Duchess of Cambridge photos: St James's Palace turns up the heat

 

International lawyers acting for the Royal Family have been told they should be "prepared to go the whole way" in efforts to prevent the publication of topless photographs of the Duchess of Cambridge in countries around the world.

Last night, St James's Palace confirmed that the royal couple would be making a criminal complaint against the photographer or photographers responsible for taking the pictures. French prosecutors must then decide whether or not to pursue charges.

As the Duke and Duchess near the end of their nine-day Diamond Jubilee year tour of the Far East and Pacific today, their legal representatives will be in a court in Paris to seek compensation for the publication of the photos, which they will argue broke French civil law on personal privacy.

Harbottle & Lewis, a London-based commercial law firm, is instructing a team of Paris-based advocates who will seek an injunction from French authorities to prevent further publication of the photographs that have so far appeared in the French magazine Closer and in the Irish Daily Star.

The images of the Duchess sunbathing topless, which were taken at a French chateau owned by Viscount Linley, are already easily available across the internet.

This, coupled with the fact that the scale of damages in France is likely to be very small compared with the legal muscle the Palace is preparing to deploy, means that the entire exercise is being seen, according to one senior royal source, "as Prince William and Kate trying to draw a line in the sand, not for today, but for tomorrow".

The court action against the French edition of Closer is essentially the opening legal salvo of a longer campaign to ensure that the Duchess's life does not mirror that of Diana, Princess of Wales.

Clarence House has said it will review each hurdle as it comes. When asked if Italian lawyers would swing into action if Chi magazine publishes a promised 26-page special featuring the photographs today, Clarence House said it was "early days". However, The Independent understands that Harbottle & Lewis has made provisional contact with legal associates in Rome and in New York.

Both Closer in France and Chi in Italy are owned by the former Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi.

Diplomatic sources in the UK said it was unlikely that any pressure would be put on Mr Berlusconi to intervene.

An Italian media source said: "Mr Berlusconi does not know what is published inside the Mondadori group of magazines he owns, nor indeed what is being shown on his television channels. He is far too busy trying to keep himself out of jail." It is expected that further efforts will be made this week to offer the pictures at a discounted rate to publications in the US and Australia, as well as German tabloid magazines.

The full folio contains about 200 pictures taken about half a mile from the Chateau D'Autet in Provence.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager - South East & East Anglia

£60500 - £65500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This global leading software co...

Recruitment Genius: Junior IT Technician

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Do you want the opportunity to ...

Recruitment Genius: Home Care Support Worker

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Home Care Support Workers needed in the Hastin...

Recruitment Genius: Home Care Support Worker - Car / Bike / Moped Drivers

£7 - £11 per hour: Recruitment Genius: NEW branch opening soon in Worthing fol...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent