French police hunt for photographer as more magazines expose topless Kate
Prince William and Kate are carried from their plane to a welcoming ceremony on Tuesday in Tuvalu. The royal couple wound up their nine-day royal tour and returned to Britain on Wednesday. (Getty Images)
The topless photos of Kate have found their way into a few more corners of Europe as they continued to make news on several fronts Wednesday:
1) In France, police have begun the hunt at Closer magazine's offices for the unknown paparazzi who snapped the pictures of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge as they sunbathed at a French chateau on Sept. 5. The magazine also complied with a court order and handed over to the Royal Family all their files containing images of the couple from the offending shoot.
2) Two more magazines have joined the growing number of publications filling their pages with topless photos of the Duchess. Sweden's Se & Hor ("See and Here") published 11 photos over three pages on Wednesday, including one which shows her taking off her bikini bottom. Its sister publication in Denmark, Se & Hoer, has announced it will have a 16-page section in Thursday's princt edition that features the topless photos of the Duchess.
3) In a bit of innocent embarrassment, the Duchess has slight wardrobe malfunction. (details, video below).
The developments come as Prince William and Kate return to Britian from their nine-day tour of Asia and the South Pacific (right).
Detectives reportedly raided the offices of Closer magazine in Montrouge outside Paris at 10 a.m. on Wednesday morning, looking for information that could lead them to the photographer who snapped the pictures of William and Kate.
While early news reports characterized the police action as a raid, assistant prosecutor Marie-Christine Daubigney, denied it, saying she had only instructed police to get the names of some Closer employees, including the journalist who wrote the article.
The one big unanswered question in the controversy that has erupted over the photos is who took the pictures that have since been used in the Irish Daily Star, Itaty's Chi magazine and have been widely available via the web.
"The aim (of the raid) is to seize any information which might lead to the identity of the photographer," a police source told the Telegraph.
How far the police get with this tactic is debatable, since there are strict laws in France that protect journalistic sources.
One French photographer, Valerie Suau, has admitted she took photos from the suspected location about 600 metres from where the royals were by the chateau's swimming pool, but insisted she had no topless photos.
Meanwhile, Denmark and Sweden are getting its "exlusive" look at topless Kate.
"It is nothing new to us to publish nude photos of celebrities on holiday," said Carina Lofkvist, the chief editor of the Swedish magazine that hit newsstands Wednesday. She said she bought the pictures last Friday, when Closer hit the streets with the first set of top photos, from "photographers and photo agencies, the way we always do."
In Denmark, chief editor of Se & Hoer, Kim Henningsen, wrote on the magazine's website that "readers love to follow the lives of the royals and they want scoops."
"I am therefore incredibly proud that we have obtained the rights to provide the topless pictures of Britain’s future queen," she wrote, "which the whole world is talking about but very few have actually seen."
Henningsen said the magazine went through 240 pictures to gather their selection of 60 to 70, but would not divulge the price. The photos will only be available in the print edition of the celebrity magazine.
St. James's Palace would not comment about potential legal action, only saying that "proprotionate responses were under review."
In France, the royal couple won an injunction against the magazine on Tuesday that forbids Closer from reusing them in print or online. They also can't sell them to publications in other countries. Breaking the injunction would result in a fine of $158,000.
The French judge called the pictures a "brutal display" of the Duke and Duchess's private lives.
WINDY RECEPTION FOR KATE ... AND HER DRESS
The Duchess must have been relieved to finally get on a plane heading back home on Wednesday.
Sure, there was that nasty topless business to take care of, but at least she could heave a big sigh of relief that her nine-day tour with a giant corps of photographers capturing every moment resulted in not one single wardrobe malfunction.
Oops ... spoke too soon.
Kate, wearing a summery Project D London dress, left the plane to head to a VIP lounge while she waited her flight. As she greeted a few people on the tarmac, she was clearly fighting a losing battle with her dress as the wind swirled about her. She finally wrestled it around her knees, but not before a wind-assisted déjà-vu moment.
It was on an airport tarmac in Calgary in July 2011 that Kate first discovered that Mother Nature can be unforgiving to light-weight dresses on duchesses (right).
She obviously hadn't learned her lesson. And it was all caught on video (above) and by at least one quick-snapping Down Under photographer.
After disappearing into the airport terminal, it seems Kate finally figured out a surefire way to beat the wind gods at airports.
When she emerged to board the flight for the last leg to London, she had changed into jeans and a white top.