Chris Jackson/Getty Images
Chris Jackson/Getty Images
On Tuesday, a day after the royal couple filed a criminal complaint over the publication of topless photos of the duchess, a French court blocked Closer magazine from running the revealing images and ordered it to surrender all digital copies of the pics, a palace spokeswoman confirms to E! News.
The court has also opened a criminal investigation into whether the tabloid, along with the photographer who took the images, should face charges for allegedly invading the couple's privacy. Freelance shuttberbug Valerie Suau has copped to shooting some pictures of the couple on vacation, but claims that she didn't snap anything "explicit," and that she was not responsible for any of the shots published in the European magazines.
In a statement to E! News, a spokeswoman for St. James Palace said, "The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge welcome the judge's ruling."
Closer, which pulled down the photos on Friday, reportedly has 24 hours to hand them over and faces a fine of about $10,400 dollars if it violates the ban.
The ruling represents a swelling wave of vindication for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as heads begin to roll over the publication of the images, which were taken while the couple was on vacation in France.
On Sunday, the editor of the Irish Daily Star, which also ran the photos, was suspended, per the BBC. The paper's owners had decried editor Mike O'Kane's decision to publish the images and are now purportedly considering shutting it down.
The suspension comes amid reports that Irish Justice Minister Alan Shatter is planning to revisit the country's privacy laws in the wake of the scandal.
"Some sections of the print media are either unable or unwilling in their reportage to distinguish between 'prurient interest' and 'the public interest'," he reportedly said.
Closer's Italian sister publication, Chi, has also published the topless images, but lawyers for the royal family—which sued Closer on Friday—have yet to announce whether they'll take similar legal action in Italy against the tabloid.
In a statement, the publishing group that owns both Chi and Closer, Mondadori, defended the decision to run the photos, insisting that the "content is clearly newsworthy, without in any way being damaging to the subjects."
Will and Kate, meanwhile, are keeping calm and carrying on as they soldier forth with their Diamond Jubilee world tour. In an ironic turn on events, on Sunday the couple were photographed being greeted by a topless woman as they arrived in the Solomon Islands, where Kate did her best to dial down her candid reaction.
(Originally published Sept. 18, 2012, at 5:38 a.m. PT)