Topless Kate: Irish paper shows pics, Italians to follow suit

British royals to seek damages over the pictures

Britain's royal family were struggling Sunday to prevent the spread of topless photographs of Prince William's wife Catherine, after the threat of legal action failed to intimidate Irish and Italian titles.

In a fresh blow to the royals a day after they began legal proceedings against French magazine Closer, the first to publish the long lens pictures of Catherine sunbathing in her bikini bottoms, the images appeared again in Saturday's Irish Daily Star.

"There can be no motivation for this action other than greed," said a spokeswoman for Catherine and her husband, the second-in-line to the British throne.

Italian gossip magazine Chi, meanwhile, is planning to devote 26 pages to the grainy paparazzi photographs in a special issue on Monday -- a move the palace said would heap "unjustifiable upset" on the former Kate Middleton.

Both Closer and Chi are published by the Mondadori Group, part of the media empire of former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.

The company backed both magazines' decisions to print the photos, which were taken with a long lens while William and Catherine, both 30, were holidaying at a private chateau in the south of France.

Meanwhile, lawyers for Prince William and his wife Catherine will seek damages against French magazine ‘Closer’ for printing topless photographs of the duchess, their office said on Sunday.

The couple's legal team will also seek an injunction at a court hearing in the Paris suburb of Nanterre on Monday to prevent further publication of the pictures.

"We will be seeking an injunction from them (Closer) using the pictures and it will lead to a longer court case where damages will be sought," said a spokesman for St James's Palace.

Britain's Prince William and wife Catherine were set for a colourful Pacific welcome in the lush Solomon Islands Sunday as a row intensified in Europe over the printing of topless photos of the Duchess.

The glamorous royal couple are on a nine-day Southeast Asian and Pacific tour marking Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee, and have already visited Singapore and Malaysia where Kate made her first public comments on foreign soil.

Their Pacific Islands leg begins Sunday in the Solomon Islands with a ocean-themed motorcade and Jubilee Thanksgiving service in the capital's cathedral before a traditional island feast in the Government House gardens.

Excitement has been building for days in the Solomons, where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have two days of engagements, with at least one resort reportedly tidying its palm gardens ahead of the visit.

The royal couple travel from the Solomons for a short stay in Tuvalu, one of the world's smallest independent nations, lying about halfway between Australia and Hawaii.

William and Kate are expected to take part in sporting activities and wear traditional dress when they visit the Solomons and Tuvalu, with warrior dancing and a canoe trip reported to be on the cards.

The Duchess has already revealed her husband's preparations, joking with Solomon Island's governor general Sir Frank Kabui in June that: "William's been practising his dance moves".

"We're extremely excited. Both of us have never been anywhere near there,"  William said at the time.

Queen Elizabeth, William's grandmother, is head of state in the Solomons and Tuvalu, both of which are members of the Commonwealth, as are Singapore and Malaysia.

The palace said the royal couple "remain focused" on their tour despite the furore after French magazine Closer published paparazzi snaps of Kate sunbathing in just her bikini bottoms by a pool.

William and Kate, both 30, are suing Closer for invasion of privacy over the images, which were reprinted on Saturday in the Irish Daily Star and are set to be published by Italian gossip magazine Chi on Monday.

The palace condemned the "greed" of the Irish newspaper and warned Chi that it would cause "unjustifiable upset" were they to proceed with their 26-page special edition on the photos.

Britain's younger royals are touring the globe throughout 2012 as part of celebrations marking Queen Elizabeth's 60-year reign as they seek to maintain their relevance in a changing world.

The wedding of William and Kate, both 30, in April 2011 was watched on television by up to two billion people around the world and helped breathe new life into Britain's monarchy after years of crisis.

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Britain's younger royals are touring the globe throughout 2012 as part of celebrations marking the 60-year reign of William's grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.

They are now on a nine-day trip that started in Singapore. They arrived in Malaysia on Thursday, and will move on this weekend to the Solomon Islands and later Tuvalu.

On Friday, they will make a highly-anticipated public appearance at a park in central Kuala Lumpur before visiting a nature conservation site in the Borneo jungle Saturday.

But the photo row threatened to overshadow the tour, which was meant to help introduce the couple overseas after their pomp-filled marriage last year.

The April 2011 ceremony was watched by up to two billion TV viewers around the world, sparking fresh excitement in Britain's monarchy after years of crisis.

Last month a US celebrity gossip website published grainy camera-phone pictures of William's brother Harry cavorting naked with a mystery woman during a wild party in a Las Vegas hotel suite.

Harry, the third in line to the throne and a military helicopter pilot, has since been deployed to Afghanistan for a second tour of duty.

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