William and Kate launch legal battle in France over topless royal photos
Britain's royals embarked on a legal battle in France on Monday to try to stop the spread of topless photos of Prince William's wife Catherine.
Meanwhile an Italian magazine splashed the pictures across a special 38-page edition.
"The queen is nude!" read the front-page headline of Chi magazine which reproduced the photos first published last week by the French publication Closer. Like Chi, Closer is owned by Italian former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.
It is Closer that William, the second-in-line to the throne, and his wife are targeting at a court in the Paris suburb Nanterre where they were due on Monday to seek an injunction to stop the magazine re-selling the images.
The couple are also lodging a criminal complaint with French prosecutors seeking damages from the the gossip magazine and from the photographer who took the photos with a powerful telephoto lens as the couple holidayed in southern France.
Lawyers for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge argue that publishing the photos of Catherine sunbathing semi-naked at a chateau, breached their privacy.
The prince is furious over the images, which drew comparisons with press harassment of his mother Diana who died in a Paris car crash in 1997 while being pursued by paparazzi.
No newspaper or magazine in Britain has announced plans to publish the offending photographs.
The palace has said the couple, who were in the Solomon Islands on Monday, "remain focused" on their nine-day southeast Asian and Pacific tour marking Queen Elizabeth's 60 years on the throne.