Palace: Lawyers will seek injunction, damages over topless photos
Prince William, left, and wife Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, right, pose for a photo in Honiara, Solomon Islands, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012. (AP / William West)
Published Sunday, September 16, 2012 8:24AM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, September 16, 2012 3:10PM EDT
Lawyers representing Britain’s royal family will attempt to stop further publication of photos of a topless Kate Middleton, said Prince William’s office on Sunday.
St. James’s Palace said lawyers are set to attend court in Paris on Monday to seek an injunction against Italian media group Mondadori, which publishes French publication ‘Closer’ and Italy’s ‘Chi’ gossip magazines.
Lawyers will also seek damages from the group, which is owned by former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi.
The pictures of a sunbathing Duchess of Cambridge were published last week by Closer. Chi says it plans to publish 26 pages of photos on Monday.
The photos of Kate were taken while she was on holiday at a relative’s chateau in Provence, France.
The Irish Daily Star republished the photos on Saturday, but no British media organization has run them. Britain’s tabloids have even denounced the photos as an invasion of Kate’s privacy.
The Star’s owners even criticized the publication for running the photos.
British company Northern and Shell, which co-owns the paper with Ireland’s Independent News and Media, said it was “profoundly dismayed” over the decision by the Dublin newspaper to run the pictures.
Its chief, Richard Desmond, said he planned to pull out of the company that runs the tabloid paper.
Independent News and Media chief executive Joe Webb offered his “deepest apologies,” and said the company would be launching an inquiry into the incident to ensure similar breaches of privacy do not occur.
Following their publication, the palace slammed the images and warned it was investigating “all proportionate responses” against Chi.
The swift response to the photos contrasts to the naked photos of a partying Prince Harry which surfaced online in August and were later published in Britain’s Sun tabloid.
The palace largely shrugged off the photos of Harry in Las Vegas, which showed the young prince engaging in a game of strip billiards. No action was taken against those media organizations which published the photos.
Many view the reluctance of the British press to run the photos of the duchess as a sign that the country’s infamous tabloids have reformed after the News of the World phone hacking scandal and other wrongdoings.
The phone hacking scandal prompted an ongoing media-ethics inquiry and public outcry over the press’s actions.
The incident also brought up memories of the paparazzi hounding Prince William’s late mother, Princess Diana.
Diana died in a Paris car crash in August 1997. A coroner’s inquest found that pursuing photographers were partly responsible for her death.
The photo controversy blew up as the royal couple made an official tour of Singapore, Malaysia and the South pacific. The pair arrived in the Solomon Islands on Sunday and will complete their trip Tuesday in the island nation of Tuvalu.
With files from The Associated Press