Prince William and his wife, Kate Middleton, gather in the...

Prince William and his wife, Kate Middleton, gather in the State Rooms of St James’s Palace in central London the day they announced their engagement. (Nov. 16, 2010) Credit: Getty Images

The expectant royal couple's babymoon didn't stay private for long.

Editors of the Italian magazine Chi are reportedly defending their decision to publish photos of a pregnant Kate Middleton strolling on a Caribbean beach with Prince William, despite royal officials denouncing the shots as a “clear breach of the couple's right to privacy.”

Chi, the same publication that ran topless photos of Middleton in September, threatened to publish the new pictures Tuesday, and followed through the next day. St. James' Palace expressed disappointment, but did not say whether officials may take legal action against the tabloid.

The royal couple took legal action to halt the use of last year's intimate photos, but had only limited success. Although a French court ordered gossip magazine Closer to stop further publication of the pictures, they went on to be published in Chi, other publications across Europe and on the Internet.

The new paparazzi photos show the duchess of Cambridge, 31, and her husband walking the shores of the island of Mustique, where they were vacationing.

In an interview with the BBC posted Wednesday, Chi editor Alfonso Signorini responded to the unremarkable nature of the photos and the fact that they were taken in a public space.

“They are images of such unexceptional normality that there is only limited mention of them on the cover of the magazine,” Signorini told the BBC.

He continued: "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 couple's first child is due in July.

-- With The Associated Press

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