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Kate Middleton Pregnant Bikini Photos Row Escalates As St James's Palace Issues Statement Over Chi Magazine

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St James's Palace says it is "very disappointed" that pictures taken of the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge while on holiday in Mustique are to be printed.

The snaps are reportedly set to be published by Italian gossip rag Chi - the same magazine which printed pictures of the Duchess topless and changing her bikini bottoms while she holidayed with William at Chateau d’Autet in Provence in September.

A spokesman from the palace said: “We are disappointed that photographs of the Duke and Duchess on a private holiday look likely to be published overseas. This is a clear breach of the couple’s right to privacy.”

prince william and kate middleton

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are holidaying in Mustique

The mother-to-be is currently staying on the Caribbean island with husband Prince William and her family.

According to the Sunday People the pictures are likely to spark a bidding war in the US, Australia and Europe, and could fetch up to £250,000 if touted around the world.

In light of British privacy laws and the recent Leveson report, the pictures are unlikely to be published in this country.

The paper, which states it chose not to view or publish the pictures, says the same set also features Kate's sister Pippa, also in a bikini.

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A Royal aide told the paper: "This is unfortunate. They get absolutely no privacy whatsoever."

Kate is staying at a £19,000 a week villa while she recovers from the severe morning sickness which blighted the earlier days of her pregnancy and saw her briefly hospitalised.

Of the topless pictures published last year, Chi editor Alfonso Signorini said the images were taken from a public road by photographers on public land and were permissable under Italian privacy laws.

A special 26-page edition of the magazine, which is owned by former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, was published despite legal action in France taken by the couple's lawyers against France's Closer magazine, which published them first.

The couple were left angerered when pictures taken from their honeymoon in the Seychelles were published in an Australian magazine, 15 months after they tied the knot.

The pictures were not published in Britain, in light of the "gentleman's agreement" which exists between the UK media and Clarence House.

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