A freelance photographer claims that he knows the identity of the photographer who snapped the topless photos of Kate Middleton sunbathing while on vacation with her husband, Prince William, at a secluded, private French chateau owned by Queen Elizabeth's nephew.
French celebrity photographer Pascal Rostain told the BBC Radio, "The only thing I can tell you is that he's from south of Dublin and he had red hair, but of course I will never, never, never say his name."
Yet Rostain told France Metro newspaper on Friday that the photographer was an Englishman living in the south of France working for Closer, the French gossip magazine that last Friday was the first to publish the topless photos. Four additional publications, in Ireland, Denmark, Sweden and Italy, have since published the photos of Middleton, 30.
"These photos were taken on the orders of Closer, who asked him to sit around for several days to take them," Rostain told the newspaper.
The unauthorized photos of Middleton, taken while she and William vacationed prior to their just-concluded tour of Asia to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, were most recently reportedly published in a 16-page spread in the celebrity magazine Se & Hoer, in Denmark on Thursday.
Kim Henningsen, chief editor of Se & Hoer, said the magazine chose the 60 to 70 photos from 240 pictures it was offered. He declined to say from whom his weekly purchased the photos or how much money it paid, according to The Associated Press.
Whoever the photographer is, he or she is being referred to as "Le Rat" by the London tabloids and could face a hefty $60,000 fine and one year in prison under French law.
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 royal family is also now pushing for a criminal trial against the photographer or photographers.
On Tuesday, the royal family scored a legal victory when a French court ordered Closer to turn over all digital copies of the photos.
The magazine was ordered to turn in all copies by Wednesday of this week and to not publish the photos further. The court also warned the magazine would face a $12,000 fine each time it defies the ruling.
The court's decision only affects Closer in France and not the other publications that have published the topless photos. Despite the injunction, there is nothing the royal family can do about the photos appearing online or outside of France.
There has been no word yet if Closer has complied with the ruling. ABC News' Jeffrey Kofman went to the Paris offices of Closer on Thursday to speak to the magazine's editor, Laurence Pieau, but was denied an interview.
Pieau had earlier dismissed the controversy as overly dramatic in comments made on French television.
"She's a young woman who is topless just like the ones that can be seen on all the beaches of France and the world. These are pictures that are full of joy. The pictures are not degrading," Pieau French told news channel BFMTV, according to the UK's The Telegraph.
The Italian magazine, Chi, that published a 26-page photo spread of the topless photos under the headline "Court Scandal: The Queen is Nude" included at least one shot of the duchess applying sunscreen to herself that did not appear in previous publications.