The editor of the magazine that ran exclusive shots of the Duchess of Cambridge topless on Friday has defended their publication on the grounds that “they are not shocking”.

Speaking to the AFP news agency, Laurence Pieau, who edits the French edition of Closer, said: “These photos are not in the least shocking. They show a young woman sunbathing topless, like the millions of women you see on beaches.”

laurence pieau

Laurence Pieau has defended publication of the shots

Pieau has not disclosed how much the magazine paid for the shots but admitted that the publishers would sell them on to other magazines around the world.

"One shouldn't dramatise these pictures," said Pieau. "The reaction has been a little disproportionate. It is a young couple that has just been married. They are in love. They are beautiful. She is the princess of the 21st century."

The pictures, which were captured by “a professional photographer” with whom the magazine had “previously worked”, were taken while the Duchess was sun bathing on the terrace of the Viscount Linley villa in Provence, southern France. The photographer reportedly took the pictures from a nearby road.

They were visible from the street," said Pieau, adding: "These are pictures that are full of joy. They are not degrading. Similarities have been drawn with the pictures of Harry. They are not similar. These are not degrading."

SEE ALSO

A teaser for the shots ran on the Closer website on Thursday evening. It read: "Discover the incredible pictures of the future Queen of England as you've never seen her before ... and as you will never see her again!"

Quick Poll

Was Laurence Pieau justified in publishing the photos of Kate?

VOTE

Social networks have reacted angrily to publication of the shots, with Pieau's Twitter account the focus for vilification from around the world.


David Stone
Very disappointed by and the rest of them at French Closer magazine. Disgusting. Remember what happened to Diana?


The Beanolizer!!
A world with no privacy is a sad place. The justification by for using the photos of Kate is beyond ridiculous! It's


Elliot Selwood
if you're ever wondering what's wrong with the worlds media - its people like you. Give some respect.


James Chalmers
Let's get the pap boys outside Laurence Pieau's house. Vile woman.


Jack Organ
Most shocking thing I've discovered about Closer's immoral and disgusting behaviour is Laurence Pieau is a woman!

According to a Palace spokesman, Kate and Wills, who are currently on a tour of Southeast Asia, were "hugely saddened to learn that a French publication and a photographer have invaded their privacy in such a grotesque and totally unjustifiable manner”.

READ THE ROYAL STATEMENT IN FULL

Kate And Wills Tour Of The Far East Day 4

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  • Royal tour of the Far East and South Pacific - Day Four

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge depart from Kuala Lumpur Airport to travel to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

  • Royal tour of the Far East and South Pacific - Day Four

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge depart from Kuala Lumpur Airport to travel to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

  • Royal tour of the Far East and South Pacific - Day Four

    The Duchess of Cambridge departs from Kuala Lumpur Airport to travel to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific, with the Duke of Cambridge, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

  • Royal tour of the Far East and South Pacific - Day Four

    The Duchess of Cambridge departs from Kuala Lumpur Airport to travel to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific, with the Duke of Cambridge, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

  • Britain's Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge talks to people in the crowd during a walk through a central city park in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Friday, Sept. 14, 2012. Prince William and Kate are in Malaysia for a three-day visit as part of a tour to mark Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee. (AP Photo/Justine Guyton)

  • Royal tour of the Far East and South Pacific - Day Four

    The Duchess of Cambridge attends a Diamond Jubilee Tea Party at the British High Commission in Kuala Lumpur, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific, with the Duke of Cambridge, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

  • Royal tour of the Far East and South Pacific - Day Four

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge drink tea during a Diamond Jubilee Tea Party at the British High Commission in Kuala Lumpur, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

  • Royal tour of the Far East and South Pacific - Day Four

    The Duchess of Cambridge attends a Diamond Jubilee Tea Party at the British High Commission in Kuala Lumpur, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific, with the Duke of Cambridge, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

  • Royal tour of the Far East and South Pacific - Day Four

    The Duchess of Cambridge attends a Diamond Jubilee Tea Party at the British High Commission in Kuala Lumpur, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific, with the Duke of Cambridge, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

  • Royal tour of the Far East and South Pacific - Day Four

    The Duchess of Cambridge attends a Diamond Jubilee Tea Party at the British High Commission in Kuala Lumpur, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific, with the Duke of Cambridge, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

  • Royal tour of the Far East and South Pacific - Day Four

    The Duchess of Cambridge attends a Diamond Jubilee Tea Party at the British High Commission in Kuala Lumpur, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific, with the Duke of Cambridge, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

  • Royal tour of the Far East and South Pacific - Day Four

    The Duchess of Cambridge attends a Diamond Jubilee Tea Party at the British High Commission in Kuala Lumpur, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific, with the Duke of Cambridge, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

  • Royal tour of the Far East and South Pacific - Day Four

    A Diamond Jubilee tea that was drunk by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during a Diamond Jubilee Tea Party at the British High Commission in Kuala Lumpur, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

  • Royal tour of the Far East and South Pacific - Day Four

    The Duchess of Cambridge attends a Diamond Jubilee Tea Party at the British High Commission in Kuala Lumpur, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific, with the Duke of Cambridge, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

  • Royal tour of the Far East and South Pacific - Day Four

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attend a Diamond Jubilee Tea Party at the British High Commission in Kuala Lumpur, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

  • Royal tour of the Far East and South Pacific - Day Four

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit the Assyakirin Mosque in Kuala Lumpur, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

  • Royal tour of the Far East and South Pacific - Day Four

    The Duchess of Cambridge visits the Assyakirin Mosque in Kuala Lumpur, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific, with the Duke of Cambridge, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

  • Royal tour of the Far East and South Pacific - Day Four

    The Duke of Cambridge takes off his shoes watched by Duchess of Cambridge prior to entering the Assyakirin Mosque in Kuala Lumpur, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

  • Royal tour of the Far East and South Pacific - Day Four

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit a cultural fair at Kuala Lumpur City Centre Park, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

  • Royal tour of the Far East and South Pacific - Day Four

    The Duchess of Cambridge visits the Assyakirin Mosque in Kuala Lumpur, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific, with the Duke of Cambridge, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

  • Royal tour of the Far East and South Pacific - Day Four

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit the Assyakirin Mosque in Kuala Lumpur, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

  • Royal tour of the Far East and South Pacific - Day Four

    The Duchess of Cambridge visits the Assyakirin Mosque in Kuala Lumpur, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific, with the Duke of Cambridge, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

  • Royal tour of the Far East and South Pacific - Day Four

    The Duchess of Cambridge visits the Assyakirin Mosque in Kuala Lumpur, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific, with the Duke of Cambridge, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

  • Royal tour of the Far East and South Pacific - Day Four

    The Duchess of Cambridge visits a cultural fair at Kuala Lumpur City Centre Park, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific, with the Duke of Cambridge, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

  • Royal tour of the Far East and South Pacific - Day Four

    The Duchess of Cambridge visits the Assyakirin Mosque in Kuala Lumpur, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific, with the Duke of Cambridge, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

  • Royal tour of the Far East and South Pacific - Day Four

    The Duchess of Cambridge visits the Assyakirin Mosque in Kuala Lumpur, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific, with the Duke of Cambridge, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

  • Royal tour of the Far East and South Pacific - Day Four

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit the Assyakirin Mosque in Kuala Lumpur, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

  • Royal tour of the Far East and South Pacific - Day Four

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit the Assyakirin Mosque in Kuala Lumpur, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

  • Royal tour of the Far East and South Pacific - Day Four

    The Duchess of Cambridge visits the Assyakirin Mosque in Kuala Lumpur, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific, with the Duke of Cambridge, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

  • Royal tour of the Far East and South Pacific - Day Four

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit a cultural fair at Kuala Lumpur City Centre Park, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

  • Royal tour of the Far East and South Pacific - Day Four

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit a cultural fair at Kuala Lumpur City Centre Park, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

  • Royal tour of the Far East and South Pacific - Day Four

    The Duchess of Cambridge visits a cultural fair at Kuala Lumpur City Centre Park, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific, with the Duke of Cambridge, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

  • Royal tour of the Far East and South Pacific - Day Four

    The Duchess of Cambridge visits a cultural fair at Kuala Lumpur City Centre Park, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific, with the Duke of Cambridge, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

  • Royal tour of the Far East and South Pacific - Day Four

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit the Assyakirin Mosque in Kuala Lumpur, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

  • Royal tour of the Far East and South Pacific - Day Four

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit the Assyakirin Mosque in Kuala Lumpur, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

  • Royal tour of the Far East and South Pacific - Day Four

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit the Assyakirin Mosque in Kuala Lumpur, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

  • Royal tour of the Far East and South Pacific - Day Four

    The Duchess of Cambridge visits the Assyakirin Mosque in Kuala Lumpur, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific, with the Duke of Cambridge, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

  • Royal tour of the Far East and South Pacific - Day Four

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit a cultural fair at Kuala Lumpur City Centre Park, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

  • Royal tour of the Far East and South Pacific - Day Four

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit a cultural fair at Kuala Lumpur City Centre Park, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

  • Royal tour of the Far East and South Pacific - Day Four

    The Duchess of Cambridge visits the Assyakirin Mosque in Kuala Lumpur, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific, with the Duke of Cambridge, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

  • Royal tour of the Far East and South Pacific - Day Four

    The Duchess of Cambridge visits the Assyakirin Mosque in Kuala Lumpur, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific, with the Duke of Cambridge, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

  • Royal tour of the Far East and South Pacific - Day Four

    The Duchess of Cambridge visits the Assyakirin Mosque in Kuala Lumpur, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific, with the Duke of Cambridge, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

  • Royal tour of the Far East and South Pacific - Day Four

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge sign a visitors book at the Assyakirin Mosque in Kuala Lumpur, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

  • Royal tour of the Far East and South Pacific - Day Four

    The Duchess of Cambridge visits the Assyakirin Mosque in Kuala Lumpur, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific, with the Duke of Cambridge, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

  • Royal tour of the Far East and South Pacific - Day Four

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit the Assyakirin Mosque in Kuala Lumpur, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

  • Royal tour of the Far East and South Pacific - Day Four

    The Duchess of Cambridge visits the Assyakirin Mosque in Kuala Lumpur, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific, with the Duke of Cambridge, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

  • Royal tour of the Far East and South Pacific - Day Four

    The Duchess of Cambridge visits the Assyakirin Mosque in Kuala Lumpur, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific, with the Duke of Cambridge, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

  • Royal tour of the Far East and South Pacific - Day Four

    The Duchess of Cambridge visits the Assyakirin Mosque in Kuala Lumpur, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific, with the Duke of Cambridge, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

  • Royal tour of the Far East and South Pacific - Day Four

    The Duchess of Cambridge visits the Assyakirin Mosque in Kuala Lumpur, as part of a nine-day tour of the Far East and South Pacific, with the Duke of Cambridge, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

  • Prince William, Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge

    Prince William and his wife Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, center, take a walk through a central city park in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Friday, Sept. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

  • Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge

    Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, left, shakes hands with a woman in the crowd during a walk through a central city park in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Friday, Sept. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)