Prince William and Kate Middleton file 'violation of privacy' complaint

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have appealed to foreign newspapers and magazines to show 'common sense and decency'.

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will ask prosecutors in France on Monday to launch criminal proceedings against the photographer who took pictures of the Duchess topless and the French magazine that published them.

If successful, the move could lead to the paparazzo and the magazine's editor being jailed for up to a year and fined up to 36,000 pounds.

Lawyers for the couple will make a formal criminal complaint at a court hearing near Paris of breach of privacy and trespass.

They are also expected to be granted an interim civil injunction banning the French magazine Closer from printing any more pictures and ordering it to remove any images from its website. It will then be for French prosecutors to decide whether to pursue the allegations.

A St James's Palace spokesperson said, "We can confirm a criminal complaint is to be made to the French Prosecution Department. The complaint concerns the taking of photographs of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge whilst on holiday and the publication of those photographs in breach of their privacy."

The couple have appealed to foreign newspapers and magazines to show "common sense and decency" by refraining from publishing further photographs of the Duchess topless.

But they realise that they cannot take legal action in every country where the photographs might appear.

Pictures of the Duchess sunbathing without her bikini top have already appeared in an Irish newspaper and are expected to appear in Italy, but sources at St James's Palace suggested law suits in those two countries were unlikely.

The Palace hopes that a public backlash against those responsible for publishing the pictures will be more of a deterrent than threats to sue.

The Duke and Duchess gave a clear show of togetherness as they arrived in the Solomon Islands on the latest leg of their tour of the Far East yesterday.

Their unprecedented legal action will begin in earnest today, but it may be another two years before the Duke and Duchess can put the episode behind them, according to Palace sources, because of the slow progress that privacy cases make in the French courts.

The Duchess was photographed topless at a chateau in Provence.

Asked whether the couple would be taking legal action in Ireland or Italy, a Royal source said: "We are keeping our options under review but clearly there is a limit to how much action we can take.

"If there is a proportionate response we can find, we will do, but our focus remains on dealing with the paparazzo [who took the pictures] if we can identify him or her and the civil action we have already brought against Closer."

Although the Duke and Duchess's legal action is being underwritten by the Prince of Wales, they are unlikely to recover the cost. Instead, any damages will go towards the couple's legal bills.

According to reports in France, the law suit demands a fine of 100,000 euros unless the magazine is withdrawn.

The board of Northern & Shell, joint owner of the Irish Daily Star, which also published the photographs, will meet today to discuss how to end the company's involvement in the paper.

The Italian gossip magazine Chi has already announced its plan to release a special edition of the photographs.


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