Italian publication Chi Magazine published more topless photos of Kate Middleton, despite legal action by the royal family to block publication.
Under the headline, "Court Scandal: The Queen is Nude," the magazine hit newsstands today with a 26-page photo spread of the Duchess of Cambridge, 30, sunbathing on the terrace of a secluded chateau in the south of France. At the time, Middleton was on a private vacation with her husband, Prince William.
The topless photos of Middleton were first published in the French magazine Closer and later ran in the Irish Daily Star. The photos published by Chi include at least one shot of the duchess applying sunscreen to herself that did not appear in previous publications. There are as many as 200 photos of Middleton sunbathing alongside Prince William, according to TMZ.
Chi is the same magazine that published photos of Princess Diana dying in a tunnel in Paris in 1997, following a high-speed car chase with paparazzi that ended in her death at age 36.
St. James's Palace called the photos a "grotesque and totally unjustifiable" invasion of the young couple's privacy. The palace has invoked the memory of Diana, the mother of Prince William, in taking swift legal action against the photographs.
"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 said in a statement Friday.
Lawyers for the royal family were scheduled to appear today in court in France, where they planned to ask a judge to prevent further publications from printing the photos. The couple's lawyers would also file a criminal complaint against the photographer or photographers who took the photos.
"There can be no motivation for this action other than greed," a St. James's Palace spokesperson told the BBC this weekend in regard to the Irish publication. Northern and Shell, the owners of the Irish Daily Star, said they disagreed with the newspaper's decision to publish the photographs of the Duchess of Cambridge and "very much regret the distress it has caused," The Associated Press reported.
As for Chi, the editor of the magazine stood behind his decision to publish the photos, telling the AP that he did not fear legal action. He even wrote on Twitter that "not even a direct call from the Queen" could stop him from publishing the photos.
Meanwhile, despite all the drama and the swirl of legal action around them, Middleton and Prince William have kept up appearances throughout their week-long tour of Asia.