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Video: French court rules for Kate over topless photos

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    >> and a french court is ordering a magazine there to hand over all digital copies of the topless sunbathing photos of the duchess of cambridge. in a moment, we'll show you live just how a photographer gets those kinds of images from so far away . we're talking over a half a mile. but first nbc's michelle kosinski is in paris. michelle, good morning again.

    >> reporter: hi, matt. this may be the first time ever that everybody is talking about not what kate was wearing but what she wasn't. but now she and william just scored a courtroom victory here in france , the court giving them everything they asked for. the french magazine that published those topless photos must stop all publication and distribution including on the internet. within 24 hours they need to turn over all the originals to the royal family and what's more a criminal investigation into this entire matter is now being open. william and kate are saying good-bye to the south pacific which set out its grandest efforts to comfort them. including flower garlands presented by topless women. tomorrow back to britain and the european uproar of the published photos of kate sunbathing topless while she and william vacationed at this secluded estate in the south of france . in france , their lawyers are on it slapping the publisher of the french magazine "closer," with photos taken hundreds of yards away and a breach of privacy and they asked the court to stop publication of the pictures, stop any resale of them, remove them from the web and force the publisher to pay up big time if it doesn't comply. they described the photos of intimate scenes stolen by telephoto lens . kate may be a princess, they said, but she suffers over this. in paris, even if you wanted a copy of the magazine treated by some as a collector's item that might be impossible

    >> translator: the stock has run out. there's no way of getting them at the warehouse. there aren't any more to be had.

    >> reporter: in italy where the magazine "chi" owned by the same publisher as the french run ran a 42 photo spread and here readers are unfazed.

    >> she's just a woman sunbathing. i can't understand the importance

    >> reporter: royal family is upset and well acquainted with such intrusions. diana had been caught by long lens, in the gym, on a boat, in the '90s charles was snapped in the buff on a balcony while vacationing in france . andrew had his ex-wife sarah published topless. prince harry in vegas, even prince philip inadvertently exposing himself while wearing a kilt. kate , before she married william , sued a photo agency over pictures of her playing tennis. she won. many of these instances long forgotten, and perhaps one day this will be, too. french privacy laws are some of the toughest around. in fact, the first lady or first girlfriend of france just won a judgment against this same magazine for publishing pictures of her wearing a bikini. the fine was about 2,000 euros. that's the thing. the penalties tend to be very light. hey, william and kate got what they wanted out of this, at least here in france . matt.

    >> all right, michelle kosinski in france this morning. thanks very

NBC News and news services
updated 9/18/2012 7:02:59 AM ET 2012-09-18T11:02:59

A French court on Tuesday ordered the publisher of a gossip magazine to hand over all digital copies of topless photos of Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge and wife of Prince William, and blocked the further publication of the images.

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Under the ruling, the magazine Closer cannot publish the images of an intimate moment in the south of France any further, including on its website and tablet application, The Associated Press reported. The magazine published 14 photos of a partially clad Kate in its pages on Friday.

Separately, the court in Nanterre, near Paris, opened a criminal investigation into both the magazine and the photographer.

The royal couple are currently on a tour of the South Pacific.

During their stop in Honiara, the capital of the Solomon Islands, William and Kate appeared relaxed, easy-going, and warm during an informal conversation with NBC News.

But if the royal family had hoped to block international publication of the topless photos, it was too late.

Prince William, Kate 'hugely saddened' by publication of topless photos

The photos show Kate slipping off her bikini top, relaxing on a sun lounger and at one point pulling down the back of her bikini bottoms while in the south of France.

See more news on the Royals from TODAY.com

Buckingham Palace has called the photo spread a "grotesque" invasion of the royal couple's privacy.

Video: Royal family suing over topless photos of Duchess Kate (on this page)

British newspapers, fighting for their reputation after a string of scandals, have agreed not to publish the images, as has the British edition of Closer which is managed separately, and instead are condemning the photographer.

Story: A royal frizz-fixer? Meet traveling Team Kate

The Sun tabloid screamed: "Find Le Rat" on its front page on Tuesday and said the photographer would be hunted down and faced jail.

On Monday, the publisher of tabloid The Irish Daily Star suspended its editor after the newspaper broke ranks with Irish and British peers, publishing pages from Closer with the photographs in its Saturday edition.

Diana friend: 'History repeating itself' with Kate

The photos have also been published in Italy, The AP said.

NBC News staff, Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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