William and Kate ‘pleased’ with court judgment over ‘breach of privacy’
The photos as Kate holidayed at a private chateau in Provence, adorned the front and inside pages of the French Closer magazine in 2012.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have said they are pleased a court “found in their favour” after they were awarded more than 100,000 euro in damages over topless photographs published of Kate.
The couple “felt it essential to pursue all legal remedies” after the long-lens images of Kate sunbathing on a terrace were published by France’s Closer magazine in September 2012, Kensington Palace said.
The publication was ordered to pay each of the couple 50,000 euro (£46,000) at a Paris court on Tuesday after it was ruled they had breached her privacy.
A Kensington Palace spokeswoman said: “The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are pleased that the court has found in their favour and the matter is now closed.
“This incident was a serious breach of privacy, and Their Royal Highnesses felt it essential to pursue all legal remedies.
“They wished to make the point strongly that this kind of unjustified intrusion should not happen.”
The photos, taken as Kate holidayed with William at a private chateau in Provence, southern France, adorned the front and inside pages of Closer almost five years ago.
Regional newspaper La Provence also printed images of the Duchess in her swimwear.
It was instructed to pay 3,000 euro (£2,700) in damages by presiding judge Florence Lasserre-Jeannin during the hearing at the Tribunal de Grande Instance de Nanterre.
Tuesday’s judgment follows the trial of six people, including three photographers, linked to Closer magazine and La Provence, which began in May.
The judge convicted all six defendants of charges relating to the taking and publication of the images.
Ernesto Mauri, 70, chief executive of publishing group Mondadori, which produces Closer, and Laurence Pieau, 51, editor of the magazine in France, were fined for their role in the invasion of privacy.
They both must pay the maximum penalty of 45,000 euro (£41,000).
The judgment comes just a week after the 20th anniversary of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.
During the trial, the court was told William found the decision to publish the topless photographs “all the more painful” given his late mother’s battles with the paparazzi.
In a written statement read by the couple’s lawyer, Jean Veil, the Duke said: “The clandestine way in which these photographs were taken was particularly shocking to us as it breached our privacy.”
Agency photographers Cyril Moreau and Dominique Jacovides, who had denied taking the topless photos at the centre of the controversy, were told to each pay 10,000 euro (£9,200) – 5,000 euro (£4,600) of which is suspended.
Marc Auburtin, 57, who was La Provence’s publishing director at the time, was handed a suspended fine of 1,500 euro (£1,380), while the paper’s photographer, Valerie Suau, 53, was given a 1,000 euro (£920) suspended penalty.
The publication of the images prompted a fierce reaction at the time, with a statement issued by St James’s Palace stating they were “reminiscent of the worst excesses of the press and paparazzi during the life of Diana, Princess of Wales”.
William and Kate launched their own legal proceedings in 2012 and a court in Paris banned Closer, which is separate from the UK’s Closer magazine, from printing any further images.