Pregnant Kate: Now Oz Mag To Show Pictures

Jonathan Samuels, Australia Correspondent

An Australian publication has followed the lead of the Italian gossip magazine Chi and said it will publish photographs of the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge in her bikini.

The weekly magazine Woman's Day will be on sale on Monday and will feature the pictures of Kate and William's Caribbean holiday, where the Duchess was snapped wearing a blue bikini and strolling on a beach.

Editor Fiona Connolly has defended her decision to publish the prints, telling Sky News: "The photos are what our readers want to see. Kate looks beautiful, glowing and healthy."

Ms Connolly said it was her understanding that the photographs were taken by a member of the public rather than "a photographer hiding in the bushes" and, as a result, were not an invasion of the royal couple's privacy.

The editor said the pair had been mingling with others on a public beach and would have been aware that there were other holidaymakers around with cameras.

The issue will also feature pictures of Kate's sister Pippa Middleton, who was holidaying with the royals on the island of Mustique, staying in a £5.1m villa.

Ms Connolly said the photographs show Kate "fabulous, fit and glowing, out and about on a public beach".

She said British journalists and picture editors would no doubt be "frustrated" that they were not also running the pictures because of the "gentleman's agreement" between editors and the royal family about what sort of photos would be published.

"As a magazine that does publish photos of the royals, I am sensitive to the sort of pictures that shouldn't be published," she said, referring to the 2012 topless shots of the Duchess that appeared in various magazines.

"These are certainly not photos that they would disapprove of - they are happy."

"The last time we saw Kate looking really unwell, coming out of hospital and at a really tough time for her in her pregnancy - to see these photos where she's fit and healthy and really glowing is even more reason to celebrate."

The couple are expecting their first child in July.

In December Kate was admitted to hospital with a severe form of morning sickness, which pushed the couple to announce the pregnancy.

The news that an Australian magazine is publishing the pictures comes at a particularly sensitive time, just two months after a pair of Australian radio presenters made a prank call to King Edward VII's Hospital in London where Kate was being treated.

Pretending to be the Queen and Prince of Wales they were able to speak to a nurse about her condition. The nurse who put the call through, Jacintha Saldanha, subsequently committed suicide.

On news that Chi was publishing the photos St James's Palace issued a statement saying: "We are disappointed that photographs of the Duke and Duchess on a private holiday look likely to be published overseas.

"This is a clear breach of the couple's right to privacy."

Ms Connolly admitted the bidding for the photos between several of Australia's biggest selling weekly gossip magazines was "furious".

Last year the Royal Family launched legal action against French magazine Closer, over paparazzi pictures of Kate sunbathing in bikini bottoms on the balcony of a private chateau in the South of France.

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