The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have won an injunction in a French court against what they called a “grotesque and unjustifiable” invasion of privacy. Scandal erupted late last week when photos of Princess Kate sunbathing topless at a private residence in France were published in a number of magazines. French celebrity gossip magazine Closer, which first printed the photos, has been ordered by a French court to hand over the original photographs within 24 hours or face a fine of 10,000 euros for every day they do not comply.
The photographs were taken earlier this month while the couple were on holiday at the home of Lord Linley, the Queen Elizabeth’s nephew, in Provence, France. The magazine Closer claimed that the couple were visible from the street, but the royals have maintained that the photos, taken with a telescopic zoom lens, were a breach of privacy. Prince William made a rare public expression of anger in response to the photos of his wife, whose privacy he has guarded closely. The French court ruling sided with the couple, calling the photographs and their publication a “brutal display” of the couple’s private lives, while adding: “These snapshots which showed the intimacy of a couple, partially naked on the terrace of a private home, surrounded by a park several hundred metres from a public road, and being able to legitimately assume that they are protected from passers-by, are by nature particularly intrusive.”
The injunction prevents further publication of the photographs across France; the couple have also filed claims against Italian magazine Chi (which is owned by former Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi) and the Irish Daily Star newspaper for printing the photos. Michael O’Kane, the editor of the Irish Daily Star, has been suspended while the newspaper’s board of directors conducts an internal investigation into the editor’s decision to publish the photographs.
Meanwhile, prosecutors in France are further considering whether there are grounds for criminal charges against the photographer. Aurelien Hamelle, the lawyer representing the Duke and Duchess, has said that they will pursue all available options to prevent any further publications of the photos, stating of Kate; “She’s a young woman, not an object.” Will and Kate have put on a brave face throughout the scandal, carrying on with their nine-day Diamond Jubilee tour of South-east Asia and the South Pacific.