Prince William and Kate awarded damages in topless photos lawsuit

By Gemma Strong

Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge have been awarded €103,000 (CAD $151,752) in damages after topless photos of Kate were published in the French media. France's Closer magazine was ordered to pay the couple €100,000 (CAD $147,333) at a court in Paris over long-lens images of Kate sunbathing on a terrace. Presiding judge Florence Lasserre-Jeannin also instructed regional newspaper La Provence, which printed images of the Duchess in her swimwear, to pay €3,000 (CAD $4419) in damages during the hearing at the Tribunal de Grande Instance de Nanterre.

William and Kate
William and Kate have been awarded damages following the publication of topless photos

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 were published in September 2012. At the time, the royals were staying in a private chateau owned by Viscount Linley, the Queen's nephew. The judgement follows the trial of six people - including three photographers - linked to the two publications, which began in May. The judge convicted all six of charges relating to the taking and publication of the images.

During the trial in May, William and Kate's lawyer Jean Viel read a statement from the Prince. "In September 2012, my wife and I thought that we could go to France for a few days in a secluded villa owned by a member of my family, and thus enjoy our privacy," said William. "We know France and the French and we know that they are, in principle, respectful of private life, including that of their guests. The clandestine way in which these photographs were taken was particularly shocking to us as it breached our privacy." The Prince called for €1.5m compensation for the photographs which were taken using a long-lens camera and without the royals' consent.

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