Prince William and Kate Middleton have launched legal action against the French magazine which printed images of the Duchess of Cambridge sunbathing.

The couple are suing for £1.3m in damages after the pictures were printed while the pair were on holiday in the south of France five years ago.

The Duke of Cambridge said he was especially distressed by the images because they brought back painful memories of his late mother, Diana Princess of Wales, who was often chased by paparazzi.

In a court document, he explained that he and Kate had been looking forward to spending some time together, in private, when the images were snapped.

Private life

In a written declaration, he said that the plan had been to enjoy a few days in a secluded villa owned by a relative. He added that he was aware that France was generally respectful of the right to have a private life.

However, Prince William went on to say he was particularly shocked at the “clandestine” way in which the images were taken and the way they breached their privacy.

The statement was read out on the first day of the trial, in which six defendants are involved. The images in question were taken by a long lens during Kate and William’s vacation.

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