French photographer and editor charged over Kate topless pictures

The images showed the Duchess sunbathing on the balcony of Château d’Autet, Viscount Linley’s home in Provence

The editor of the French magazine Closer, which published topless photographs of the Duchess of Cambridge, has been charged with breaching privacy laws along with the photographer who took the controversial pictures.

The photographer, who has not been named, and Laurence Pieau were charged by police last month, but the news has not emerged until now.

Reports have claimed that the unnamed photographer is a freelancer with a Paris-based photographic agency.

The images, which were published in September of last year, showed the Duchess sunbathing on the balcony of Château d’Autet, Viscount Linley’s home in Provence.

The photographs, which caused widespread outrage, first appeared in Closer and were later picked up by Italian gossip magazine Chi.

The Irish Daily Star also published the pictures and they later appeared in publications in Denmark and Sweden.

The Duke and Duchess used an injunction to force the publishers of the French magazine to withdraw from sale the edition that carried the photographs.

The magazine then handed over its pictures to a representative of the royal couple.

Ernesto Mauri, the publisher of the magazine, was also put under formal investigation in April, along with another photographer, Valérie Suau, who works for the La Provence newspaper.

Ms Suau, who has been accused of breach of privacy, admits taking images of the Duchess wearing a swimsuit a few days before the controversial topless pictures, but has claimed they were ‘decent’.

Ms Suau's photographs were published in La Provence. The magazine has denied she is responsible for taking the topless photographs that appeared in Closer.

The photographer who took the topless photos has yet to be identified despite a police probe launched in October of last year.

A royal spokesman at the time of the publication of the pictures said they were “reminiscent of the worst excesses” of the paparazzi in Princess Diana’s life.

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