UK royals ready criminal complaint against photographer

Sun Sep 16, 2012 4:08pm EDT
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By Tim Castle and Conor Humphries

LONDON/DUBLIN (Reuters) - Britain's Prince William and his wife are to make a criminal complaint against the photographer who took topless pictures of the duchess and against the French magazine that published them, their office said on Sunday.

The pictures have rekindled memories in Britain of the media pursuit of William's mother, Princess Diana, who was killed in a car crash in Paris in 1997 while being chased by paparazzi.

Britain's tabloid papers, fighting for their reputations after a series of scandals, have refrained from publishing the pictures, even though they are available on the Internet and in the pages of a tabloid in neighboring Ireland.

Lawyers for the royal couple will make the request at a Paris court on Monday, also seeking damages from the French magazine, Closer, and an injunction against the publication of further images.

"We can confirm that a criminal complaint is to be made to the French Prosecution Department tomorrow," said a spokeswoman for the second in line to the British throne and his wife of 16 months, Britain's future queen.

"The complaint concerns the taking of photographs of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge whilst on holiday and the publication of those photographs in breach of their privacy."

Closer has defended its publication of a dozen long-lens shots of the duchess, the former Kate Middleton, on holiday at a secluded villa in southern France. They show her slipping off her bikini top, relaxing topless on a sun lounger and pulling down her bikini bottoms as her husband applies lotion.

William's office has branded the photos as a "grotesque and totally unjustified" invasion of their privacy.   Continued...

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge walks at the Kranji Commonwealth War Cemetery, to pay her respects to the war dead, in Singapore September 13, 2012. REUTERS/Nicolas Asfouri/Pool