY GOD!" the cover reads with the words "world exclusive," on top of a montage of uncensored pictures. Inside, there's a five-page spread of the couple relaxing, clearly oblivious to the prying paparazzi.
In another photo, Kate is seen rubbing suntan lotion on William's back. In another, William rubs suntan lotion on her almost-bare bottom. Closer also claims Kate was spotted smoking a cigarette as the couple walked out of nearby Marseille airport where they arrived on a commercial flight.
Moments after the topless photos went public, the Royal Family issued a scathing 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."
In the statement, the Royal Family said the incident is "reminiscent of the worst excesses of the press and paparazzi during the life of Diana, Princess of Wales" ... who died in a car crash while fleeing from the paparazzi in France back in 1997.
Officials said the royal family was considering legal action for invasion of privacy in the same country Princess Diana died.
Closer magazine has a UK version as well, which immediately issued a statement and distanced itself from its French counterpart, saying it would "like to make it clear that the two publications make entirely independent editorial decisions. In this respect the comments made by the Editor of the French edition which have reported in the media today do not reflect the opinions of Closer magazine UK."
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