, PARIS, Sept 18 – Britain’s royals went on the offensive with a criminal complaint in Paris against a magazine that published photos of Prince William’s wife Catherine sunbathing topless on the balcony of a French chateau.
A court decision was meanwhile expected at 1000 GMT Tuesday on the couple’s request for an injunction banning the republication or resale of the photos, which their lawyer said were from a “highly intimate moment” and had no place in the public domain.
The legal action came as an Italian magazine splashed the blurry pictures of Catherine frolicking in bikini bottoms across a special edition with the front-page headline: “The queen is nude!”
As the furore over the exposed royal breasts continued in Europe, the couple on a visit to the Solomon Islands appeared unperturbed when they were introduced to a group of topless South Pacific women.
The prosecutor’s office in the Paris suburb of Nanterre said it had received a complaint against persons unknown from the royal couple.
The pair have said they want criminal charges for the alleged breach of French privacy law brought against both the gossip magazine Closer and the photographer, whose identity the publication has not revealed.
They are also seeking an injunction to prevent Closer — which is owned by Italian former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s Mondadori group — from re-selling the images of the future queen in bikini bottoms and of William rubbing suncream on her behind.
At a hearing in Nanterre into the injunction request, lawyer Aurelien Hamelle said the pictures were taken “in a highly intimate moment during a scene of married life and have no place on the cover of a magazine.”
Drawing a parallel with the “fatal hunt” by paparazzi that led to the death of William’s mother Princess Diana, Hamelle urged the presiding judge to grant an injunction against all republishing of the photographs in print and in digital form and to ban their resale.
He said they were not however requesting the withdrawal of current issues of Closer from news stands, saying “the damage is done”.