"We can confirm that a criminal complaint has been made," says Clarence House

By Simon Perry and Phil Boucher
Updated September 17, 2012 09:30 AM
Arhtur Edwards/Getty

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge‘s legal team has filed charges against Closer, a French magazine that was the first to publish photographs of the couple outside a secluded villa in Provence, including shots of Kate sunbathing topless.

“We can confirm that a criminal complaint has been made to the French Prosecution Department today,” a spokesperson for Clarence House said on Monday.

“The complaint concerns the taking of photographs of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge whilst on holiday and the publication of those photographs in breach of their privacy.”

Attorneys for the royal couple, who are currently on a goodwill tour of Asia tied to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, “will appear in court today in Paris seeking an injunction against Closer magazine using more pictures and to prevent further publication of the photographs in France. It will lead to a longer court case where damages will be sought.”

The lawyers will request the issue be removed from newsstands, the photos be removed from the publication’s online site and further reprint be prohibited. They will also ask the judge to ban further sale. A decision on issuing the injunction is expected on Tuesday, according to someone involved in the case.

The invasion of privacy evidenced in the photos is being compared by the royal household to the incessant paparazzi pursuit that plagued William’s mother, Princess Diana, who was killed in a 1997 car crash in Paris.

While no British outlet has published the photos, on Saturday images appeared in the Irish Daily Star. In addition, on Monday, Chi, a glossy Italian gossip magazine owned by former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi s Mondadori group (which also publishes Closer in France), published a 26-page photo spread of the couple, including the topless shots.

After their initial outrage, there is now a sense that the couple’s “anger has subsided,” a royal source told PEOPLE as William and Kate toured a rain forest this weekend.

“They are not actors. The are as upbeat and as pleased to be on this tour as you can see they are,” the royal source said. “They had a wonderful time in Malaysia, particularly Sabah, which was magical in terms of what they could see and learn about a subject they are interested in.

The source added: “The Royal family motto is to stay calm and carry on.”

Additional reporting by PETER MIKELBANK