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Kate Middleton Topless Photo Scandal: French Tabloid Defends Publishing "Beautiful" Shots

Kate Middleton, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William Press Association via AP Images

And here Kate Middleton and Prince William probably thought the biggest scandal they'd encounter during their Diamond Jubilee tour of the South Pacific was bumpwatch.

Instead, the royal couple have been forced to put on their game faces and continue making the rounds while the tabloid world goes into meltdown over a French tabloid's publication of topless photos of the sunbathing duchess, taken during a pretour private vacation in Provence.

While the royal family has already rightly called out the magazine for the "grotesque" violation of privacy, Closer's editor has spoken out, defending their decision to run the scandalous shots.

Will and Kate put topless photo scandal behind them at Malaysian mosque

"These photos are not in the least shocking," editor Laurence Pieau told AFP. "They show a young woman sunbathing topless, like the millions of women you see on beaches."

She declined to reveal how much the publication paid for the exclusive and illicit snaps, but she seemed confident that they were worth whatever the price tag.

"One shouldn't dramatize these pictures," she said. "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.

Check out the palace's full statement on the photo leak

"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."

The palace clearly disagrees, and have made clear that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are exploring possible legal options in response to the privacy violation.

Watch Kate Middleton give her first foreign speech

Meanwhile, the royal couple is soldiering on with their public duties in the wake of the personal invasion, having carried out two public events today. While earlier this morning the duo made their way to Kuala Lumpur's largest mosque, they were back out in the Malaysian capital today, turning up to a tea at the British High Commission.

Kate made yet another outfit change for the occasion, wearing a knee-length lace overlay Alice Temperley dress. Well, here's hoping that British adage is true: Tea, in this case, may not have solved everything, but perhaps it made things at least a little bit better.

Check out all the highlights from Will and Kate's Jubilee tour

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Which star is showing off while sunbathing?