Topless Pictures of Kate Middleton Published in French Magazine

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UPDATED: The decision by "Closer" to publish the shots of the royal on vacation sparks a British media storm following the recent debate about naked Prince Harry photos.

LONDON – The decision by a French magazine to publish long lens topless pictures of Kate Middleton hit the British media Friday.

The BBC led its morning news updates with the story that Closer printed the pictures taken while she was on a brief holiday at the French chateau of the Queen's nephew, Lord Linley.

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The BBC said Prince William and Catherine Middleton are furious that the snaps have been published. The photos are blurry and taken with a long lens, but are clearly of the royal couple, the BBC's Paris bureau told the broadcaster's web site. There are four pages of photos of the couple with Kate topless in several.

The Daily Telegraph reported online that the couple had reacted with "anger and disbelief" on its web site, while both The Guardian and The Independent said Kate Middleton was "saddened" by the decision to print them.

Prince William and Kate are currently on a tour of Asia and are in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia at the time of hearing about the pictures. An ITV report said they are believed to be consulting French lawyers about the matter.

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Reports said that British newspapers were offered photographs last week, but turned them down.

BBC royal correspondent Peter Hunt said: "Royal officials say they accept the photos are genuine and the couple are furious."

A spokesman for the Palace told the BBC that the high-profile duo "couldn't have gone to a more secluded location" for their vacation.

The media storm comes just weeks after Prince Harry, William's brother, found himself at the center of a controversial media debate after the publication of him partying naked in a Las Vegas hotel suite.

Those images first emerged on entertainment gossip web site TMZ in the U.S. before going global on the web.