- Published on Monday, 17 September 2012 20:13
- Written by Elombah.com
Paris - a judge in Paris is to rule at 11am on Tuesday over whether to grant an injunction stopping any further publication of topless photographs of the Duchess of Cambridge in France. Prince William and his wife Kate, who are currently on an official tour in the Solomon Islands, want French Closer magazine - the first to publish the
notorious images of them on holiday in Provence - to face tough action.
"Their Royal Highnesses have been hugely saddened to learn that a French publication and a photographer have invaded their privacy in such a grotesque and totally unjustifiable manner. The incident is reminiscent of the worst excesses of the press and paparazzi during the life of Diana, Princess of Wales, and all the more upsetting to The Duke and Duchess for being so. Their Royal Highnesses had every expectation of privacy in the remote house. It is unthinkable that anyone should take such photographs, let alone publish them." A Royal Spokesperson said
In court in Paris, Aurelien Hamelle, a lawyer for the royal couple, said the Duchess was a "young woman, and not an object" and the photos were from a "highly intimate moment".
Bringing the civil action, he said his clients were not asking for the magazine to be pulled from shelves, saying "the damage is done", but they did not want any more copies printed of last Friday's edition that contained the controversial pictures.
Drawing a parallel with the "fatal hunt" by paparazzi that led to the death of William's mother Princess Diana, Mr Hamelle urged the judge to grant an injunction against all republishing of the photographs in print and in digital form and to ban their resale.
The royals' lawyers are also pushing for damages against the magazine's publisher, Mondadori media group, which could face a fine of £36,000.
French Closer has defended the decision to publish the pictures, saying the images "are by no means degrading".
Delphine Pando, a lawyer for the magazine and Mondadori, said it was an unreasonable request to demand an immediate end of printing last Friday's edition.
The lawyer also denied Mondadori tried to sell the images to other media organisations.
Sky News Correspondent Michelle Clifford, in Paris, said the lawyer for Closer magazine "showed the judge photographs of where the terrace they (the royal couple) were sunbathing on was in relation to the road, effectively saying they could be seen".
Meanwhile, the royal couple has also filed a criminal complaint as they want the photographer or photographers responsible and the magazine editor to be charged with invading their privacy.
It will now be up to prosecutors to decide whether to pursue it. If charges are brought, the editor and photographer or photographers could face 12 months in prison. The judge in Paris will not rule on the criminal action at the same time as the civil one.
Mondadori also produces Italian gossip magazine Chi, which has published a 38-page special edition featuring the images of the royal couple on holiday.
The palace said no decision has been taken on separate legal proceedings in Italy.
French Closer, which is run by a different company to the British edition, caused outrage when it printed several pages of explicit images taken of the couple at a private hotel this month.
The move was roundly condemned but did not put off the Irish Daily Star carrying the images on Saturday.
The tabloid's future is in question after Northern and Shell, which publishes the Daily Star and the Daily Express in the UK and jointly owns the Irish title with Independent News and Media, indicated it was taking steps to have it shut down.
The editor of the Irish Daily Star, Michael O'Kane, has been suspended pending an investigation into the publication of the images.
Although more publications plan to print the photographs, officials say William and Kate remain focused on their Diamond Jubilee tour, which landed in the Solomon Islands on Sunday.
They were welcomed to the Queen's Pacific Realm by island warriors in a traditional ceremony before being paraded through the streets of Honiara in an open-top vehicle shaped like a canoe.
The couple appeared at ease when they chatted to a group of topless women who had performed a dance for them. Exposed breasts are a normal part of life in the area the women are from.
On Monday, Kate was crowned with a headdress of fresh flowers by activists working to improve the status of women in the islands.
Before she left, the duchess was presented with gifts from the women, including a cake with blue and white icing, which was an exact replica of a cake given to the Queen on her visit to the Solomon Islands in 1974.
She was also given a children's book and a wooden canoe, which was meant to signify the journey women in the Solomon Islands have come through.
They will end their trip on Tuesday on the island of Tuvalu.