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British royals sue French magazine over nude photos

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, also known as Kate and William, are suing a French magazine for publishing nude photos of the couple
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, also known as Kate and William, are suing a French magazine for publishing nude photos of the couple reuters

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are suing a French magazine owned by the former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi for publishing photos of the Duchess sunbathing topless. 


The magazine Closer, which is part of Berlusconi’s Mondadori Group, hit the stands on Friday with candid photos of the former Kate Middleton sunbaking in a château in the south of France earlier this month.

The photos also show her husband, Prince William, rubbing sun cream onto his wife.

The British royal family says it will sue the magazine’s publishers for “breach of privacy”.

Closer’s sister publication in Italy, Chi, announced it plans to print a special issue on Monday devoting 26 pages to the grainy paparazzi photographs.

Closer’s editor Laurence Pieau has defended the publication, but told the British tabloid The Sun her magazine had more photos “that we haven’t published and will not publish.”

A version of the front cover of Chi showed some of the photos with the headline "The Queen is Naked!"

"The fact that these are the future rulers of England makes the article more interesting and topical," Chi’s editor Alfonso Signorini said.

"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," he added.

Across the Channel in the UK, it is was reported that British publications were initially offered the photos, but declined to publish them.

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Getty Images/Tim Graham/Reuters/Samsul Said

Many British newspapers also drew a comparison between the Duchess and William’s mother, Princess Diana, who died in a 1997 car crash as she was being pursued through Paris by the paparazzi.

The tabloid The Daily Mirror says Prince William is angry with the photos, and carried the headline: “I won’t let Kate suffer like my mother”.

The paper denounced Closer as a “Peeping Tom”, saying: "Public figures who behave well have the right to a private life. A long lens prying on Kate sunbathing topless on a private estate is a clear breach of this right."

The Duke and Duchess are currently travelling through Malaysia.

British newspapers have compared photos of the Duchess in a white headscarf during a visit to a mosque with very similar photos of Princess Diana taken while she visited an Egyptian mosque 20 years ago.


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