Danish magazine runs topless Kate photos

A Danish magazine on Thursday became the latest to run pictures of Prince William's wife Catherine topless, despite moves by furious British royals to stop the spread of the photos.

Grainy pictures of the former Kate Middleton taking off and putting on her bikini bottoms also featured in the special supplement of Se og Hoer (See and Hear) that hit the newsstands on Thursday.

In 14 of the 36 photos published, the wife of Britain's second in line to the throne is shown sunbathing topless, like she has been previously in publications in France, Ireland, Italy and Sweden.

The photos, which first appeared in French magazine Closer last week, have sparked fury from the British royal family and revived a debate on press intruding into the private lives of celebrities.

The publication in Denmark came a day after the magazine's sister edition in Sweden ran the photos. Neither publication, owned by Danish-based Aller Media, plans to make the pictures available online.

Neither of the releases made headlines in Scandinavia or triggered much comment.

The chief editor of the Danish magazine said he was "incredibly proud" to have obtained the sole Danish rights to the snaps.

"Our readers love to follow the lives of the royals and they want scoops," Kim Henningsen said on the magazine's website, noting these were photographs "which the whole world is talking about but very few have actually seen".

After their debut in the French glossy, the photos have also appeared in Ireland's Daily Star and Italy's Chi, which like Closer is owned by former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi's Mondari media group.

The pictures have reportedly incensed Prince William, who with his wife learned of their impending publication while on an Asia-Pacific tour to mark his grandmother Queen Elizabeth's diamond jubilee.

The royal family's lawyers have obtained a civil injunction and sought criminal charges in Paris in a bid to curb the spread of the pictures.

French authorities on Tuesday banned Closer from any further distribution of the pictures and began a criminal probe into how they were obtained.

The court also ordered the magazine to hand over the files with the images to the royal couple, which the publication did on Wednesday.

Closer has said it does not own the images and simply bought them for exclusive first use, so it likely does not possess all the original files. It has refused to say from whom it bought them and who the photographer is.

The French court also banned Closer from re-selling the pictures or reusing them in print or on its website.

A spokeswoman for William and Catherine's office at St James' Palace declined to comment when asked if the couple would be taking legal action against Se og Hoer.

"As we've said, we will not be commenting on potential legal action concerning the alleged intended publication of the photos save to say that all proportionate responses will be kept under review," she said, reiterating an earlier statement.

An expert on Danish press laws said Se og Hoer could face legal action in Denmark.

"Under Danish law it is illegal to photograph people who are in an area where the public has no access, unless permission has been given," Denmark's Journalism University legal adviser Oluf Joergensen told AFP.

"There is no question in this case and the suggestion of public interest, as far as Danish law is concerned, does not apply here. Public interest is in the field of democracy or national importance and not pure entertainment, which this obviously is," Joergensen said.

The pictures have revived debate about invasions of privacy by the press and brought echoes of the hounding by paparazzi endured by William's mother, Princess Diana, who died in Paris in 1997 after her car crashed while fleeing scooter-riding photographers.

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