A French court has ruled in favour of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in their legal action over the publication of topless photos from their holiday. This means that Closer magazine must stop distribution or syndication of the photos in France or face a €10,000 fine for every breach of the injunction.In its ruling, the court described the pictures as a "brutal display" of the couple's private lives.
"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," added the courtA spokesperson said the couple welcomed the decision adding that the Duke and Duchess "always believed the law had been broken" and they were entitled to their privacy.It comes as prosecutors also began a criminal inquiry in addition to the civil suit over the publication of the images taken while the couple were sunbathing at a chateau belonging to the Queen's nephew Viscount Linley.
Officials will have to decide whether a full investigation of the royals' claim is warranted. William and Kate began criminal proceedings against the magazine and "persons unknown", which refers to the photographer who has yet to be identified. Under Article 226-1 of the French Criminal Code, the punishment for this can be a fine of €45,000 (£36,400) – or five times that for a company – and a year in jail. On Monday, their lawyer Aurelien Hamelle argued in court that they had every expectation of privacy while on the break in Provence. Representing the magazine, Delphine Pando had argued that topless photographs were no longer considered shocking in modern society.