The press watchdog has said it would be "inappropriate" to open an investigation into the Sun's publication of nude photos of Prince Harry.

The Press Complaints Commission (PCC) said it was in dialogue with Harry's representatives, who had not yet made a formal complaint, and that any investigation without consent could "pose an intrusion" in itself.

The Sun was the only British newspaper to defy a PCC advisory note not to publish the photos of Harry frolicking in the nude with an unnamed woman in Las Vegas.

The PCC had warned that publication could breach the editor's code of practice on privacy grounds.

Asked whether they would, or would not, make a formal complaint to the PCC about The Sun's publication of the images, a St James's Palace spokesman replied: "We are still considering matters and will make a decision in our own time."

Commenting on their general position on the issue he said it had not changed since the pictures emerged and it was "down to editors to make a decision about what they chose to publish".

A spokeswoman for News International, The Sun's publisher, did not issue a new statement, instead referring to the paper's editorial on the day it published the photos.

The editorial read: "The photos have potential implications for the Prince's image representing Britain around the world. There are questions over his security during the Las Vegas holiday. Questions as to whether his position in the Army might be affected. Further, we believe Harry has compromised his own privacy."

Adding it was "vital" that the paper ran the pictures, the editorial continued: "The Prince Harry pictures are a crucial test of Britain's free Press.

"It is absurd that in the internet age newspapers like The Sun could be stopped from publishing stories and pictures already seen by millions on the free-for-all that is the web."