Silvio Berlusconi-Owned Italian Magazine to Publish Topless Kate Middleton Photos

Mark Large/Getty Images

An Irish tabloid printed them Saturday as Rupert Murdoch's The Sun, which recently published pictures of a naked Prince Harry, said "no decent British paper" would touch them.

LONDON - Irish tabloid Irish Daily Start has published photos of Kate Middleton sunbathing topless, and Italian gossip magazine Chi, owned by Silvio Berlusconi's holding company Fininvest, plans to do so next week, the BBC reported Saturday.

The news came after French magazine Closer, also part of Fininvest, published them on Friday, causing an uproar in Britain. The royals late Friday said they were suing Closer.

A representative for Middleton and husband Prince William said further publication of the pictures would only upset the royals, and they would consider appropriate responses.

The Irish Daily Star ran the photos in its Ireland edition, but not in its Northern Ireland or British editions, according to the BBC. The report also said that Chi was planning a 26-page special with photos of Middleton and Prince William.

"The fact that these are the future rulers of England makes the article more interesting and topical," it quoted editor Alfonso Signorini as saying. "This is a deserving topic because it shows in a completely natural way the daily life of a very famous, young and modern couple in love."

Meanwhile, no U.K. newspapers or magazines have published the pictures, even though the Daily Mail tabloid said papers here have been offered images.

The Sun, owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., had recently published pictures showing Prince Harry naked. But it said in an editorial Saturday that it would not publish the topless Middleton photos.

"No decent British paper would touch [them] with a bargepole," it wrote, arguing that Middleton had the expectation of privacy as she was on vacation and hadn't invited anyone who could have taken pictures. "Nor is there the slightest public interest in publishing this set of intimate pictures in such circumstances."

The Times of London, also part of Murdoch's conglomerate, wrote that the British public would not forgive any newspaper in the country that would publish the topless pictures.

Twitter: @georgszalai