It all started when French magazine, Closer, published topless photos of the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton. Now the controversial magazine and two of its staff were imposed to pay the British royal family 190,000 euros or around $226,000 in damages and fines after they printed the explicit and intimate photos.
Closer magazine editor, Laurence Pieau and publisher, Ernesto Mauri were penalized by a court in Paris for publishing and circulating the photos of the Duchess on vacation five years ago in the Provence region of France.
The images were taken using a long lens camera that illustrated Kate tanning at a beach house without a bathing suit top on. There was also a photo taken while she was putting sunscreen on her husband, Prince William. Lawyers for Kate and William sought heavy damages and a prosecutor at a Paris suburb court asked for high fines.
The couple filed an official complaint after the photos were published on Closer and a regional newspaper the year after their wedding. The couple did not attend the verdict hearing and was not expected to.
They originally filed a total of at least $1.3 million worth of damages. But the couple only got a fraction of their requested total in damages based on the maximum possible fines under French privacy law.
The paparazzi that were never officially identified caught the royal couple in their private vacation and tried to sell the pictures to different British media. As expected of the British people who adore their royal couple, they were turned down.
Then they brought the images to the French magazine. The magazine then published it with teasers that promised to reveal, “the future Queen of England such as you have never seen her…and such that you will never see her again!”
Closer finally published the controversial photos in their front cover with a headline, Seulement dans Closer: Kate et William leurs vacances tres hot en Provence (Only in Closer: Kate and William, their very hot holidays in Provence)
Obviously the palace was furious by the royal litigation and issued a statement saying the magazine and photographer had “invaded their privacy is such grotesque and totally unjustifiable manner”.
Prince William compared the controversy to the situation of that to the death of his mother, Princess Diana. The beloved Princess died in a car crash 20 years ago while being chased by paparazzi in Paris.
Paul-Albert Iweins, Closer lawyer told the press the fines were “exaggerated for a simple matter” but later claimed he was “pleased”.
A spokeswoman of the palace told the Reuters, “This incident was a serious breach of privacy, and Their Royal Highnesses felt it essential to pursue all legal remedies. They wished to make the point strongly that this kind of unjustified intrusion should not happen.”
Meanwhile, Kensington Palace recently announced that Kate is pregnant with the couple’s third child and she cancelled all public events due to morning sickness. The Duchess experienced extreme morning sickness in all three of her pregnancies.