Eamonn Holmes was forced to make an “unreserved apology to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge” today after a “deeply regrettable” error led to controversial pictures of a pregnant Kate Middleton being screened on This Morning.
Holmes and co-host Ruth Langsford were discussing the decision of Italian magazine Chi and Australian Woman’s Day to publish photographs taken of the Duke and Duchess on a private island when an uncensored cover of Chi appeared on screen.
The photographs, which no British publication has chosen to publish, depict a pregnant Kate in a bikini whilst on holiday with her husband William. Although British newspapers and websites have reprinted the magazine covers in question, in each case they have been censored.
Holmes, apparently unaware of the gaffe at the time, said later in today's edition of This Morning:
“Earlier during today's news review we were discussing photographs of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on a beach in Mustique published in an Italian magazine,' he said.
“Unfortunately we accidentally showed an unblurred image of the magazine cover, which briefly showed the photographs. This was a deeply regrettable error and we are very sorry.
”We apologise unreservedly to the Duke and the Duchess.”
The incident comes just months after the ITV magazine programme agreed to pay Tory peer Lord McAlpine £125,000 after presenter Phillip Schofield accidentally revealed a list of alleged paedophiles on air whilst interviewing Prime Minister David Cameron.
In September last year the French edition of Closer magazine courted controversy by publishing topless pictures of Kate Middleton taken whilst she was on holiday at a private villa in France. The shots were subsequently republished by Chi magazine, as well as the Irish edition of the Daily Star.
A St James’s Palace spokesperson said yesterday of the current pictures: "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".