Updated: 06/09/17 : 07:02:53
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World :: French magazine ordered to pay 100k to Duke and Duchess of Cambridge over topless photos

A court has ordered France's Closer magazine to pay 100,000 in damages to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge over topless pictures of Kate.

The publication's editor, Laurence Pieau, and owner Ernesto Mauri must also each pay fines of 45,000 (41,000) - the maximum possible.

However, the 100,000 (92,000) for breach of privacy is considerably less than the 1.5m that opposition lawyers said the couple were seeking.

The royal couple said they were "pleased" with the verdicts after a "serious breach of privacy", and said they "wished to make the point strongly that this kind of unjustified intrusion should not happen."

The photos of the Duchess and the Duke of Cambridge on holiday in the south of France were published in Closer and in regional magazine La Provence in September 2012.

They were snapped with a zoom lens as they relaxed outside at a chateau belonging to the Queen's nephew, Viscount Linley.

British newspapers rejected approaches to buy the photos but they appeared in celebrity gossip magazine Closer, as well as Ireland's Daily Star and Italy's Chi.

The royals filed a criminal complaint for invasion of privacy and got an injunction preventing further use of the images.

The damages will be paid by the two Closer magazine executives and photographers Cyril Moreau and Dominique Jacovides, who had denied taking the photos.

In a statement read to a Paris court by a lawyer, Prince William said the case was "all the more painful" because of the way the paparazzi hounded his mother before her death in the French capital 20 years ago.

He added: "We know France and the French and we know that they are, in principle, respectful of private life, including that of their guests.

"The clandestine way in which these photographs were taken was particularly shocking to us as it breached our privacy."

The damages judgment follows the conviction of six people linked to Closer and La Provence magazines in a trial that began in May.

The Duke and Duchess revealed on Monday that they are expecting their third child.