At the time the photos were taken, Prince William and the Duchess (formerly known as Kate Middleton) were on vacation in Provence, France. The images ran in the French publication Closer, and were met immediately with disdain from the palace.
“Their Royal Highnesses have been hugely saddened to learn that a French publication and a photographer have invaded their privacy in such a grotesque and totally unjustifiable manner,” a statement from the palace read. The statement also called the incident a reminder of the 1997 death of Princess Diana, reminding her family of “the worst excesses of the press and paparazzi during the life of Diana, Princess of Wales, and all the more upsetting for the duke and duchess for being so.”
The royal family threatened legal action in 2012. Now six people, including three photographers, are being questioned in France in connection with the images and their distribution.
According to The Telegraph, a written statement from William was read by the family’s lawyer in French, and it called the photos shocking and unexpected. “We know France and the French and we know that they are, in principle, respectful of private life, including that of their guests,” he said.
He also reiterated that the situation reminded him of what Diana dealt with in her own life. The pair is seeking 1.5 million euros, or a little over 1.6 million U.S. dollars in the suit.
At the time the photos were released, Closer’s editor defended its decision to publish the photos, stating that “ these are pictures that are full of joy. The pictures are not degrading.”
We’ll have to wait and see what the court has to say about that.