Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you probably know that the Internet has gone absolutely bonkers over topless photos of Kate Middleton, Prince William’s wife and the Duchess of Cambridge, sunbathing on vacation. French magazine Closer published the photos on Friday, and now must hand them over or face a hefty fine, a French court ruled today.

The royal family wasted no time in springing to action after the pictures were published, announcing Friday that they had already begun legal proceedings against the magazine. By Monday, the photos had spread, this time to Italy, where they were published by Chi magazine. Lawyers for the couple appeared in Paris court on Monday, seeking an injunction to stop any further dissemination of the images, which the court granted today.

The court ruled that Closer must turn over all copies of the photos, both physical and digital, to the duke and duchess within 24 hours, or else face a $12,000 daily fine. They are also forbidden from republishing any of the images. A spokesperson for the prince told French newspaper Le Monde that the couple did not seek damages at this hearing, but that they may in the future.

A spokeswoman for St. James Palace also told the Associated Press that the royal family planned to file a criminal complaint with French prosecutors against the photographer or photographers responsible for taking the pictures.

Interestingly, no British publications have printed the photos. Many media outlets are speculating that the country’s once-raunchy tabloids have been chastened by the widely-publicized phone-hacking scandal faced by News Corp., the publisher of such tabloids as News of the World and The Sun. Another deterrent is Ireland’s plan to introduce tougher privacy legislation in the wake of the Irish Daily Star’s publication of the nude photos of the duchess.


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