As their goodwill tour of Asia continues, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are "saddened," angry and pursuing legal options as French magazine Closer published topless photos of Middleton on September 13.
"We certainly feel a red line's been crossed," a palace source tells WHO Magazine of the photos, which were taken during the royal couple's private holiday in France. The source also said that the mood at the palace back home is "one of anger and disbelief."
A statement from a St. James's Palace spokesman says, "Their Royal Highnesses have been hugely saddened to learn that a French publication and a photographer have invaded their privacy in such a grotesque and totally unjustifiable manner."
"The incident is reminiscent of the worst excesses of the press and paparazzi during the life of Diana, Princess of Wales, and all the more upsetting to The Duke and Duchess for being so," the statement continues. "Their Royal Highnesses had every expectation of privacy in the remote house. It is unthinkable that anyone should take such photographs, let alone publish them."
News of the photos broke as William and Kate – dressed in headscarf – stepped out to visit Malaysia's largest mosque, in central Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.
Despite the scandal, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge forged ahead with their tour of South Asia, landing Sunday in the Solomon Islands, where they were greeted by a crowd of 70,000 and appeared carefree as they toured the country's capital Honiara on the island of Guadalcanal.
Meanwhile, the scandal appears far from over. After more topless photos of Middleton were published in Irish Daily Star over the weekend, italian magazine Chi announced it plans to publish 26 pages of photos of the young royals on vacation in France, where Middleton was photographed topless.
On Sunday, a St James Palace spokeswoman confirmed the couple were pursuing legal action.
"We can confirm that a criminal complaint is to be made to the French Prosecution Department tomorrow (Monday)," a St James's Palace spokeswoman said in a statement, adding that the action was in addition to civil proceedings against French magazine Closer.