Kate Middleton and Prince William win French ruling barring publication of topless photos

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It’s a royal victory for Kate Middleton and Prince William. The Duchess and Duke of Cambridge have won their legal bid against Closer, the French magazine that published topless photos of Middleton last week.

On Tuesday, a French court handed down the ruling in favor of the couple. The decision included several demands of the magazine staff: They are not allowed to publish the photos again – in print, online, or anywhere else. They must remove the photos from their website. The pictures cannot be published in any other magazine or newspaper. The images must be turned over to Middleton and Prince William by Wednesday afternoon. And the magazine must pay the couple’s legal fees.

After the ruling, a St. James’ Palace spokesperson released a statement saying, "The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge welcome the judge’s ruling."

Of course this ruling applies only to France. Two other magazines – one in Ireland and another in Italy – have already republished the photos.

Middleton, 30, was just minding her own business when an intrusive photographer, using a long lens took photos of her while she was sunbathing topless with Prince William in the South of France. The couple, who married in April 2011, were on the balcony of a friend’s 19th-century hunting lodge, and they were oblivious to the lurking paparazzo. Closer ran a dozen photos of the duchess as she removed her top on a lounge chair. One of the pictures featured Middleton partially pulling down her bikini bottom while the prince rubbed suntan lotion on her. The magazine also reported that Middleton was smoking a cigarette.

Throughout this legal drama, Middleton and Prince William have been on a tour of Asia as part of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee celebration. On Tuesday they were in the Polynesian island nation of Tuvalu, where they donned grass skirts and danced.

This court victory is just the first part of their legal battle against Closer. They have also filed a criminal complaint against the magazine and will be seeking damages.

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