The Press Complaints Commission will make a decision 'relatively soon'on whether to investigate The Sun for publishing naked pictures of Prince Harry cavorting in a Los Vegas hotel.
The PCC had received 3,600 complaints about The Sun by yesterday, which is the most up-to-date figure being given by the press watchdog, but it is yet to decide whether to investigate the matter.
The decision ultimately rests with the 17 members of the Commission, which is led by Lord Hunt and includes ten lay members and seven editorial.
A spokesman for the PCC said that as of this morning it had not received a direct complaint from any of Prince Harry's representatives.
Launching an investigation into the paper without first receiving a complaint would be an unusual step for the PCC but not an unprecedented one.
'The next step now is we'll consider those complaints that we receive from members of the public and the commission will need to decide whether it wants to investigate,'said the spokesman.
He added: 'It's not completely unprecedented. The PCC occasionally does own volition investigations."
The spokesman could not give a date for the decision but said would be taken 'relatively soon".
A poll last week found that more than two-thirds of Britons believe The Sun was wrong to publish the naked pictures of Prince Harry, which were widely available online and print publications around the world.
Just 21 per cent felt publication was in the public interest, while 14 per cent of those surveyed had already seen the images – with almost half (48 per cent) saying they had no interest in seeing them on or offline.
The Usurv poll, which surveyed 1,000 adults across the UK online, found that more women (71 per cent) thought publication infringed his privacy compared to just 58 per cent of men.
The Sun argued that publication of the pictures was in the public interest and that their widespread availability on the internet puts them "indisputably in the public domain".
No other UK newspaper has followed The Sun by publishing the pictures, which were being offered for sale with a price tag of $10,000.