Here's the back story. The Irish Daily Star has two owners - Independent News & Media and Northern & Shell.

Northern & Shell is owned by Richard Desmond. Desmond also owns a number of other media outlets, like Channel 5 and - for want of a better way of putting things - has been making a good living from bared breasts thanks to his work with Penthouse in the UK (he's also published titles including Asian Babes), as well as the odd 'adult TV channels' such as Television X and Red Hot TV.

Since the Irish Daily Star  went ahead and published the topless photos of Kate 'Duchess Catherine' Middleton over the weekend, despite the British version of the paper refusing to do so, Richard Desmond has announced that he plans to "close down the joint venture" with INM, leaving 120 jobs in jeopardy.

INM have since released a statement saying "such a move would be a disproportionate reaction" to a poor editorial decision. The statement adds: "INM believes that the circumstances that led to the regrettable decision by the Irish Daily Star to re-publish pages from the French magazine Closer warrant immediate investigation and steps are already under way in this regard."

Desmond, meanwhile released his own statement, saying: "I am very angry at the decision to publish these photographs and am taking immediate steps to close down the joint venture. The decision to publish these pictures has no justification whatever and Northern & Shell condemns it in the strongest possible terms."

Wow, you'd swear he was angling for an endorsement for a Knighthood off his mate David Cameron or something...

Desmond, like most of the British press are beyond appalled that their princess has been violated in such a manner - even though it's how most media outlets make their living. On a personal level, I find the photos a tad grim. What you're essentially looking at is a woman trying to sun herself in a private back garden. She's not parading around a beach or at some party in Vegas with a load of strangers armed with smart phones...

Lawyers for the Royal Family will appear in court today in France "to try to stop the publication of more topless photos of Catherine, the duchess of Cambridge… an Italian magazine (Chi) plans to sell an "extraordinary" special edition of photos from Catherine's and Prince William's vacation. "

>Duchess Catherine mightily miffed by topless photos published in French 'Closer'


UPDATE: Pat Rabitte's after jumping in. The Minister of Communications spoke on RTE's John Murray show this morning and provided some choice soundbites regarding Desmond's proposed closure of The Irish Daily Star:

Firstly he echoed INM's sentiments below, i.e that Desmond's response to the photos were a "completely disproportionate response." Then he rabbited (apologies) off the obvious, much like I did below, regarding Desmond being a bit of a hypocrite given he "has no difficulty publishing photographs of women topless." Rabitte also said had trouble comprehending how Desmond “could reconcile the rather timid move by The Star with what he’s prepared to do in some of his publications in terms of the way women are presented”.

Rabitte added that he "wouldn’t have made the decision the Star made - I wouldn’t make a lot of the decisions the Star makes – I would still defend its right to continue to publish its newspaper. The Star has a following in Ireland, it has a readership in Ireland… there are, I understand, 70 to 80 people employed there. So let’s keep things in perspective.”

While all this chaos rampages on around her, Kate continued enjoying her holiday by taking a relaxing canoe ride in what appears to be shark infested waters.

She then picked up some tips from the natives re subtle coverage while in the sun.