Prince William is demanding £1.3 million in damages over topless images published of his wife, Kate Middleton.
The photos appeared in French magazine Closer in September 2012, following the couple’s vacation at a chateau in Provence.
They showed the Duchess topless, having suncream rubbed into her skin by Prince William on the terrace of their private property.
The couple launched legal proceedings in 2012, soon after the images were published, and a French court banned any further reproduction of the pictures.
Now, Prince William is seeking “very large damages” of €1.5 million (£1.3 million) and “very significant fines,” according to Closer magazine lawyer Paul-Albert Iweins, quoted by the BBC.
The demands were set out on the first day of a criminal case in Nanterre, France, on Tuesday, where six media representatives — including three photographers — are on trial for alleged invasion of privacy.
A written statement from Prince William was read out in court by the couple’s lawyer, Jean Veil. According to the BBC and others, William said: “The clandestine way in which these photographs were taken was particularly shocking to us as it breached our privacy.”
He added that the images were “all the more painful” as they brought back memories of the harassment which led to the death of his mother, Princess Diana. Diana was killed after her car crashed in Paris in August 1997 while she was being pursued by photographers.
William and Kate are also reportedly demanding £42,000 from regional newspaper La Provence for publishing some of the private photos.
Ernesto Mauri, the chief executive of Closer’s French publisher Mondadori, is facing one charge of using a document obtained by a breach of privacy, according to The Evening Standard. Marc Auburtin, who was the publishing director at La Provence at the time the images were published, is facing the same charge.
Laurence Piau, Closer’s French editor, is being charged with complicity, while agency photographers Cyril Moreau and Dominique Jacovides, and former La Provence photographer Valerie Suau face charges of invasion of privacy and complicity.
The verdict will be announced on July 4 at the Tribunal de Grande Instance de Nanterre by presiding judge Florence Lasserre-Jeannin.
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