LONDON: The publication by a French magazine of topless pictures of Prince William's wife Catherine is "grotesque and totally unjustifiable", their office St James's Palace said Friday.
The couple "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", the palace said in a statement.
Earlier, it was reported that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge felt "anger and disbelief" and were consulting French lawyers after a magazine Friday published topless pictures of her, according to a royal source.
"We now believe the photographs are genuine," the source said on condition of anonymity. "Their (William and Kate's) general feeling is anger and disbelief. We feel a red line has been crossed."
"In terms of next steps, we are consulting with French lawyers as to what the options are."
The French version of Closer magazine printed photos on the front cover and inside on five pages of Catherine wearing just the bottoms of a black and white bikini while on holiday with William in Provence in the south of France.
The couple are currently in Malaysia on a tour to mark the diamond jubilee of William's grandmother Queen Elizabeth II.
The pictures are a further headache for the royal family, already reeling from the recent publication of nude photos of William's brother Harry in a Las Vegas hotel.
Another palace source said earlier that the publication "turns the clock back 15 years," referring to the intense media attention on William's late mother Diana, who died in a car crash while fleeing paparazzi in Paris in 1997. - AFP