Peter Hunt, the BBC’s royal correspondent, says: “Royal officials say they accept the photos are genuine and the couple are furious.
“The officials stress the couple couldn’t have gone to a more secluded location in France. They were a “young couple enjoying a holiday.
“There has been a significant hardening of William and Kate’s response to the publication of the topless photos.”
The future king and queen are considering to take legal action against British Cover’s sister magazine, owned by former Italian president Silvio Berlusconi’s company, writes the Daily Mail.
The couple got the news about the blurry photos while having breakfast in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where Kate on Thursday gave her first official speech abroad.
She had told the BBC she was ‘hugely excited’ over being in Malaysia, a country with strict laws of public decency.
The magazine cover has a picture of the Duchess, as she is about to remove her bikini while on holiday in the Queen’s nephew Lord Linley’s Chateau D’Aulet in southern France last week.
The headline says: “Oh My God! Photos that will go around the world … the future Queen of England as you’ve never seen her before … and as you will never see her again!”
Closer’s editor, Laurence Pieau, told the Daily Mail the four pages of pictures, with many showing Kate ‘fully topless’ would make Prince Harry feel ‘less alone’
A senior royal source told the Daily Mail the couple were “saddened and disappointed if they [the pictures] are genuine as they have a right to privacy – especially on their holiday.”
The source said: “This incident turns the clock back 15 years,” referring to William’s mother, Princess Diana, who was killed when chased by paparazzi in 1997.
The royal couple’s lawyers in UK and France, one of the countries with strictest privacy laws, have spoken tonight.
UPDATE: The editor of France’s Closer magazine, Laurence Pieau, has defended the move to publish the photos, saying “What we saw in the pictures was a young couple, recently married, who are in love, who are beautiful.”
“She’s the princess of the 21st century. They are on the balcony of a mansion in the south of France…visible from the street,” she told BFMTV, a French news channel.
“She’s a young woman who is topless just like the ones that can be see on all the beaches of France and the world. These are pictures that are full of joy.
“The pictures are not degrading. Similarities have been drawn with the pictures of Prince Harry. They are nothing like them” Pieau continued.
Image via Getty.
Closer mag France owned by Mondadori publishing group – chairman: Marina Berlusconi #katemiddleton
— Michael Greenwood (@greenwood100) September 14, 2012
Not seen the Kate Middleton pics. But I bet Pippa is in the background doing nudie star jumps and waving ferociously.
— Ian Hyland (@HylandIan) September 14, 2012
#KateMiddleton Gutter press now in the sewer. Sewer-side journalism the new terrorism
— Omid Djalili (@omid9) September 14, 2012
Not a royalist, but for grief’s sake give Kate Middleton some privacy.No person should have to face such photos being published.
— David Allen Green (@DavidAllenGreen) September 14, 2012
Utter disgrace that a mid-market French rag has invaded Kate #Middleton‘s privacy like this. Gutter press morality.
— Evgeny Lebedev (@mrevgenylebedev) September 14, 2012
BBC News seems to be using its ‘someone important’s died’ voice for the Kate Middleton story.
— Justin Lewis (@Mumbler3) September 14, 2012
Be honest. The first thing you did after you read the news today was: Google Image Search > Kate Middleton > Safe Search:OFF.
— James Hadouken! (@JamesHadouken) September 14, 2012
Here is the exclusive pic of Kate Middleton with her top off twitter.com/KatieWeasel/st…
— Katie Weasel (@KatieWeasel) September 14, 2012