The editor of the Italian magazine which published pictures of a bikini-clad Duchess of Cambridge has defended his decision, saying they did not "harm" her image.
Alfonso Signorini said the reaction to the photographs which show William and Kate on holiday on the exclusive Caribbean island of Mustique was "over the top".
The pictures were published in the gossip magazine Chi and were trailed on the front cover as showing the growing belly of Kate who is around four months pregnant.
Earlier, presenter Eamonn Holmes was forced to make an on-air apology on This Morning after an unblurred image of the magazine's front cover showing the Duke and Duchess in their swimwear "accidentally" appeared on screen.
Mr Signorini justified his decision to publish the pictures of Kate and William on holiday in a series of interviews.
He told the BBC: "The photographs, which can in no way be considered scandalous, were bought from an international photo agency, do not harm the image of the protagonists and the reaction of the media seems to me wholly over the top.
"Moreover, the photographs can hardly be considered an invasion of privacy when the subjects are public figures in a public place, in the open air; specifically on a beach surrounded by other bathers."
The editor told Italian news website Corriere.it: "You can't compare it with the media persecution of Lady D (Diana, Princess of Wales). I repeat: the photos were taken in a public place."
The pictures have been condemned by St James's Palace, who said: "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."
After an uncensored image of Chi's front page was broadcast by This Morning during the programme's news review segment, Mr Holmes told viewers: "Unfortunately we accidentally showed an unblurred image of the magazine cover, which briefly showed the photographs. This was a deeply regrettable error and we are very sorry. We apologise unreservedly to the Duke and the Duchess."