The other shoe – or bikini top –just dropped in the Kate Middleton naked photo scandal.
On Monday, the glossy Italian magazine Chi published a 26-page special edition featuring 50 intimate photos of the Duchess of Cambridge taken while she was recently on vacation with Prince William in France.
Chi reportedly has some 200 images of the future queen sunbathing naked at the private estate in Provence last week.
The Chi cover, featuring three topless pictures of Middleton was first unveiled Saturday in Italian newspapers and television under the headline ‘Court Scandal: The Queen is Nude!’
Alfonso Signorini, the editor of Chi, tweeted that “not even a direct call from the Queen” would stop him from publishing the pictures.
Signorini, 48, posted the message online after being asked about the decision to publish the photos by one of his followers on Twitter.
“I am convinced by this scoop that Chi will be publishing on Monday because that is what we are talking about,” he said. “These pictures are not offensive or in poor taste, they are not morbid and they do not damage the dignity of anyone.
“Instead the pictures that were published in Britain of Prince Harry were exactly that — if I didn’t recognize the journalistic value of what I had then if I did not publish them I would be better off in a market selling artichokes.
“These pictures were taken while the couple were on a terrace and they were taken from a public place so there is no suggestion of an invasion of privacy.”
In his op-ed accompanying the topless photos, Signorini further defended his decision to publish them, by writing: “For the first time, the future Queen of England appears in a natural way, free from all artificial elements required by her role. The Royal Family, instead of getting angry with the media, that are simply exercising their right to inform, should, in my humble opinion, take the opportunity and comment on this scoop with the typical British humour, by saying ‘So what?’”.
Britain’s Press Association quoted Signorini as saying the photographs represented “ a deserving topic because it shows in a completely natural way the daily life of a very famous, young and modern couple in love.”
The magazine is owned by former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s Mondadori group, which also publishes Closer, a French magazine that was the first to release topless photographs of Middleton last week.
The Royal Family is preparing to pursue legal action in France later on Monday against the unidentified person who took the photographs.
A spokesman for the couple said: “The complaint concerns the taking of photographs of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge whilst on holiday and the publication of those photographs in breach of their privacy.”
The British royal family began legal proceedings against Closer magazine last week, calling the photographs a “grotesque” abuse.
No British outlet has published the topless photographs, respecting an informal agreement between the press and the royal family at a time when the journalists’ behavior and practices are under intense scrutiny after the phone hacking scandal focused on several tabloids owned by Rupert Murdoch.
Meanwhile, Prince William and Kate arrived in the Solomon Islands Sunday as part of the royal couple’s tour of South Asia.