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Royal family to lodge criminal complaint over topless photos

The move comes after the Irish Daily Star was heavily criticised for republishing the images of Kate Middleton sunbathing topless.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in traditional Island clothing during a visit to the home of Governor General Frank Kabui in Honiara, Solomon Islands today.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in traditional Island clothing during a visit to the home of Governor General Frank Kabui in Honiara, Solomon Islands today.
Image: Chris Jackson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

PRINCE WILLIAM AND his wife Catherine are to lodge a criminal complaint in France over the taking and publication of photographs that appeared in a French magazine this week.

A palace spokesperson told AFP today that the criminal action was in addition to civil proceedings against Closer magazine.

“We can confirm that a criminal complaint is to be made to the French Prosecution Department tomorrow,” continued the spokesperson.

“The complaint concerns the taking of photographs of the The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge whilst on holiday and the publication of those photographs in breach of their privacy.”

The royal couple reportedly want criminal charges to be made against the yet un-named photographer who took the photos as well as the magazine which published them.

French prosecutors will have the final say on whether to investigate and pursue the complaint.

The news comes as bosses at Independent News & Media, one of the publishers of the Irish Daily Star which reproduced the images on Friday, scrambled to apologise for the editorial decision.

Writing in the Sunday Independent today, chief executive Joe Webb offered Kate Middleton his “deepest apologies”. He said the the decision to print the photos of the Duchess sunbathing topless while on holiday at a family residence in France was a ‘poor’ one. “These pictures should not have been published,” he added.

Yesterday, INM’s partner Northern and Shell said it was taking “immediate steps to close down the joint venture”. Chairman Richard Desmond said he was angry, condemning the publication of the pictures “in the strongest possible terms”.

He said his company was not notified of the newpaper’s plan and has no editorial control.

INM said it has noted Desmond’s statement and will launch an internal inquiry to ensure there will “never be a repeat of this breach of decency”. Webb added that his firm will do everything in its power to safeguard the 70 jobs at the Irish Daily Star.

The Irish secretary of the NUJ Séamus Dooley has called Desmond’s decision a “callous and crude attempt by Northern and Shell to protect their UK commercial interests with no regard for the livelihood of Irish workers”.

Editor of the Irish Daily Star Michael O’Kane said yesterday that he considered the images to be tasteful and said that the issue seemed to only cause fury in the UK.

It is understood that St James Palace has not made a decision on whether to take legal action against the Irish tabloid. The Royal Family is also seeking an injunction against Italy’s Chi magazine which plans to publish a 26-page special including the controversial photos tomorrow. A Paris court will hear that case tomorrow.

Earlier: NUJ says closing Irish Daily Star would be ‘over the top’>

Yesterday: Irish Daily Star owner says he will ‘close down joint venture’>

Irish Daily Star criticised by palace and UK owners for publishing topless Kate pics>

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