Six due in court over Kate topless sunbathing photos

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Six people are to go on trial over the publication of topless pictures of the Duchess of Cambridge more than four years ago.

France's Closer magazine and regional newspaper La Provence were placed under investigation after the images of Kate sunbathing while on a private holiday in Provence with the Duke of Cambridge were printed in September 2012.

The photos prompted a fierce reaction, with a statement issued by St James's Palace stating they were "reminiscent of the worst excesses of the press and paparazzi during the life of Diana, Princess of Wales".

Laurence Piau, editor of Closer in France, and Ernesto Mauri, chief executive of publishing group Mondadori which produces the magazine, will face trial on Tuesday.

Cyril Moreau and Dominique Jacovides, reported to be agency photographers, will also appear at the court in Nanterre, west Paris.

Valerie Suau, a photographer for La Provence which printed photographs of the Duchess that did not involve nudity, and Marc Auburtin, the paper's publishing director at the time, will also face charges in court.

The royal couple launched their own legal proceedings after the photos were published in 2012 and a court in Paris banned Closer, which is separate from the UK's Closer magazine, from printing any further images.

The magazine argued at the time that the photos, taken while the couple holidayed in southern France at a chateau owned by Viscount Linley, the Queen's nephew, were shot from a public road.

William and Kate are not expected to attend the hearing.