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A history revealed of the royals without clothes

The Royals have history of being snapped by paparazzi in states of undress on holiday – especially in France. But they have rarely sought legal retribution.

In 1991, The Sun printed naked photographs of the Duke of York, who was dubbed "Randy Andy" by the tabloids. A year later, the Duchess of York was pictured in the South of France topless on a sun lounger having her toes sucked by Texas multimillionaire John Bryan.

The images appeared on the cover of Paris Match and the front page of the Daily Mirror. The French magazine was later forced to pay £84,000 in damages.

In 1993, the Sunday Mirror and Daily Mirror published photographs of Diana, Princess of Wales, in a leotard and cycling shorts as she exercised on a leg-press machine at a gym in west London.

The images were taken using a hidden camera by the gym's owner, Bryce Taylor. Diana's lawyers took legal action over the pictures, and settled claims with Mirror Group Newspapers, Mr Taylor and the gym.

Then it was the turn of Prince Charles, who was pictured naked on the balcony of a chateau in Avignon. The shots appeared in the German tabloid Bild. The images, which showed the prince with just a folded white dressing-gown draped over his shoulder, were taken by a French photographer using a long lens.

Charles, who was 45 at the time, was described as "hunky like a Greek statue" by Bild, but the British press declined to publish the pictures.

The death of Diana, Princess of Wales, killed in a Paris car crash when being pursued by paparazzi, appeared to have led to improved behaviour by the British press, although topless pictures of the Countess of Wessex were published by The Sun in 1999. The William and Kate story has prompted new media interest in the royals. The Middleton family complained to the Press Complaints Commission last year when the Daily Mirror and the Mail on Sunday published pictures of the Duchess's younger sister Pippa apparently topless on holiday in Spain. The papers removed the images from their websites.

When William and Kate went on honeymoon in the Seychelles last year, an Australian women's magazine published pictures taken with a long lens of them strolling on a beach. The British papers declined to use those shots, as they have so far shunned the latest images. But it should be no surprise that the photographer found a buyer elsewhere.