A Swedish magazine reportedly today became the fourth outlet to publish topless photos of Kate Middleton's sunbathing while on vacation and it appears a fifth publication will follow suit by week's end.
The unauthorized photos of Middleton, 30, went on newsstands in Sweden's Se & Hoer celebrity magazine today while 60 to70 of the photos will appear in a 16-page spread in the magazine's sister publication, Se & Hoer, in Denmark Thursday, according to The Associated Press.
The additional publication of the photos comes a day after the royal family scored what appeared to be a legal victory in blocking the photos when a French court ordered the French gossip magazine Closer, the magazine that first published the photos last week, to turn over all digital copies of photos of the duchess by noon today and not to print the photos further, or face a $12,000 fine each time it defies the ruling.
The ruling only applied to Closer in France, however, not to the two new Scandinavian outlets and not to the Irish Daily Star, the second outlet to publish the photos, or the Italian magazine, Chi, that, on Monday, published a 26-page photo spread.
The chief editor of Se & Hoer in Denmark said the magazine chose the 60 to 70 photos it will publish from 240 pictures it was offered, the AP reported.
The mystery still remains as to who took the photos and how they were obtained. Kim Henningsen, the Se & Hoer editor, declined to say who his weekly purchased the photos from or how much money it paid.
Police in France, at the request of the royal family, have opened a criminal investigation into whether the photos were an invasion of privacy.
The photos were taken while Middleton and husband Prince William stayed at a private, secluded chateau in the south of France prior to the start of their Far East tour to celebrate the queen's Diamond Jubilee.
The royal couple were sharing a "healthy and profoundly intimate" moment when the photos were taken, their lawyer, Aurelien Hamelle, said in court Monday. The situation was "deeply personal."
"It's not an accessible [view] from the exterior," Hamelle said of the site, a point contested by Closer's lawyer Delphine Pando, who said the site is visible from a nearby road.
Marie-Christine Daubigney, assistant prosecutor for the Nanterre court, outside Paris, told the AP today that she has ordered investigators to speak with some Closer employees, including the author of the article that accompanied the photos. She denied reports, however, that police had raided the magazine's French headquarters.
The newest leg of the scandal broke as the royal couple began their return trip home to the United Kingdom after a whirlwind tour through Asia that saw them traveling from Singapore to Malaysia, the Solomon Islands and, finally, Tuvalu.
Middleton and William, who have remained mum on the photos while letting their lawyers do their talking, departed from Tuvalu on a commercial flight today bound for the U.K. They were spotted during a brief layover in Brisbane, Australia, followed, as always, by TV crews, paparazzi and fans as they made their way to the Singapore Airlines VIP lounge for the wait.
When they return to normal life in England, Middleton as a homemaker and William as an RAF rescue pilot, they will have the support of the royal family, according to a new report in People magazine.
William's father, Prince Charles, and grandmother Queen Elizabeth II "are most definitely supporting [Will and Kate] in everything that they are doing," a palace source is said to have told the magazine for the cover story of its new issue on newsstands Friday.
"If this were Fergie, [the queen] would be livid," Ken Wharfe, a former bodyguard for Prince William's late mother, Princess Diana, told the magazine, referring to Sarah Ferguson, who was caught by hidden cameras herself 20 years ago. "But this is top-drawer royalty: a favorite grandson and his beautiful wife. They live in another world."
The royal family has evoked the memory of Princess Diana, who died in 1997 at age 36 after a high-speed car chase with paparazzi in Paris, in seeking to block the photos and pushing for criminal charges against the unidentified photographer or photographers who took the photos.
"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," the palace said in a statement Friday.
Chi, like Closer, is published under the Mondadori publishing house owned by former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Chi is also the same magazine that, in 1997, published photos of Princess Diana's dying in the Paris crash.
The editor of Chi stood behind his decision to publish the photos, telling the AP that he did not fear legal action and writing on Twitter that "not even a direct call from the Queen" could stop him from publishing the photos.
Likewise, the editor of the Swedish publication denied that the photos are an invasion of privacy for the couple.
"It is nothing new to us to publish nude photos of celebrities on holiday," said Carina Lofkvist, the chief editor of the Swedish magazine, told the AP. "No one complains when they do and we print the photos."
Since the court ruling, the royal family has issued only a simple statement on the topic, in support of the court's decision.
"The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge welcome the judge's ruling," a representative for St. James's Palace said Tuesday.
ABC News' Anthony Castellano, Alyssa Newcomb, Lauren Sher and The Associated Press contributed to this report.