Pregnant Kate Bikini Photos Are Riling the Royals

UPDATED 02/13/2013 at 10:30 AM EST Originally published 02/12/2013 at 03:00 PM EST

Kate Middleton Pregnant Bikini Photos Anger Royals
Duchess of Cambridge
Another royal photo flap is in full force.

This time it's over pictures of a pregnant Kate in a bikini.

The Duchess of Cambridge was vacationing with husband Prince William and her family on the private island of Mustique last week when the long-lens shots were taken and have since run in Chi magazine – a decision that editor defended Wednesday.

"We are disappointed that photographs of the Duke and Duchess on a private holiday look likely to be published overseas," a spokesman for the couple at St. James's Palace tells PEOPLE. "This is a clear breach of the couple's right to privacy."

The photos – Kate and William walking arm-in-arm on the beach in their swimwear as well as the bikini-clad duchess frolicking in the surf – are published in Chi as well as expected to appear in a U.S. tabloid. Six months ago, Chi printed photos of Kate sunbathing topless in France while the couple were on their tour of South East Asia. French magazine Closer also ran those images.

"The article features photos of a young couple in love as they happily walk along the shore," Alfonso Signorini, the editor of Chi, said Wednesday. "They are images of such unexceptional normality that there is only limited mention of them on the cover of the magazine."

He added that the reaction to them running was "over the top" since "the photographs can hardly be considered an invasion of privacy when the subjects are public figures in a public place ... What our readers will see is simply a moment of joyful relaxation being enjoyed by a smiling, happy couple. Where's the scandal in that?"

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