A colleague has revealed that an Irish photographer living in the South of France was commissioned by the French glossy magazine to take the topless shots of Duchess Catherine.

Celebrity photographer Pascal Rostain said the Irish photographer, who has not been named, was commissioned directly from the magazine and could have made a fortune selling them.

Rostain said identifying the photographer in questions wasn’t difficult. He said “In our small paparazzi world, we know who it is but obviously don't say anything.

"I can just say it is an Irish national who lives in the south of France."

Speaking to BBC Radio Rostain said "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."

Duchess Catherine (Kate Middleton) was snapped without her bikini top on while vacationing at a family chateau in Provence. Some reports say that the photos were taken at an opportune moment when the Princess was changing. The Royal family are “furious” and the legal cogs are already fully in motion.

The French courts have now banned Closer from reselling or using the photos in question again.

However the magazine said they only bought the rights for first use of the photos and do not own the original images.

Rostain told the Associated Press that when a publication “commissions a photographer or an agency ... the price is fixed in advance, it can be €1,000 ($1,245) for every working day plus expenses and a few thousand euros for the snaps."

However, because the photographer only sold the first use he could stand to earn “a few thousand euros” for the photos.

The British tabloids have already dubbed this photographer as “Le Rat” and say he will be hunted down and sent to jail.

The topless photos of the Princess have since appeared in magazines in Denmark and Sweden, Ireland's Daily Star and Italy's Chi, which like Closer is owned by former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's Mondari media group.

The editor of Ireland’s Daily Star Michael O'Kane was suspended last week after he made the decision to re-publish the images last weekend.

Rostain also commented on the hypocritical nature of the British tabloids who are now attacking the unnamed photographer in question they have named “Le Rat”. He commented on the fact that last year they had published photographs of French former first lady Carla Bruni on the eve of a state visit she and her husband Nicolas Sarkozy made to Britain early last year.

Kate Middleton