Court Orders Ban on Kate Middleton Topless Photos

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A French court has ordered the tabloid that ran photos of Kate Middleton sunbathing topless to stop publishing the images and to hand over all digital copies.

In Tuesday's ruling, the court said the photos published by French gossip magazine Closer represented a "brutal display" of intimate moments by Prince William and Kate, who were on a private vacation in southern France when the photos were snapped.

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The tabloid -- which published 14 photos of a partially clad Kate in its pages last Friday -- is subject to a daily fine of $13,100 if it fails to hand over the photos and was ordered not to further disseminate them in any form, including on the web or through its smartphone/tablet app.

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The court ruling noted that the "particularly intrusive" images "showed the intimacy of a couple, partially naked" on the terrace of a private home.  "(They) were thus subjected to this brutal display the moment the cover appeared."

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The French court ruling only applies to the tabloid Closer and the magazine's parent company, Mondadori, has already published the photos in other publications in Italy and Ireland. 

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The Palace quickly reacted to publication of the photos last week, saying in a statement the royal family was "hugely saddened to learn that a French publication and a photographer have invaded their privacy in such a grotesque and totally unjustifiable manner."