Topless photos of Kate Middleton land French magazine with €103,000 bill

Topless photos of Kate Middleton land French magazine with €103,000 bill
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be awarded €103,000 (£92,000) in damages by French magazine ‘Closer’ after it published topless pictures of Kate Middleton.

The amount is meager compared to the £1.4 million (US$1.83 million) the royal couple was seeking, but Kate and Prince William’s lawyer, Jean Veil, said the amount settled is "twice as high as normal in such a case".

The settlement was reached at a court in Nanterre, a suburban area in Paris, France, after five years of legal proceedings.

The dispute started back in 2012 when pictures were taken of the Duchess wearing only bikini bottoms while on holiday in Provence with her husband.

The pictures featured on the front cover, and inside the magazine alongside an article with the headline: “Oh My God!”

Another picture which is understood to have caused the couple particular upset is one of Prince William rubbing sun cream onto his wife’s back.

The couple thought £1.4 million was an appropriate sum for the publishers to pay in compensation after the embarrassment and frustration caused by the intimate pictures being released all over the world.

Its editor, 51-year-old Laurence Pieau, and Ernest Mauri, 71, the director of the Mondadori group which publishes Closer, were also given the maximum fine of €45,000 (£42,000) each.

While the majority of damages have to be paid by Closer, La Provence regional newspaper was also ordered to pay £3,000 to the couple after publishing a different picture of the couple - although that was not a topless one. It preceded the release of topless shots of the Duchess by a week.

Speaking after the settlement, Paul-Albert Iweins, a lawyer for Closer said, according to the Telegraph: "Two observations: the Windsor spouses demanded one and a half million and they got €50,000 each, which is in line with previous legal precedents, and we are happy with that. However, the fine seems exaggerated for a simple private affair.”

Although the couple did not attend proceedings, Prince William said in a statement the pictures reminded him of the “harassment” his mother, Princess Diana, suffered by paparazzi.

News of the settlement comes around the 20th anniversary of Diana’s death.

Diana was killed in a Parisian underpass after her drunk chauffeur accelerated to avoid the flashing lights of paparazzi.

Closer's lawyers defended themselves, saying it is in the public interest to know that "the potential future heirs to the throne have a solid relationship and are getting on well. It's all part of the royal business".