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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The photos have also been published in Italy, The AP said.
NBC News staff, Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.