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French magazine fined for publishing topless photos of Kate

A French court has given maximum fines but awarded limited damages in the case of topless photos of Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, that outraged Britain's Royal Family.

Britain's royal couple now considers matter closed, had reportedly asked for $2.2M in damages

Kate and William, Duchess and Duke of Cambridge, shown walking through the memorial garden in Kensington Palace in London on Aug. 30, were awarded damages by a French court on Tuesday in the 2012 case of photographers snapping pictures of her topless. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press)

A French court has given maximum fines but awarded limited damages in the case of topless photos of Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, that outraged Britain's Royal Family.

The court in a Paris suburb ruled Tuesday that three photographers and three newspaper executives invaded the privacy of the former Kate Middleton by taking and publishing the photos.

Two executives of a French gossip magazine and two photographers working with a photo agency were collectively ordered to pay the equivalent of $73,580 Cdn in damages to Kate and the same amount to her husband, Prince William.

The amount is well below the $2.2 million in damages that were reportedly sought by the royal couple.

Despite that fact, the office of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge said in a statement that the couple were pleased with the ruling.

Kensington Palace said in a statement Tuesday that the matter is now closed.

The palace says the royals believed the publication of the photos amounted to a serious "breach of privacy" and that legal action should be pursued.

The duchess and her husband, Prince William, "wished to make the point strongly that this kind of unjustified intrusion should not happen."

Paul-Albert Iweins, lawyer for Closer magazine, called the fines exaggerated.

The couple, who didn't attend the verdict, had filed a complaint after the photos were published in Closer and a regional newspaper in 2012, the year after their wedding.

The pictures of Kate were taken with telephoto lenses while she and her husband apparently were sunbathing on a patio at a private estate in France's southern Provence region.

The Closer spread included a caption reading, "On holidays I forget everything, the London grayness, and even the swimsuit left in her Highness' suitcase."

French regional newspaper La Provence also published a photo of the Duchess of Cambridge wearing a full swimsuit on the same estate patio.

The prosecutor at the trial in May said that the Provence's picture, unlike the ones in Closer, was neither "indecent" nor "vulgar," but that it still shouldn't have been published.

The court gave La Provence's former publisher, Marc Auburtin, and photographer Valerie Suau, suspended fines and ordered them to pay collectively 3,000 euros ($4,423 Cdm) in damages to Kate and William.