Chi is at at again. The Italian tabloid magazine has printed pictures of Kate Middleton's pregnant bikini body in its latest issue, just five months after it published images of the Duchess of Cambridge sunbathing in the nude during a private vacation in France.
Out of respect for the royal couple's privacy, most mainstream publications, including Us Weekly, opted not to run the photos. On Wednesday, Feb. 13, Chi's editor in chief, Alfonso Signorini, defended his decision to distribute the pictures from Middleton and Prince William's recent babymoon in Mustique.
"We cannot talk about a violation of privacy when we publish pictures of public people in a public place. The photographs of Kate and William were bought from an international photo agency," Signorini told Us in a statement. "You can't compare this with the media persecution of Lady Diana. I cannot stress enough that the photos were taken in a public place, not private property."
Owned by a corporation of ultra-rich residents, Mustique's 2.2 square miles hold 100 private villas.
St. James' Palace had previously released a statement about the new set of photos, telling Us: "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."
Signorini doesn't believe Chi owes the future parents an apology for sharing the pictures with the tabloid's readers. "[The Italian press] has not made a gentlemen's agreement [like the U.K.] with the Royal Household," he told Us. "Where is this so-called scandal they are trying to make it out as?"
After Chi published a 26-page spread of Middleton sunbathing nude in 2012 -- taken with a long lens on private property -- the couple's royal press secretary, Miguel Head, expressed his disdain for the tabloid's ethical practices.
"The incident is reminiscent of the worst excesses of the press and paparazzi during the life of Diana, Princess of Wales, and all the more upsetting to the Duke and Duchess for being so," Head said. "Their Royal Highnesses had every expectation of privacy in the remote house. It is unthinkable that anyone should take such photographs, let alone publish them."