Security arrangements for Prince William and Kate's first royal tour of the Pacific have been stepped up following the publication of a series of topless photographs of the duchess.

The couple arrive in the Solomon Islands today, as royal officials prepared legal proceedings against the French magazine Closer.

A French paparazzo was apparently able to take a series of topless shots of the duchess from a roadside vantage point 800m away from the chateau in Provence where they were staying.

No such opportunities are likely at the Tavanipupu Private Island Resort, where the couple are expected to stay in Solomon Islands. The five-star resort, 25 minutes by plane from the capital Honiara, is well hidden from the prying lenses of the paparazzi.


The French magazine defended the decision to publish, saying the photographs were neither shocking nor degrading. But New Zealand Woman's Weekly deputy editor Catherine Milford slammed the images as an invasion of privacy.

"The Weekly would never publish topless pictures of Kate. I don't think our readers would be interested in looking at those pictures," she said.

New Idea editor Louise Wright added she would not publish them either. Woman's Day editor Sido Kitchin did not return calls.

The royal couple will today attend a church service followed by a traditional island feast. The final stop on the royal trip is to Tuvalu, where the Duke and Duchess plan to visit the local school and a coconut tree planted by the Queen 30 years ago.