Kate Middleton holidayed with Prince William in France last week

Kate Middleton is said to be 'saddened and disappointed' after a French magazine published topless photos today that they claim are of her on holiday with Prince William.

The cover declares: 'World Exclusive - Kate and William in Provence. Oh My God!'

The couple, who are currently in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, were reportedly informed of Closer France's magazine's plans to print the pictures - which allegedly show Kate 'fully topless' and include 'nipples' - this morning and are now considering their legal options.

'The Duke and Duchess, both 30, were told at breakfast and are obviously saddened and disappointed if they are genuine as they believe they have a right to privacy - particularly on holiday,' says a source.

Closer France's editor Laurence Pieau claims the pictures were taken when Kate and William were enjoying a vacation in France last week and that Kate took her bikini off to 'avoid tanning lines'.

The Duchess of Cambridge is said to be 'topless on the terrace', sunbathing by a pool at the Chateau D'Autet which is owned by Viscount Linley, William's uncle.

If genuine, the snaps are likely to have been taken with a long lens camera.

France has some of the strictest privacy laws in the world but there are a growing number of gossip magazines willing to pay the small compensation awards celebrities can win through taking legal action.

A spokesman for Kate declined to comment to the Mail Online last night.

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Anna Duff