French court bans further publication of Kate topless pictures, and orders magazine to send originals to royal couple

  • @bobjwilliams

A court has ordered that the French magazine 'Closer', that last week published 14 photos of the Duchess of Cambridge on holiday in the south of France, must hand over all copies of the images.

The court also blocked any further publication of the images.

The ruling stipulates that the publishers must give the originals to the royal couple within 24 hours.

The magazine could be fined 10,000 euros (£8,000) for any breach of the injunction if it distributes the images or republishes.

The ruling today comes after prosecutors said they were considering whether or not there were grounds for criminal proceedings.

Closer magazine caused outrage last week when it printed the images of the couple enjoying private holiday moments at Chateau d'Autet, near Aix-en-Provence.

The photographs of the Duchess sunbathing were taken while she and William were on holiday at a chateau owned by the Queen's nephew, Lord Linley, earlier this month.

The images have also been published in Ireland and Italy but today's ruling only affects the French publisher.

A lawyer for Closer, which has defended the publication of the pictures, said the royal couple's reaction was disproportionate.

Yesterday, the Italian magazine, 'Chi', published more than 20 pages of the photographs - including the topless pictures.

Both of the magazines that published the images are owned by former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's company Mondadori.

Michael O'Kane, the editor of the Irish Daily Star, which also published the pictures, was yesterday suspended while an internal investigation was carried out.

Yesterday, Alfonso Signorini, the editor of Chi, defended the publication of the images in an editorial saying they showed, for the first time, a future queen of England in “a natural way”.

The editorial also says: “The fact that these are the future rulers of England makes the article more interesting and topical.

“This is a deserving topic because it shows in a completely natural way the daily life of a very famous, young and modern couple in love.”