An Italian gossip magazine owned by former Premier Silvio Berlusconi plans to publish topless photos of Prince William's wife Kate, despite legal action against a French magazine that published the images first.
Chi is part of Berlusconi's publishing house Mondadori, which also owns Closer, the popular French magazine that hit newsstands yesterday with the photos, and was immediately slapped with a lawsuit by the royal couple alleging privacy violations.
The photos, taken while Kate and William were at a private estate in southern France last month, are the first to show Britain's likely future queen with her bosom exposed.
Chi said it plans to publish a 26-page spread with photos on Monday. The cover was unveiled today in Italian newspapers and television under the headline "The Queen is Nude."
In an interview on Saturday with The Associated Press, editor Alfonso Signorini said he didn't fear legal action since the photos were already in the public domain following Closer's publication.
He defended the decision to publish them, saying the photos are tasteful and respect Kate's dignity.
"I don't see anything morbid or damaging in them," he said. "Chi pays attention to respecting people's dignity. I don't think they hurt Kate's image."
Prince William's office, St. James's Palace, declined to comment on Chi's plans.
A man holds a copy of the French magazine Closer showing pictures of Kate Middleton and Prince William (Reuters Photo)