Skip to main content

UK royals to file criminal complaint over topless photos

From Max Foster, CNN
September 17, 2012 -- Updated 0231 GMT (1031 HKT)
Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, are carried as they bid farewell in Tuvalu on Wednesday, September 19. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge -- on a tour marking the diamond jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II -- are visiting Singapore, Malaysia, the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu. <a href='http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/world/photography/index.html' target='_blank'>See more of CNN's best photography</a>. Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, are carried as they bid farewell in Tuvalu on Wednesday, September 19. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge -- on a tour marking the diamond jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II -- are visiting Singapore, Malaysia, the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu. See more of CNN's best photography.
HIDE CAPTION
William and Kate visit Far East
William and Kate visit Far East
William and Kate visit Far East
William and Kate visit Far East
William and Kate visit Far East
William and Kate visit Far East
William and Kate visit Far East
William and Kate visit Far East
William and Kate visit Far East
William and Kate visit Far East
William and Kate visit Far East
William and Kate visit Far East
William and Kate visit Far East
William and Kate visit Far East
William and Kate visit Far East
William and Kate visit Far East
William and Kate visit Far East
William and Kate visit Far East
William and Kate visit Far East
William and Kate visit Far East
William and Kate visit Far East
William and Kate visit Far East
William and Kate visit Far East
William and Kate visit Far East
William and Kate visit Far East
William and Kate visit Far East
William and Kate visit Far East
William and Kate visit Far East
William and Kate visit Far East
William and Kate visit Far East
William and Kate visit Far East
William and Kate visit Far East
William and Kate visit Far East
William and Kate visit Far East
William and Kate visit Far East
William and Kate visit Far East
William and Kate visit Far East
William and Kate visit Far East
William and Kate visit Far East
William and Kate visit Far East
William and Kate visit Far East
William and Kate visit Far East
William and Kate visit Far East
will n kate 10
William and Kate visit Far East
William and Kate visit Far East
William and Kate visit Far East
William and Kate visit Far East
William and Kate visit Far East
William and Kate visit Far East
William and Kate visit Far East
William and Kate visit Far East
William and Kate visit Far East
William and Kate visit Far East
William and Kate visit Far East
William and Kate visit Far East
William and Kate visit Far East
William and Kate visit Far East
William and Kate visit Far East
William and Kate visit Far East
William and Kate visit Far East
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: William and Catherine will file a criminal complaint against the photographer
  • Lawyers for the royal family will seek damages and a court order in Paris on Monday
  • Topless photos of Catherine, duchess of Cambridge, are published in France and Ireland
  • The editor of the Irish Daily Star says Catherine is no different from any other celebrity

Honiara, Solomon Islands (CNN) -- Prince William and Catherine, the duchess of Cambridge, will file a criminal complaint against the photographer who took topless pictures of her, the palace said Sunday evening.

The complaint will be given to a French prosecutor on Monday, Britain's Press Association reported.

Earlier, the palace said Britain's royal family will go to court Monday to stop the publication of more topless photos.

Lawyers for the royals will be seeking damages and a Paris court order preventing the photos from being published again. They also want existing photos taken offline, the palace spokesman told CNN.

The French magazine Closer ran photos last week of Catherine sunbathing topless in private.

Chi, an Italian gossip magazine owned by the same company, has said it will put out a special edition on Monday with photos of William and Catherine on vacation.

Kate upset about topless photos

The royal couple is not pursuing legal action in other countries currently, the palace spokesman said, although the photos have also been published in Ireland.

The palace expressed outrage last week that the French magazine published the pictures, comparing the invasion of privacy to those suffered by William's late mother, Diana, princess of Wales.

William and Catherine were said to be "hugely saddened" by what palace officials called a "grotesque" invasion of privacy while they were on a private vacation.

But the Irish Daily Star went on to print the pictures on Saturday.

Palace officials slammed the newspaper's decision as driven only by greed.

But editor Mike O'Kane told the BBC that outrage over the images was only felt in Britain and that readers in the Republic of Ireland wanted to know what all the "kerfuffle" was about.

Kate's topless photos spark debate
Are the royals taking legal action?
Topless photos prompt royal privacy row

He was "a little taken aback by the reaction in the UK," he said, saying the newspaper was treating Catherine no differently from any other celebrity.

"She's not the future queen of Ireland so really the only place this is causing fury seems to be in the UK," he said, suggesting that the British press were behaving with some hypocrisy.

O'Kane said the Irish Daily Star was reproducing the images as published in Closer on Friday rather than buying them directly. The pictures are not being published in the Northern Ireland edition.

Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom.

Pacific welcome awaits William and Kate

The latest controversy comes only three weeks after the British royal family was caught up in a media furor over images of William's younger brother, Prince Harry, partying naked in his Las Vegas hotel room with a group of girls.

In a sign of how divisive the issue of royal privacy has become, a co-owner of the Irish Daily Star, media group Northern & Shell, said it in no way backed the newspaper's decision to run the pictures of Catherine.

In a statement, the company -- which runs the Irish Daily Star in a joint venture with Independent News & Media, but does not exert editorial control over it -- said it was "profoundly dismayed" by the move.

"We abhor the decision of the Irish Daily Star to publish these intrusive pictures of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, which we, like St James's Palace, believe to be a grotesque invasion of their privacy," Northern & Shell's communications director Mimi Turner said.

Northern & Shell also owns the Daily Express and the Daily Star, among other British publications, which have not run the pictures of Catherine, nor of Prince Harry.

William, who is second in line to the throne, and his wife are on an official tour of southeast Asian nations.

They were due in the Solomon Islands Sunday on the next leg of a tour that has been overshadowed by the furor over the photographs.

Catherine was "upset" with Closer magazine, a palace source told CNN.

Mondadori told CNN it plans to run 26 pages of photographs of William and Kate on vacation in an "extraordinary" special edition to go on sale in Italy on Monday.

Chi's front cover will also feature three revealing pictures of Catherine, according to a copy of the page and statement sent by Mondadori spokeswoman Carmen Mugione via e-mail.

"It is a story worth publishing in an extraordinary edition because it shows in a natural light the everyday life of a very famous contemporary young couple in love," Chi's editor-in-chief, Alfonso Signorini, is quoted as saying in the statement.

"The fact that they happen to be the future king and queen of England certainly makes it more interesting and current, and in line with today's concept of monarchy."

A St. James's Palace spokeswoman said: "Any such publication would serve no purpose other than to cause further, entirely unjustifiable upset to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who were enjoying time alone together in the privacy of a relative's home."

Opinion: British privacy should start with British press

According to Mondadori's website, Closer has an average weekly circulation of about 414,000, while Chi sells more than 340,000 copies a week. Marina Berlusconi, daughter of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, has been chairwoman of the media group since 2003.

Legal analysts suggest the company hopes to recoup any legal costs and fines it may incur by increasing sales, thanks to the revealing pictures.

The grainy pictures published by Closer in France appear to have been taken with a long camera lens while the couple was staying at a private chateau belonging to William's uncle in Provence, in southern France.

The new privacy controversies have dredged up the royal family's often rocky relationship with the press and put a spotlight on how the palace deals with the media after the tragic death of Diana, as she fled photographers in Paris 15 years ago.

Laurence Pieau, editor-in-chief of Closer in France, defended the decision to publish the images in an interview with CNN affiliate BFM-TV, saying: "We were just doing our job."

Pieau said that there had been no debate at the magazine over whether to publish the photos, and that they show the royals "are just like any other couple in love."

UK tabloid prints naked Prince Harry pictures

On Saturday the management of Closer said the photos "are in no case degrading."

French law provides for "draconian sanctions" to protect against this kind of behavior, Briitsh lawyer Charlotte Harris said, including orders to take magazines off shelves and the imposition of serious fines.

But even if distribution of the images is contained to a degree, Harris said, the damage is done to the extent that very private information about the duchess has now become public knowledge.

No UK newspaper has so far published the photographs of Catherine.

The British media is currently under close scrutiny after revelations of phone hacking and other abuses. The conclusions of an independent judge-led inquiry, which may recommend greater restrictions on media freedoms, are expected by the end of the year.

After Diana: How can intimate royal photos be published in France?

CNN's Alex Felton, Per Nyberg, Laura Smith-Spark and Hada Messia contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1526 GMT (2326 HKT)
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0009 GMT (0809 HKT)
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1801 GMT (0201 HKT)
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
February 5, 2013 -- Updated 1548 GMT (2348 HKT)
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0507 GMT (1307 HKT)
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
February 5, 2013 -- Updated 1215 GMT (2015 HKT)
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0006 GMT (0806 HKT)
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1237 GMT (2037 HKT)
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 2327 GMT (0727 HKT)
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.
ADVERTISEMENT