Melbourne: Coming close on the heels of an Italian magazine publishing photos of a bikini-clad Kate Middleton with a baby bump, an Australian weekly has decided to print the snaps, describing them as "beautiful".
'Woman's Day', an Australian weekly magazine, will run the controversial shots of the 31-year-old Duchess of Cambridge in Monday's edition. The Italian gossip magazine Chi has already published the photographs, splashing images of Kate in a bright blue bikini and sporting a clear baby bump on the cover.
Woman's Day editor Fiona Connolly said she had no qualms about running the photographs, claiming they were taken by a fellow holiday maker on the Carribbean island of Mustique rather than a paparazzo.
"It wasn't a hard decision to run these photos," she said. "She is on a public beach and she was mingling with holiday makers. There are other holiday makers in the photos. It's a very different situation to the nude photos, there is no photographer hiding in the bushes and she is not inside a private villa," Connolly was quoted by News.com.au as saying.
"In this instance they are a beautiful set of photos," she said. St James's Palace has slammed the photos as a "clear breach of the couple's right to privacy". "We are disappointed that photographs of the Duke and Duchess on a private holiday look likely to be published overseas", a spokesman said.
But Connolly said Australians did not view the Royal family as a protected species like the British did. "The British have a great deal more sensitivity to royalsthan we do here in Oz," she said. "Aussies are a lot more laid back and when it comes to the beach and our readers will see these as something we do in do in everyday life. We see these sort of photos every day," Connolly said.
"Kate looks amazing and fit and fabulous, she looks so much better than the poorly and sickly woman we saw coming out of hospital which make these photos more of a celebration," she said.
Connolly said the magazine had bought the exclusive Australian rights to the shots, which would eventually be published all over the world. "Everyone but the UK has or will publish these pics," she said. "The British press has collectively made a deal with the palace (but a) gentleman's agreement over there doesn't affect us over here.
"We are sensitive to photos that should not be published, for instance I haven't laid eyes on the nude photos of Kate," she said. Connolly refused to reveal how much the magazine had paid for the pictures.