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Topless Photos of Kate Middleton Provoke Royal Lawsuit: Photographer Used a Long-Lens Camera from 1/2 Mile Away



Kate Middleton’s topless photos have been published, fueling the anger of the Duchess and Duke of Cambridge and leading to a legal pursuit.
Closer magazine, a French gossip magazine, published topless photos of Middleton Friday, leading to an immediate lawsuit from the royal couple.

The photographer reportedly shot the photo with a long-lens camera, over a half mile away from the private estate in Provence, France where William and Kate spent their vacation last week.

The photos were initially turned down by British papers.

"They were also long lens, but you couldn't see anything. These pictures nobody has seen, as far I am aware," a picture desk executive on a national tabloid told The Guardian. The new photos which Closer magazine published seem to be different.

"From what I have seen, these photos have been taken from a very long way. Kate and William would have had no idea they were being taken,” royal photographer Harry Page told Sky News.

"They were on a 640 acre estate in the south of France. I think they would have expected a certain degree of privacy. They were on a private holiday.”

"Remember the toe-sucking photos of Fergie, again in the south of France. That is exactly 20 years ago this month and there was a scramble for them. But now there is not a single newspaper in Britain who would publish these pictures," Page said.

William and Kate are "furious" and "very very angry" over the topless photos, according to close aides travelling with the royals in Malaysia.

St. James’s Palace issued a statement expressing the royal couple’s fury over the scandal.

"Their royal highnesses have been hugely saddened to learn that a French publication and a photographer have invaded their privacy in such a grotesque and totally unjustifiable manner," reads the statement.

“The incident is reminiscent of the worst excesses of the press and paparazzi during the life of Diana, Princess of Wales, and all the more upsetting to the Duke and Duchess for being so.”

"Their royal highnesses had every expectation of privacy in the remote house. It is unthinkable that anyone should take such photographs, let alone publish them.”

"Officials acting on behalf of their royal highnesses are consulting with lawyers to consider what options may be available to the Duke and Duchess."
"The Duke and Duchess remain focused currently on their tour of Singapore, Malaysia, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu on behalf of the Queen."

The royal couple filed a lawsuit against Closer, aiming to prevent further use of the photos and to seek damages.

“St James's Palace confirms that legal proceedings for breach of privacy have been commenced today in France by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge against the publishers of Closer Magazine France,” the palace said in a statement.

According to judicial source, “The complaint is about a breach of private life, and the complainants are Prince William and the Duchess. A first hearing will be held at Nanterre TGI on Monday, in the late afternoon.”

“They will not have to attend, but a Paris barrister will be representing them, along with other members of their legal team,” said the source, according to The Guardian.

The description accompanying the senseless photos are even more provoking.

“Discover the incredible pictures of the future Queen of England as you’ve never seen,” Closer magazine said of Kate Middleton's topless photos.
“The Duchess of Cambridge topless on the terrace of a guest house in the Luberon! OMG!”

"Harry started the fashion: these days the Windsors take their clothes off," the French magazine said. The magazine also showed a photo of the Duchess peeling down her bikini bottom as the Duke rubs sun lotion on her back.

"The last time we saw Kate and William on a balcony it was for their wedding. But they had more clothes on," a caption reads.
"People always say she doesn't need to dress up to look good. Well ... Kate is proving this," goes another.

Laurence Pieau, the editor of Closer, and the photographers involved in taking the photos, could receive a year in prison and a maximum fine of 45,000 euros, according to The Daily Mail.


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Sep 14, 2012 10:13 PM EDT