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The Duchess of Cambridge. (Photo via AP)

UPDATED: The royals are suing Closer magazine over the photos, BBC News is reporting. A royal spokesperson confirms this: “St James’s Palace confirms that legal proceedings for breach of privacy have been commenced today in France by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge against the publishers of Closer Magazine France.”

EARLIER: The French magazine Closer has upset the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge by publishing photos of Kate Middleton sunbathing topless, while on holiday with Prince William in France, reports BBC News. The magazine itself reports the couple was staying at a private chateau in Provence when the photos were taken.  

BBC reports reactions from both sides:

Clarence House, Prince of Wales’s office

“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. Their Royal Highnesses had every expectation of privacy in the remote house.”

“It is unthinkable that anyone should take such photographs, let alone publish them. Officials acting on behalf of their Royal Highnesses are consulting with lawyers to consider what options may be available to the Duke and Duchess.”

Laurence Pieau, editor of French magazine Closer

“One shouldn’t over-dramatise these pictures. The reactions are a little disproportionate. What we saw in the pictures was a young couple that have just got married, who are in love, who are beautiful. She’s a princess of the 21st century. They are on the terrace of a mansion in the south of France which is not far from a road along which cars pass without any problem. They are visible from the street.”

“She’s a young woman who is topless just like the ones who can be see on all the beaches of France and the world. It’s a member of the British Royal Family. There have been pictures before that. Two weeks ago, there were the pictures of Prince Harry that had been published by the English press. So one shouldn’t be hypocritical. And those were pictures were degrading and far hotter than those that we’re publishing. She’s a topless princess. There have been others. It’s really not new.”

Nicholas Witchell, BBC Royal Correspondent

“I have rarely heard quite such a level of publicly expressed anger that I have heard today reflecting William‘s feelings. He is absolutely determined to protect the privacy of his wife, he has always been very protective of her and that anger has mounted during the day.”

Thomas Roussineau, who specializes in privacy law, says the magazine has broken France’s privacy laws, according to The Guardian. He pointed out the fee they may have to pay will not outweigh the revenue the photos will bring in.

The public is reacting by posting comments on the magazine’s Facebook page. One, written in French, said: “Your behavior is unacceptable, you’re as bad as the English tabloids. You have gone too far with the photos of Kate topless and it will cost you a lot I hope. Shameful,” reports

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By Brigid Brown