The Italian magazine editor who published bikini shots of Prince William's pregnant wife Catherine, Duchess Of Cambridge has defended his decision, insisting allegations the images are an invasion of privacy are "over the top".
Bosses at Chi obtained several images of the British royals enjoying a romantic stroll on a beach during a vacation on the private island of Mustique last week (ends10Feb13) and they have published the pictures in the latest issue.
A spokesman for the royal family slammed the magazine bosses on Tuesday (12Feb13), stating they were "very disappointed" to hear the Duke and Duchess' private holiday had been ruined by a paparazzo.
The publicist added, "This is a clear breach of the couple's right to privacy."
The heavy criticism that followed the statement was ignored by editor Alfonso Signorini and the shots were made public on Wednesday (13Feb13).
Speaking out to explain his actions, he says, "The article features photos of a young couple in love as they happily walk along the shore. They are images of such unexceptional normality that there is only limited mention of them on the cover of the magazine."
Signorini adds, "The photographs can hardly be considered an invasion of privacy when the subjects are public figures in a public place... What our readers will see is simply a moment of joyful relaxation being enjoyed by a smiling, happy couple. Where's the scandal in that?"
Chi bosses came under fire last year (12) after publishing a series of photos of the Duchess topless on holiday in France.
The new images, showing Catherine, who is four months pregnant, in a blue bikini have also been published by America's Star magazine.