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Kate Middleton - Topless Photos Controversy

On September 14, 2012 a French magazine 'Closer' has published topless photos of Kate Middleton that were shot when she and her husband Prince William were on a four-day vacation in a remote French chateau at Provence early in September 2012. The photographer has used long-lens camera and took photos of the Duchess from roadside half a mile away. The Palace officials have confirmed that the photos were genuine and condemned the invasion of privacy.

The royal couple were informed about the photos over breakfast when they visiting a mosque in Malaysia. They were initially saddened but were shocked and angry over the invasion of privacy and decided to sue the magazine for unspecified damages. In a statement by the St. James's Palace, legal proceedings have been commenced by the royal couple.

The Closer magazine of France have defended release of the photos saying that they are by no means degrading.

The Irish publisher of 'Daily Star' apologized for publishing the topless pictures of Catherine and said it would resist efforts by its British partner to close the paper.

Italian magazine publishes special edition featuring more photos

An Italian magazine 'Chi' has published more topless pictures of Kate Middleton. The magazine said that it has about 200 images of Kate sunbathing naked. A 26-page special edition featuring 14 intimate photographs of Kate on a holiday in France was published. The magazine, however was defiant and published the photos even though the royal couple went ahead with legal proceedings against a French magazine.

Irish Tabloid publishes more photos

An Irish tabloid also published the photos which prompted the Ireland’s Justice Minister Alan Shatter to revise the privacy laws in the country. The editor of the Irish Daily Star was suspended over the issue.

Se og Hoer

A Danish magazine 'Se og Hoer' has published topless pictures of Kate Middleton even though the royal couple won an injunction against the Closer magazine in France from selling the pictures to any other media. A special supplement of the magazine hit the stands on September 20, 2012.

Legal Proceedings

French court hears arguments

In order to stop the further publication of topless photos of Kate and to punish the photographer who took the intimate photos illegally, the royal couple have initiated the legal proceedings.

Lawyers for the British Royal Family appeared in court in Nanterre, outside Paris, on September 17, 2012 seeking an order for the French magazine Closer to relinquish the photos first published in its magazine. Aurelien Hamelle argued that the magazine should pay a large, daily fine until it hands over the digital originals. The lawyer is seeking $6,550 in damages from Closer and an injuction forcing the magazine to stop publication elsewhere, including on the Internet. He also sought the court to fine the magazine $13,100 a day for each day the injunction is not respect. A fine of $131,000 is also sought if the photos are sold in France or abroad.

On the other hand, the Closer’s legal team argued that the topless photos were not as shocking as they once might have been, given the prevailing culture, such a sanction would be disproportionate. Pando is representing Closer magazine. Pando argued that they are not the owners of the photos and that they belong to an agency – which sold the use of photos to Closer. "We are not the owners of these photos. The photos are out there. If a TV show wants to show an image of this edition, it's got nothing to do with us.", she said.

Royal Couple wins injunction

The French Court, on September 18, has banned the magazine from publishing topless photographs of the royal couple and ordered it to hand over the pictures to the royal couple. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge has won the injunction preventing Closer magazine from selling the pictures. In the ruling, Closer will be fined 10,000 euros per day in case of any delay in handing over the images.

Search for Photographer

After the royal couple won the injunction prohibiting further publication of the photos and stopping the magazine from selling the photos to any other media, the French police have begun search for the photographer who violated the royal couple’s privacy. The Prosecutors in France have opened a criminal inquiry into the Ducchess of Cambridge’s claim that the photographer has violated French Privacy laws.

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