After five years of waiting for a verdict, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have finally received good news. On Tuesday, the French court ruled in their favor in their privacy invasion case.
The court made their decision only 24 hours after William and Kate announced that they are expecting their third child. The court in Nanterre, west of Paris, allotted the couple 100,000 Euros in damages and interest.
The original lawsuit was filed after an incident took place in the summer of 2012. While William and Kate were vacationing in France, paparazzi invaded their privacy and sold inappropriate photos of them to European publications.
In the photos, the couple was on a terrace by a swimming pool at a private chateau owned by a relative. While lounging by the pool in the private villa, Kate was wearing only the bottom half of her bikini. Paparazzi took photos of the duchess topless and sent them to the magazine "Closer."
The magazine posted one of the photos across their cover, with the headline, "Oh My God: the photos that will go around the world." After the publication hit newsstands, William and Kate were reportedly offered an immediate injunction that said the photos could not be issued elsewhere. Unfortunately, the photos still appeared in several other publications.
At the time of the incident, the royal family's lawyers ordered that the magazine pay 1.5 million Euros in damages. William said that the case was "particularly shocking because it reminded us of the harassment that led to the death of my mother, Diana, Princess of Wales."
William made a declaration about the case. He said, "In September 2012, my wife and I thought that we could go to France for a few days in a secluded villa owned by a member of my family, and thus enjoy our privacy. We know France and the French and we know that they are, in principle, respectful of private life, including that of their guests. The clandestine way in which these photographs were taken was particularly shocking to us as it breached our privacy.”
A lawyer for "Closer" said that the case should not be considered an invasion of privacy because that would be hypocritical.
He said, "The public and private lives of the royal couple are so closely linked as to be inseparable. It's of public interest to know that future heirs to the throne have a solid relationship and are getting on well. It's all part of the royal business."
After years of going back and forth, the court finally ruled in favor of the royal couple and ordered the magazine's editor, CEO, and photographers to pay a large fine. Though the total was lower than the original, the couple is pleased that the photos were officially considered an invasion of privacy.
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