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French editor charged over royal topless photos

The editor of French magazine Closer and an unnamed photographer have been charged with breaking France’s strict privacy rules after the magazine published pictures of the Duchess of Cambridge sunbathing topless last year.

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The editor of French magazine Closer has been charged for publishing long-lens shots of a topless Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, when she was on holiday in 2012 with her husband Prince William in the south of France, it emerged on Friday.

Closer Editor Laurence Pieau was charged earlier in July for publishing the topless pictures of Kate in September last year, according to AFP.

The agency also reported that an unnamed photographer was charged last month, while another is under formal investigation and will be charged “very shortly” for breaking France’s strict privacy rules.

The latest developments over the controversial photos come a few months after publishing house Mondadori France's legal representative Ernesto Mauri, another photographer and a senior editor of the newspaper La Provence were charged.

Mondadori France publishes Closer magazine, while La Provence splashed photos of the Duchess in a bathing costume on its front page a week before Closer, on September 7 last year.

Pictures sold around the world

Management at La Provence denies that its photographer had taken the topless pictures of Kate Middleton, who gave birth to a son - His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge - this week.

The pictures, first published by Closer, were sold and published in Italy, Ireland, Denmark and Sweden.

The British royal family responded aggressively, suing through the French courts for the photographer to be identified and for further publication of the pictures to be stopped.
A royal spokesman said at the time that the topless shots were “reminiscent of the worst excesses” of the paparazzi during Princess Diana’s lifetime.

A judge near Paris ruled on September 18, 2012 that the topless pictures could neither be published again or sold on, clearing the way for a criminal investigation to identify the photographer.

Outraged British tabloids called for the paparazzi responsible to be identified, with The Sun newspaper carrying the headline "Find the Rat" on September 18.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

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