UK royals sue French magazine over topless Kate photos
By Catherine Bremer and Alessandra Prentice
PARIS/LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's royal family began legal action against a French magazine on Friday for a "grotesque" breach of privacy after it published topless photographs of Prince William's wife Kate Middleton.
Celebrity gossip magazine Closer published a dozen shots of the Duchess of Cambridge on holiday in southern France as she slipped off her bikini top, relaxed on a sun lounger and at one point pulled down the back of her bikini bottoms while William rubbed sun cream on her lower back.
"St James's Palace confirms that legal proceedings for breach of privacy have been commenced today in France by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge against the publishers of Closer Magazine France," the couple's office said in a statement.
A court in Nanterre near Paris said the royal couple's lawyer had filed a motion to expedite the procedure, and Closer's publishers would be heard on Monday.
Under the headline "Oh my God!", the photos show the couple, whose regal yet natural conduct since their April wedding has won them fans worldwide, soaking up the sun on the balcony of a 19th century hunting lodge, oblivious to lurking paparazzi.
The spread is a blow to Buckingham Palace as it tries to move on from a scandal over naked shots of Prince Harry that tarred an image bolstered by William and Kate's wedding, the Queen's 2012 Diamond Jubilee and her Olympic Games appearance.
While Closer defended its decision to publish the photographs, a royal spokesperson said it had upset the royal couple, who are currently touring southeast Asia.
"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," a spokesperson for St James's Palace said. Continued...